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False Positives on Western Blot
Apr 20, 2009

I had a combination of Fluvax, Whooping cough and Meningococcal Vaccines within 15 minutes prior to an HIV test. Blood was collected from the same arm as the vaccinations. It has come back positive on Western Blot. What is the likelihood of a false positive?

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

I doubt the vaccines caused a problem if they were administered only 15 minutes prior to your blood draw. However, did you have a positive ELISA (EIA or rapid test) prior to getting your Western Blot test? If not, that could be the problem. Western Blot tests should never be run as the initial or sole HIV screening test. It is useful only as a confirmatory test once someone has a repeatedly reactive (positive) ELISA. Otherwise you run a significant risk of getting a false-positive result. Check with your doctor or clinic to see if the test was ordered improperly. If so, get an ELISA test. If it's negative, you're negative (and your Western Blot would be a false positive).

Dr. Bob



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