[Question #3018] Chance of false positive Gen 4 or Gen 3 test
38 months ago
I do not have HIV as confirmed by a test at 2.5 weeks (gen 3), 3 weeks and 5 days (Probably Gen 4), 6 weeks (gen 3). 11 weeks and 2 days (gen 3) all done by blood from vein / doctor. However as I get anxiety from information on the CDC website which recommends performing a follow up test after 3 months. I do wish to go for another test to settle this once and for all.
I am now more afraid of a false positive or immediate result, (which would lead to psychological problems). What is the chance of an initial false positive or intermediate result with Gen 3 or a Gen 4 test (so before confirmation testing)? ( I do not have any chronic diseases and would go to one of the two healthcare provider were I previously got a negative result).
Edward W. Hook M.D.
38 months ago
Welcome to ur Forum. I will be pleased to comment. Even authors from the CDC now indicate that for combination HIV antigen/antibody tests results are conclusive at 6 weeks following an exposure and while for 3rd generation there is still some debate even many CDC experts agree that antibody only tests are conclusive 8 weeks after exposure. The CDC's recommendations however are limited by the fact that the FDA Approvals for the 3rd generation tests in particular state that results are conclusive only after 12 weeks. Based on this, I recommend against the need for you to test further. Having said that, the chance of you having a false positive test result from either assay is lo far less than 1 in 1000 and probably closer to 1 in 10,000.
I hope this comment is helpful. EWH---