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Understanding HIV Test Results

Apr 14, 2012

I recentley had an HIV 1/2 EIA AB Screen. This test came back non-reactive. Before the test results are typed there is a message above that says, "The performance of this assay has not been established for pediatric populations, for neonatal screening, or for the testing of immunocompromised patients."

My questions is the last part stating "immunocompromised patients." What is meant by this? Is it possible that someone is so immunocompromised from hiv that it would not pick up a positive result? Any clarification would be great.

Response from Dr. Wohl

Yes. People with really really bad immune systems (so bad you would know it because you would look like like an anorexic stranded on a deserted island), can fail to make antibodies to even HIV. Even people with really advanced AIDS make antibodies that are detected on HIV tests. So, this is not some loophole in testing the average person has to worry about.


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