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Tuesday, September 1, 2015
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