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HIV test

I want to share my experience here. On new year's Eve, I received a message from my primary care doctor that my HIV screening result came back positive. It was a shock for me and although he had mentioned don't panic and it should be confirmed by other tests I was absolutely confused and scared. It was a 4th generation antibody-antigen test that is claimed to be very accurate. It was X-mas Eve and I didn't have access to any medical expert and I had to wait three days to talk with an expert. I rushed to a pharmacy and bought OraQuick HIV rapid test. The result was negative. I had donated blood a few months back! But I was still scared. Finally, I got hold of my PM and another expert and I took more confirmatory tests like another antibody/antigen blood test and more importantly Viral load test. All negative. I learned these false-positive results could happen due to prior infections or maybe in my case COVID and flu shots. I hope this message helps someone in the future.

  1. I'm glad you brought this up. I am hoping to gather some more information about this new topic as we learn more. I am sure this has been a lot to deal with and it sounds like you are getting some mixed messages which can be so alarming. First, for anyone looking to learn more, you can read about a recent case study on a false-positive HIV test result here: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2049080121009778

    In terms of the accuracy of the antibody-antigen test (more info on types of HIV tests here: https://h-i-v.net/test-types), results are accurate when taken at the appropriate window periods. But given the huge impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the landscape and after-effects of the pandemic will continue to come to light. We hope that this is an area that researchers will continue to look into. Judging by the case study shared about in the peer-reviewed journal, we at least know that these false-positive cases are on researcher's radar.

    I am glad you opened up this conversation, and if you have more information or trusted resources to share, please feel free to do so! For those following the thread, we hope to provide you all with more on this topic as it progresses.


    - Liz (Team Member)

    1. Alafia (Peace) Thank you for taking the time to share your experiences with us. I am sorry you had to go through that. It couldn't have been easy to deal with. I also hope it helps someone in the future. Khafre (H-I-V.net Team Member)

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