NetWellness is a global, community service providing quality, unbiased health information from our partner university faculty. NetWellness is commercial-free and does not accept advertising.
Tuesday, September 2, 2014
HIV and AIDS
What Causes False Positives?
Is it possible to get a false positive on an ELISA and WB test? If so, what could cause such false positives? Would a tetanus shot affect the tests?
The frequency of false-positive HIV serology in a low prevalence population was 1/135,000 (0.0007%); for blood donors in Minnesota it was 6/million (0.006%).
False positive tests can occur secondary to autoantibodies ( lupus and end stage renal disease),or HIV vaccines ( most common cause-68% of 266 healthy volunteers in HIV vaccine studies had positive EIA tests and 0-44% had positive WB, depending on the antigen in the vaccine).
Tetanus vaccine does not cause false-positive HIV test.
Pamposh Kaul, MD
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati