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What does increase in index value indicate in an HIV test?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2010
Answered : 1115 Questions
Hi doctor, I m a 28 yr male. I got exposed to unprotected sex before 2 years. I got tested six times for hiv 1 & 2 antibodies test in last 2 years. All came negative. But the index value shown in the report is consistently increasing. The values are 1.1, 1.2, 2.4, 3.5 and 6.3. My doubt is - is the virus present in my body and multiplying gradually. What is the implication of constantly increasing index value?
Posted Tue, 4 Mar 2014 in HIV and AIDS
Answered by Dr. Manjeth Kumar G 2 hours later
Brief Answer: Index value varies. Nothing to concerned about. Detailed Answer: Hello, I have gone through your query and understand your concern. You have to understand that index values are actually not important when given a non-reactive or negative HIV result. Index values varies from lab to lab and instrument to instrument and reagent to reagent used for testing. An increase in the index value from one test to the next does not mean that the virus is multiplying and that eventually you will test positive. This value can increase and decrease from test to test but an increase does not mean that you will eventually test positive. So, the only thing that is important is that all of your tests came back negative. According to international guidelines, HIV test results are conclusive at three months (12 weeks or 84 days) post exposure. You indicated that your last test was also negative and nothing to worry about this. Hope this helps. Please write back for further queries. Wishing you good health.
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Follow-up: What does increase in index value indicate in an HIV test? 4 minutes later
But, dear doctor, it never decreased even a single time. What if it crosses the reference range????
Answered by Dr. Manjeth Kumar G 36 hours later
Brief Answer: Nothing to be concerned about this. It just varies Detailed Answer: Hi, Nothing to be concerned about this even if this index value crosses the reference range. The index values are not important for any test whether it is increasing, decreasing or fluctuating. What you should concentrate on is whether your test is reactive or non-reactive. If your test result says "Non-reactive" then you are negative. If it says "Reactive" then you are HIV-positive. Many people fear that their index number values increasing means that eventually they will test positive. This assumption is absolutely 100% false. Your increase in index value numbers means nothing. What I encourage you to focus on instead is the fact that you have received 6 negative tests. Most importantly, your negative test near 90 days or after that is completely conclusive and if you have not had unprotected anal/vaginal sex in the last couple weeks or shared injection equipment, then you are definitively negative and there is absolutely no need to doubt your results or re-test. Hope his helps. Please write back for further queries. Wishing you good health.
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Follow-up: What does increase in index value indicate in an HIV test? 4 hours later
Dear doctor, I m having following symptoms- 1. Recurrent sore throat since 6 months 2. Recurrent fevers since 1 year 3. A white coating on my tongue since 1 year 4. Tingling sensation in hands and feet. 5. Extreme fatigue. 6. Pressure behind eyes and difficulty in seeing things. 7. Protien in urine. Are these symptoms added with increasing index no. Suggesting an hiv infection? can a window period extend upto 2 years? can a wester blot test and antibody test give false negative results after 2 years of exposure? is it possible to contract hiv through shaving in parlour? has any single case been reported of hiv through sharing of blades?
Answered by Dr. Manjeth Kumar G 5 hours later
Brief Answer: Not at all HIV. DO blood test and urine test, x-ra Detailed Answer: Hello, Thanks for your reply. As i already said increasing index is nothing. We have to think of other causes which can produce these symptoms. No. As you have tested for 6 times and all came as negative. It is not at all false negative results. Usually Antibodies are produced from about three weeks after infection and usually become detectable by four to six weeks after infection. This four to six week period between infection and a positive test is called the window period. Thus it is not possible to have window period for 2 years. Suppose if you have HIV with these symptoms, then definitely you tests should have shown positive results. Do not get much concerned about HIV now. Let think of other possible causes for these symptoms. I found all most all are subjective symptoms except protein in urine. Have you checked any other parameters in blood. Protein in urine is most commonly due to diabetes, hypertension and infections as well as malignancy. First thing you have to do is Complete Health check up which includes all the blood test, urine test, X-Ray etc. Please do this and we have to find the cause for these symptoms. About HIV through Sharing razor, HIV is very unlikely to be passed by objects, like a razor blade, as HIV dies very quickly (within seconds to minutes) when it is outside of the body. Hope this helps. Please write back for further queries. Wishing you good health.
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