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What does my HIV ELISA test report mean?

Monday, 19 January 2009
Answered by: Dr. L.M. Nath
Consultant, Community Medicine,

New Delhi
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Q. I am a 27 years old male. Cited below is my ELISA test report:- Result: non-reactive Non Reactive result implies that no Anti HIV-1 or Anti HIV -2 Antibodies have been detected This means that either the patients has not been exposed to HIV or HIV 2 infection or the sample has been tested during the Window phase (before the development of detectable levels of Antibodies). Can you please explain the meaning of this report?

A.  It means that at the time of getting the test there was no evidence of HIV infection. If the time since the last risk exposure was less than 12 weeks I suggest you wait until sufficient time has elapsed before having another test. If that too is negative or if sufficient time had passed since the last exposure, then you have been fortunate and there is no infection. Please remember that if you have been lucky earlier it does not mean that you are immune or will be fortunate the next time you are exposed. Please also remember that if the test is positive, do not believe you are positive until the test is repeated and again comes positive. Also if by any chance you are found to be really HIV infected, keep in mind that you have a long life ahead of you, with the recent medicines and management methods while there is no true cure still, life and wellbeing can be prolonged for many, many years.

A.  It means that at the time of getting the test there was no evidence of HIV infection. If the time since the last risk exposure was less than 12 weeks I suggest you wait until sufficient time has elapsed before having another test. If that too is negative or if sufficient time had passed since the last exposure, then you have been fortunate and there is no infection. Please remember that if you have been lucky earlier it does not mean that you are immune or will be fortunate the next time you are exposed. Please also remember that if the test is positive, do not believe you are positive until the test is repeated and again comes positive. Also if by any chance you are found to be really HIV infected, keep in mind that you have a long life ahead of you, with the recent medicines and management methods while there is no true cure still, life and wellbeing can be prolonged for many, many years.

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