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Flu Shot and HIV Testing
Dec 7, 2005

I have read that flu shots may result in false-postives on standard testing. I was going to get a six month HIV test, but I got my flu shot about three weeks ago. Should I wait a few weeks before getting a HIV Test?

Why do congressmen who have (R) next to thier name always cry when they are getting hauled off to jail? If you don't want to go to jail, don't take the bribe.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

A number of years ago (mid-90s), there were some reports that flu shots were causing false-positive screening ELISA tests. However, the confirmatory tests Western Blot or IFA were always negative in these cases. Folks with a positive (falsely positive) ELISA and negative Western Blot are HIV negative (and should be reported out as negative). Also, I should point out that over the past decade this problem has resolved. Bottom line: flu shots and all other vaccinations do not affect HIV antibody test results. Consequently, there's no reason to wait. Roll up that sleeve!

One point of potential confusion may still remain. I'll try to clear that up as well. Vaccinations can cause transient elevations in HIV viral loads in folks who are HIV positive. But this really should have no bearing on diagnostic HIV screening tests as these are anti-HIV antibody tests, not HIV viral load tests.

Crying Republican congressmen being hauled off to jail seem to be on TV more often than Seinfeld reruns. And I find both equally entertaining!

Stay well.

Dr. Bob



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Not a question just a sincere thank you.

  
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