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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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What does positive RNA HIV test post blood transfusion indicate?

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Answered by

Internal Medicine Specialist
Practicing since : 2002
Answered : 3840 Questions
I recently donated blood and received a letter saying the after all their multiple test they concluded that I had come info contact with the HIV virus at some point in my life and that despite the presence of antibodies I was not HIV positive.

It stated that i did need to seek medication through my doctor that my chances of contracting it were remote that at this point im not a danger of infecting others and that after 8 weeks I could donate again pending outcome of test.

I've only read in a few forums how this could be possible but I've read so many contradicting posts I'm confused can you help walk me through understanding this?

Mon, 25 Aug 2014 in HIV and AIDS
Answered by Dr. Ivo Ditah 20 minutes later
Brief Answer:
What test did they use?

Detailed Answer:
Hi and thank you so much for this query.

I am so sorry to hear about this disturbing test result you got after donating blood to save lives. I hope we get to the very details of this test and the conclusion because there is so much that seems not clear to me.

What test did they use? Why would they say you have no virus in your system despite the presence of antibodies and yet advice that you seek treatment for HIV through your doctor? It is either you are positive and need treatment or you are negative and need no treatment. If the results are not conclusive, then you should be told as such.

My advice is this: Disregard these results totally. Go in for HIV testing. What the conclusions turn out to be, stick to that. These results are not conclusive or guiding enough to make any great sense out of them or go on and make logical exchanges on them. They raise ore questions than answers!

I hope this helps. I wish you well. Feel free to ask for more information and clarifications if need be. Thank you so much for trusting us with your health question this day.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: What does positive RNA HIV test post blood transfusion indicate? 3 minutes later
I discarded this letter but i do remember RNA test was mentioned
Answered by Dr. Ivo Ditah 9 minutes later
Brief Answer:

Detailed Answer:
If RNA test showed that they found viral particles, then we have to be very serious about this. However, if the RNA test was negative, this is more reassuring.

With the test results discarded, go ahead and get a new set of test to understand what the exact situation about your HIV status is.

I hope this helps. I wish you well. Keep me informed and feel free to keep the exchanges going.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: What does positive RNA HIV test post blood transfusion indicate? 11 minutes later
I should have included that in my question i donoatrd through NY Blood Services as I'm sure you are aware they use multiple tests that are accurate. They have to in their business.

My main confusion stems from rhe presence of the anyibodies. I understand that research and study in medicine an testing in always changing, improving, etc but i've read that its possible that antibodies could be present yet a person could be HIV negative.

I also know two things 1) in an attachment to the letter yhere was a Q & A sheet and the first question was "does this mean that I am HIV positive? No ...
Answered by Dr. Ivo Ditah 6 hours later
Brief Answer:
See below!

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for following up with me.

1. If they did not see a virus, then you are HIV negative until proven otherwise.

2. If antibodies are present, it is an indirect indicator of the fact that you might have in one way or the other come in contact with the virus or receive passive antibodies fro others. Have you had any blood manipulations recently?

Antibodies without viruses are common in newborns who get the anti bodies from their mothers and not the virus. Therefore, this is possible but needs justification as to how you have gotten in contact with these antibodies.

3. Is the presence of antibodies always a sign of infection? In most persons, YES and in a tiny minority NO, if the source of antibodies is known. In your case, I have no idea about what the possible cause is.

Yes, they use great tests. I recommend you get it controlled somewhere else. If you had the results sheet, I would have recommended that you upload it fro full insight analysis. Unfortunately, it is destroyed and most of the details I want to see are not immediately clear to you.

Hope too hear from you. Also, why don't you call and report a loss and request for a new result to be mailed to you? I think this is possible and should work. Then get it to me for analysis.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: What does positive RNA HIV test post blood transfusion indicate? 14 hours later
I spoke to blood center today. They conducted RNA, western blout and i believe pcr. They are confident i'm negative. I will re-test with them and do further trsting not just for myself but becuase if i do possess a mutation that is resistant and i can help others with the work they are doing at Rockefeller University i will do so. Thank you for your advice
Answered by Dr. Ivo Ditah 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
Good news!

Detailed Answer:
Hi and thanks for this good news for the following reasons:

1. You are HIV negative
2. Your willingness to help advance research and provide a cure for this condition.

Keep me updated with the progress of this file. I wish you well.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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