[Question #6433] 7 months

16 months ago
Hi again unfortunately I had to come back, even though I tested negative at 138 days today at 7 months I tested positive from a self sample finger prick test that is sent to a lab (4th gen). I also tested negative on an at home bio sure test on the same day (antibody only) I was non reactive on p24 but reactive on hiv 1 antibodies. There was no other exposure than that of the 26th May, I did have symptoms  but tested negative 10 times after 3 months and today I tested positive, could I be the first person that has turned positive after 4 weeks?
In a bit of a state! 
Questions would be 
1) chance of a false positive for a test like this
2) chances of lots of false negatives using blood from a vein and finger prick tests well outside 12 weeks
3) do you stand by the negative results that I had previously, I genuinely have had no further incidents, tried to move on but kept getting symptoms, now I have this positive test!
Any comments hugely appreciated but now I feel this is it and the test has finally changed
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
16 months ago
Welcome back to the forum. I'll be taking your question this time, but I reviewed your discussion with Dr. Hook.

I understand entirely why you are "in a bit of a state"! Your previous test resutls were conclusive. But now that you've gone beyond that, you're having to deal with some apparent positive test results. If I correctly understand, these results are entirely with home self testing? Or was a laboratory involved? Taking into account the essentailly zero risk of the exposure you descrbed in your previous thread, the results probably are false.  And it is exceedingly unlikely that you truly have seroconverted this long after exposure; you indeed would be the first such person, to my knowledge. But based only on the test results themselves, it seems possible you have HIV. If you do, it would be necessary to look into other potential exposures that somehow you did not recognize at the time. This also would be the very first case on this and our previous forum, after 14 years and thousands of questions, in which a forum user actually acquired HIV. I have to doubt that has happened, but we have to consider the possibility.

Your specific questions:  1) the rapid tests have more frequent false positive results than lab-based tests, but you'll need to clarify exactly what tests have been done that appeared to be positive. 2) Venous blood vs fingerstick makes no known dfference in test performance, except for the slightly higher risk of false positive rapid tests. 3) I stand by the opinions and advice you received from Dr. Hook, and he would do so as well.

What you don't mention is whether or not you are in medical care, or if you have been doing these tests on your own, perhaps through an online HIV/STD test broker. This situation calls for expert care: you should see a physician experienced in HIV diagnosis and care, such as an infectious diseases specialist, or perhaps a public health clinic in your area. You need an expert physical examination, HIV RNA testing, and perhaps other tests to sort things.

All things considered, I have to believe your positive result(s) is/are false, but I'll be very interested to hear more detail about your test results. But especially interested to hear the outcome after you have seen an expert physician and have additional lab-based test results to report. In the meantime, I hope these comments are helpful.

HHH, MD
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16 months ago
Thanks.
It was fingerprick at home (which I struggled with and had to get blood from 3 fingers) posted to a lab on friday morning got the results today...it is through a company called superdrug in the Uk and is sent to the doctors lab (tdl)for testing....p24 has never shown positive throughout this. 
I’m not in medical care, haven’t seen anyone other than 2 ppl where I was dismissed at about 80 days ... went to private doctors at 30 days and 110 days for blood from a vein 4th gen test both negative, then 138 days was the same test that is now positive and was negative, a few at home instant tests all negative.

Zero other encounters during the period that could have put me at risk of hiv, only the one back on 26th May!
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
16 months ago
Thanks for the additional details, but they don't change my evaluation or advice. Please follow through with expert medical care. If the private doctors you saw are experienced in HIV medicine, return to one of them ASAP. If you have any uncertainty about their expertise, an NHS GUM clinic would be an excellent choice. If you're in London, Freedom Health is a private sexual health clinic that provides world class STD and HIV care; you should be able to find them online. If when you call for an appointment you tell them you've tested positive on a home-collected HIV test (no need to go into more detail than that), most likely any of these will find a way to see you very promptly.

I won't have any further advice unless/until you have been professionally evaluated and can report back on the outcome. Good luck!
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