How can I be sure whether or not I am HIV positive?
Q: I am 29 years old and had unsafe sex with a friend and later I came to know that she was HIV positive. I took a course of n-PEP (non-occupational post-exposure prophylaxis) for 28 days. I got HIV DNA PCR test done 2 months after exposure and 1 month after taking PEP and the result was negative. I got RIBA test done, a month after the previous test and result was negative. I got the RIBA test done again 2 months after the previous test and the result is as follows: HIV 1 Gp 120 – negative, HIV 1 Gp 41 – negative, HIV 2 envelope peptide – negative, HIV 1 p31 – negative and HIV 1 p24/HIV II P26 - positive. Interpretation: indetermine. The doctor has asked me to get a CD4 count, CD8 count and a viral load test done. Am I really HIV positive? My doctor says no, until the confirmatory test is done. I want to know what are my chances? My doctor told me if the viral load is less then I can be cured permanently. Is this true?
A:First, I must tell you that every sexual exposure with a HIV positive person does not result in acquiring HIV infection. Secondly the unfortunate fact is that false positive HIV tests are not uncommon and as your doctor has rightly told you, a confirmatory test must be done with all HIV positive reports. I suggest that you wait until six months have passed since the risk exposure and get an ELISA test done from any reliable testing centre. If the report is negative, accept the result and forget about it. If it is positive allow your treating physician advise you. Do not rush into anti-retroviral treatment at this stage.