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T.B. test
Jun 1, 2001

Is it possible to test negative in T.B. skin test, and have been exposed to virus?. Some time ago I was very near somebody who died of aids, including tb multiresistent. Everybody around got tested for it, and while the others, all negative, gave positive, I tested negative and I heard that it was possible to test negative even though you werent - they gave it a name which I cant remember. Is that true? Thank you

Response from Dr. Feinberg

Your question doesn't make clear whether you are asking about HIV, TB or both. TB isn't caused by a virus, like HIV-- it is caused by a bacterium. It is possible to fail to react to a TB skin test even if you've been exposed to TB-- this can happen if your immune system is damaged or if you have overwhelming, new TB infection. There is a difference between exposure (infection) with TB and active disease due to TB. The skin test doesn't distinguish between these 2 scenarios, but a chest X-ray will demonstrate whether there is active lung disease or not.

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