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HIV False Positive?
Mar 20, 2006

My partner has been SLE confirmed for lat 3 years and been on Steroids and NSAIDs. All along HIV tests have proved negative. In between, we have had a healthy baby in 2004 and is also in the clear. All along tests were done with no +ve results. In December 2005 a routine HIV+ antibodies test was done on my partner after a very terrible bout of SLE regression. An HIV antibodies test taken soon after was reactive. A further PCR Test and Viral Load Tests for HIV1 DNA and HIV1 RNA in March 2006 showed undetectable levels -no trace. I myself tested -ve in all instances. Please help me understand what is going on.

Response from Dr. Frascino


From the limited information you presented, it appears that your partner's "reactive" HIV antibody test was indeed a false positive as confirmed by the subsequent PCR viral load assays. It is possible his systemic lupus erythematous condition resulted in the production of "autoantibodies" that cross reacted in the ELISA test to produce the falsely positive result. At any rate, what is clear form the follow-up more sensitive testing techniques is that your partner is unquestionably HIV negative.

Dr. Bob

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