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TB=HIV?
Apr 15, 2011

Dr. Bob,

After several TB tests in my lifetime that have never been positive, I have had two the past two years that have had a different reaction, redness and swelling at the injection site. I was sent for a Chest X-ray which came back negative. I am in the healthcare field and work as an xray technologist. My questions are 1) What are the chances that my positive tb skin test and negative CXR would be related to an HIV infection, and 2) can your skin react differently to TB tests if you are in the healthcare field and have had several tests before? I really appreciate your time. Hearing the strong correlation between TB and HIV has me scared to death.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

TB = TB, HIV = HIV, TB does not equal HIV!

1. A positive TB skin test has nothing to do with HIV infection. It's possible to be co-infected with HIV and TB, but merely having a positive TB skin test is not a predictive marker for HIV infection.

2. No, the results would be independent of your occupational field, although those of us in health care have a greater chance of being exposed to infections, such as TB.

Dr. Bob



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