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My HIV test is positive, what should I do?

Q: My ELISA test for HIV turned out to be positive. I am perplexed as I have never had sex outside marriage since my wedding 8 years ago. Before that I had sex four to five times. My wife has delivered twice by caesarean section and both the times she tested negative before the operation. Even 2 years back when she was tested due to an abortion, she tested negative both by ELISA and Western Blot. I am confused because had I contracted AIDS 10 years back before marriage, my wife should have been infected. What is your advise? The doctor who had tested told me that the spot is visible only in one, but not at both 1 & 2.

A:Why did you go for the test? Please send me more details if you still have any questions after this letter. Upon random HIV testing by any of the usual tests it is not uncommon to have false positive results. Depending upon the city where the test is done, it is not uncommon to have 30% false positive test results. It is for this reason that we always advise that no HIV positive test should be believed until a repeat test is done. It is not necessary that confirmation be done by Western Blot. Even the ELISA test if repeated two or even three times gives a better result. If any of the tests is negative, the resuilt should be taken as NOT HIV POSITIVE. Only accept the result if there are no negative reports. In your case there seems to have been a single test which gave a result of positive for HIV 1 and negative for HIV 2. HIV 1 and HIV 2 are seperate and can not be taken together as it is quite possible, in fact more likely, to be positive only for one type. Get a repeat test done immediately and then think of HIV only if the result is again positive. If possible, ask the lab to use another brand of test kit.

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