[Question #1002] Concerned! Very Anxious! Need a certain answer

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92 months ago
Hello Doctor!
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92 months ago
Hello Doctor!!

I had a Possible Exposure (Unprotected Vaginal Sex) with a girl of Unknown HIV status..
Ive been involved with the girl various times but i was using a condom. This one time i had sex with her without a condom!

This incident was on 06 March 2016

I got myself tested 112 days after the Exposure and i received the result within 2.5 Hours.

Test:  HIV I & II Serum

Method:   CMIA (chemiluminescent micro particle immunoassay) Abbott Architect

Result:  Non Reactive

I have a few questions for you!

1) What would be the accuracy of this test?

2) Could it be a False-Negative?

3) Do i need to reconfirm about false negative with another same test or any other test? Is it warranted ?

4) Can i be termed as HIV Negative for this exposure?


I went for a Complete Blood Count Test  at a reputed Hospital near my house. The hospital is well reputed and has a chain of hospitals throughout the country.
I am under a doubt that the Lab/Technician did not use a new needle as he did not attach it to the Vacutainer holder infront of me.
I got scared and asked him after the test that

"Was it a new needle?"
he replied "Yes sir"

i went to a doctor in that hospital and asked him that it might be the case and asked for PEP, where he replied that i assure you we use new needles and PEP isn't warranted for this.

Do i need to be worried about it ??
Do i need to retest for it ??

Also, i suffer from Anxiety/Panic disorder. And have stopped my meds for three months.  Can this Play a role in my situation?

Please Help me Doctor! Im going Crazy..

Kind Regards

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H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
92 months ago
Welcome to the forum. Thanks for your question.

You needn't be worried at all. First, it is extremely unlikely to acquire HIV from a single episode of unprotected vaginal sex, even if the female is infected -- and it is very unlikely your partner had HIV anyway (less than 1 chance in a hundred, even if she is a sex worker). Second and more important, the test you had detects all HIV infections when done 4 weeks or more after the least exposure. (You didn't have to wait for 112 days. 1 months would have been enough.) The negative result proves you don't have HIV.

Those comments answer all four of your questions, but to be explicit:  1) See above. 2) Possible false negative? No. 3) There is no need for additional testing. 4) You are definitely HIV negative from that exposure. For still further reassurance, why not ask your partner to be tested? When you have her negative result, you will gain confidence there is no risk for future sex with her.

As for your other "possible incident":  HIV is NEVER caught from having blood drawn. You should not be worried, should not get tested, and for sure should not requeset PEP (which no responsible or ethical doctor would agree to do anyway).

I suspect your anxiety/panic disorder does not mere "play a role" in this situation. I suspect it is the only factor of any importance. I suggest you resume your medications and also check back with your counselor or doctor about it.

I hope this has helped. Please be aware that I will not answer anything already covered. If you have questions, be sure they don't address issues with obvious answers from my reply above.

Best wishes and stay safe--  HHH, MD

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92 months ago
Hello Dr handsfield 

Thank you so much for your valuable reply!

My next questions have nothing to do with your already answered ones.... 

Thanks for giving me some hope of my HIV negative status. 

I wanted to know...

* How Do you (on what basis) rule out the false-negative result ?

And my second worry was not the drawing of blood, but 

* I doubted that he might have re-used the needle. And what if the needle was already infected (is it possible to transmit hiv this way)??

That was/is my worry. 

* Your final piece of advice for me ?

Once again 

Thank you So much Sir

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H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
92 months ago
False negative HIV test results are extremely rare. I've never heard of it, with the 4th generation tests of the kind you had.

Yes, of course it is possible to transmit HIV by reusing needles without sterlizing them between patients. But nobody reuses needles any more; in fact, they are designed to make it very difficult to do so. What would be the motivation? To save a dime in equipment costs? It doesn't happen, period.

My final advice?  Move along without fear or worry; see my advice in my reply above; and resume your meds!

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92 months ago
Thank you so much for the reply Dr Handsfield!!

I am not with that girl anymore (The one i had Unprotected sex with), so i just wanted to be sure weather i am safe from HIV after that encounter.
I tested at 112 days with HIV I & II Serum (Architect abbott) which came out negative. 

Further Confirmed by you of me being HIV Negative from that encounter and also said that no chance of a False Negative.

Can i take it as 100% Conclusive? Result was given in 2.5 hours! Is it Possible this quick?

about the needle, I believe you and would stop worrying now!

So, as of today 29/07/2016........I've not had any Unprotected sex from the last incident dated 06/03/2016 which i already mentioned and got tested on 27/06/2016

By Going through both my Incidents ("Unprotected Vaginal and The needle Re-use doubt) 

Can i be 100% sure of my Negative Hiv status without any fear of False negative result which i got after 112 days (The one mentioned) ??


Thank you for your much Valuable and Timely response.

Kind Regards
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H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
92 months ago
I have already answered these exact questions and see no reason to repeat myself. See my replies above. You don't have HIV.

Best wishes and stay safe.