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Author Topic: Chance of a False Positive on 4th Gen Test  (Read 498 times)

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Offline jfdr97

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Chance of a False Positive on 4th Gen Test
« on: October 05, 2020, 12:02:28 am »
I had an unprotected anal sex encounter 7 weeks ago with a guy who told me he was on PrEP and I was the insertive partner. I got tested 7 weeks after this encounter because he told me might have syphilis and then I tested negative for syphilis but reactive on my HIV.

I got my initial screening results from the 4th gen Ab/Ag test and it tested "REPEATEDLY REACTIVE". They did the HIV1/2 Differential test next and I tested "NEGATIVE" for both.

Now I'm waiting for the RNA test that checks for the antigens and see if it's acute HIV and my anxiety is off the roof. I got the Oraquick HIV test to make myself feel better while waiting since it's been approximately 8 weeks after the encounter and that also tested negative.

My anxiety has been all over the place. As soon as I heard the news, I started getting symptoms like fatigue, chills, nightsweats, even diarrhea. I'm scared these symptoms are from the acute HIV or I'm currently seroconverting. I had none of these symptoms before I learned about my initial screening results.

I just wanted to ask what are the chances that this might be a False Positive on the screening test?

Any help or experience with similar situations would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you!
« Last Edit: October 05, 2020, 12:18:09 am by jfdr97 »

Offline Jim Allen

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Re: Chance of a False Positive on 4th Gen Test
« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2020, 12:18:20 am »

Understand you had a potential exposure a few weeks ago and a reactive HIV result.

Sorry to hear about the reactive test result, I can understand this can be a shock.
The thing with screening tests is they are highly sensitive but not very specific and false reactive results do happen.

Understand the HIV 1/2 differentiation assay follow-up was non-reactive, that's good. Just wait for the HIV-1 RNA results, in the meantime try not to overthink things too much. 

If the results are negative as you have had exposures within the window peiod remember to follow-up with additional HIV screening at the appropriate time.

As soon as I heard the news, I started getting symptoms like fatigue, chills, nightsweats, even diarrhea.

Not HIV specific, let your healthcare worker know about this so they can diagnose and treat whatever it is. I hope you feel better soon.

Here's what you need to know to avoid HIV infection:
Use condoms for anal or vaginal intercourse, correctly and consistently, every time, no exceptions. Consider starting PrEP as an additional layer of HIV protection.

Keep in mind that some sexual practices which may be described as ‘safe’ in terms of HIV transmission might still pose a risk for transmission of other STI's, so please do get fully tested regularly and at least yearly for all STI's including but not limited to HIV and test more frequently if unprotected intercourse occurs

Also, note that it is possible to have an STI and show no signs or symptoms and the only way of knowing is by testing.

Kind regards


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Offline jfdr97

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Re: Chance of a False Positive on 4th Gen Test
« Reply #2 on: October 05, 2020, 12:04:22 pm »
Update (10/5/2020)

It's a negative on my HIV-1 RNA, QL-TMA. I don't have signs of acute HIV infection. The relief is unbelievable.

I believe the symptoms I was experiencing were all from anxiety because they're completely gone now and I've never felt better.

Thank you, especially to Jim Allen for their help.


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