[Question #262] Hiv

36 months ago
Could an insti test be positive 6 months post exposure and then have 4 negative duo tests and -ve pcr test over    The next two years? Is this possible to have contracted hiv and all the other test be wrong? Oh also I had -be duo at 11.5 weeks post exposure.
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
36 months ago
Welcome to the forum.

False positive HIV blood tests are rare. But when they occur, it's most often with one of the rapid tests, like the InstiHIV test. By contrast, the duo tests and PCR never are wrong, as long as testing is done sufficiently long after the last possible exposure, i.e. 4 weeks or more. So you can be 100% certain you do not have HIV and that your Insti test was false.

It would appear you are the victim of your own anxieties. With a negative DUO test at 11.5 weeks after exposure, you should not have had the Insti test at 6 months. As a result of whatever drove you to have that test, you have now had to suffer the further anxiety-producing uncertainty of still further testing. It was all unnecessary! If you spend some time reading this forum, or Dr. Hook's and my past forums at MedHelp.org, you will see that we consistently recommend not testing for HIV when the risk is extremely low. This is exactly the reason for that advice.

Anyway, no further worries and no need for additional testing unless and until you have a significant exposure in a high risk setting.

I hope this has helped. Best wishes and stay safe--   HHH, MD


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36 months ago
Thanks for your response dr.

So would you say there is no need for western blot test at this time? Are the 4 duo and pcr more than enough evidence I'm -ve?

Thanks again
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
36 months ago
Western blot tests aren't done any more; different confirmatory tests are done when neeeded. But you don't need any confirmatory testing at all. The negative PCR and DUOs are 100% conclusive.

Thanks for the thanks. I'm glad to have helped.


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36 months ago
So in other words are the duo tests just as good for confirmatory tests? In my case confirming I am -ve? Sorry just need to be clear.
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
36 months ago
Yes, that is true. A negative DUO is just as good as any other test, including the available confirmatory tests.

Probably you have been arranging your own tests, right? My last advice is that you stop. If you have any remaining concerns at all -- which you should not, given the reasoned, science-based reassurance I have given (and you may have had elsewhere as well) -- see a doctor or clinic with expertise in HIV prevention. Had you done that to start, the cost (even if your health insurance didn't cover it) would be less than what you have spent on testing. Then follow the advice you get from a hands-on expert. This is not necessary from a medical standpoint, only if you would find the outcome reassuring. You can expect them to echo my advice.

That completes the two follow-up questions and replies that come with each new question, so that will end this thread. I hope you have found the exchange helpful and reassuring, which was my intent. Good luck and stay safe.


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