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False negatives?
Feb 27, 2001

Are there any documented cases of false negative HIV tests because of errors in the procedures of the labs. If yes, how frequent could this happen? I had my HIV test in a small private lab in my village, where I don't think they do many HIV tests. Could I still trust the negative result 8 months after possible exposure?

Response from Dr. Feinberg

Most of the time I have encountered inaccurate tests results (usually when the result is + but it is unlikely to be true), the cause has been a clerical error in the lab, rather than the way the test was run. If you're concerned, then buy a home test kit or get retested where they use a larger lab.


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