Can Positives Re-Test HIV Negative?

Dear Christine,

I have read that once someone tests HIV positive they will never re-test negative except in the final stages of AIDS when they are too weak to produce antibodies. Is this true?

Ronald P

Dear Ronald,

The medical literature shows that some people who HIV test positive may later re-test HIV negative.

In some instances, HIV positive IV drug users who stop using and are treated for malnutrition have been documented to re-test HIV negative. A number of people claim that certain alternative therapies can cause positive testing persons to become HIV negative. I hear this mostly about parasite cleansing and ozone treatment but caution that while limited document does exist showing some patients undergoing such treatments have “sero-converted” to HIV negative, this does not happen often. I find that truly ill people may recover their health through these therapies but most all will continue to test HIV positive nonetheless.

Other people who test HIV positive—some with and some without AIDS risk factors—have been known to re-test HIV negative without having done anything in particular other than take a new test.

I personally know several people who have gone from HIV antibody positive to antibody negative and none are "late stage AIDS." The idea that people lose HIV antibody response when ill with AIDS is contradicted by the great number of people noted in the medical and popular literature who test HIV positive while severely sick with illnesses categorized as AIDS.

I think the idea of lost HIV antibody response may stem from the fact that a loss of TB antibody response may be observed in people ill with tuberculosis. I don’t know of any published data that provides evidence for a similar situation with regard to lost HIV antibody response with AIDS.

Thanks for writing,

Christine

HIV Antibody Test Certificate of Accuracy

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References

to Questioning The Test FAQ's - Should I Take the Test?

to T Cells and Viral Load