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flu vaccine and HIV Elisa

Jan 31, 2008

Hi Dr Bob: in order to minimize the risk of a false positive on ELISA , how long should we wait to get tested for HIV after receiving the flu vaccine? what is the best way to make a donation to your foundation? thanks marco

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hey Marco,

I see no reason to worry about a flu shot's effect on HIV screening. See below.

The "best" way to make a donation to the Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation? Actually there is no best or worst. We love and appreciate each and every donation, no matter how it gets to us PayPal; credit card; check; cash; direct-wire transfer; appreciated stock; donated cars, trains, planes, spaceships, diamond mines, oil fields, gold teeth, family jewels. The possibilities are endless. Donation information can be found on the foundation's Web site at

Be well.

Dr. Bob

Flu shot=false positive? Jan 9, 2007

Dr. Bob, I had a flu shot on November 10th. Could that possibly cause a false positive Elisa if I had a test done today? There seems to be conflicting information about flu shots and false positive Elisas. I don't want to take the test if there is a chance I could get a false positive from the flu shot.

Response from Dr. Frascino


As with so many questions, I've addressed this issue several times in the past. Consequently, the answer you request was already waiting for you in the archives. I'll repost an example below.

Bottom line: no, your flu shot will not cause a false-positive HIV test. So roll up that sleeve! It's time to feel that "little prick" again.

Dr. Bob

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


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

to all worried well, please read this!!!!

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