Anonymous
In short, I was exposed to vaginal secretions for roughly 5 seconds before putting on a condom. So I decided to take a HIV test. I'm pretty confused at the moment. I had a HIV test at week 16 through LifeLabs which came back negative. As I was reading the archives on this site, some of the moderators are suggestion a Western Blot to be 100% sure I'm not HIV +.
According to CPHA, Western Blot is only used as a confirmation test if the ELISA test came back reactive. So can I consider myself HIV negative or?
Also, as recommended by the site, I was also screened for the more common STD's which all came back negative. Thanks in advance.
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Anonymous
 
Hi there and thank-you for using AIDS Vancouver Helpline as your resource for HIV/AIDS related information.
First of all, congratulations for being responsible and getting tested for both HIV and STI's.
The 3rd Generation ELISA Test, which is the method of your testing, looks for antibodies the body develops in response to an HIV infection. This is the most common testing currently available and has a conclusive result rate of 99.8% after 12 weeks (90 days).  Since you were tested at 16 weeks you can be assured your negative results are conclusive.  That being said, if you have had any further risk exposures, further testing is necessary.
The Western Blot Test detects HIV antibodies and is considered to be the "gold standard" for confirmation of an HIV infection but there is no such thing as a laboratory test that is 100%. Because of the science and technology that goes into each and every HIV test, your negative test at 16 weeks is considered conclusive and there is no need to test anymore in regards to that once incident. You are correct in the research you have done through CPHA, which states the Western Blot Test is only used as a confirmation if the ELISA test comes back reactive (provisionally positive).
One of the best ways to remain HIV- is to always practice safer sex & get tested regularly.  The following websites provide helpful information regarding the practice of safer sex.
http://aidsmap.com/Safer-sex/cat/1546/
http://www.poz.com/archive/2005_Aug_348.shtml
http://www.catie.ca/preventing-hiv/sexual-health-and-safer-sex
http://www.thebody.com/index/safesex/safer.html
I trust I have addressed your concerns, however if you have any further questions, please feel free to contact us again.
Stay safe and healthy!
Jon,
AIDS Vancouver Helpline Volunteer
e: helpline@aidsvancouver.org
p: (Mon-Fri 9-4pm ): (604) 696-4666
w: http://www.aidsvancouver.org/helpline
 
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