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HIV Transmission and Education >> Am I Infected?

nomoreworry4me
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Reged: 12/24/07
Posts: 127
waht does this mean ???
      01/19/08 06:25 PM

Christine Johnson, a researcher and author, compiled this list of conditions documented in the scientific literature to cause positives on HIV
tests, and provides references for each condition.

Christine notes:

"Just because something is on this list doesn't mean that it will definitely, or even probably, cause a false-positive. It depends on what
antibodies the individual carries as well as the characteristics of each particular test kit.

For instance, some, but not all people who have had blood transfusions,
prior pregnancies or an organ transplant will make HLA antibodies. And some, but not all test kits (both ELISA and Western blot) will be
contaminated with HLA antigens to which these antibodies can react. Only if these two conditions coincide might you get a false-positive
due to HLA cross-reactivity.

There are conditions that are more likely than others to cause false-positives. And there are some conditions that we aren't aware of yet which
may be documented in the future to cause false-positives. Some of the factors on the list have been documented only for ELISA, while some
have been documented for both ELISA and Western blot (WB) tests.

People may be eager to argue that if a factor is only known to cause false-positives on ELISA, this problem won't be carried over to the
WB. But remember, a WB is positive by virtue of accumulating enough individual positive bands to add up to the total required by whatever
criteria is used to interpret it 39. So the more exposure a person has had
to foreign antigens, proteins and infectious agents, the more various antibodies he or she will have in their system, and the more likely it is
that there will be several cross-reacting antibodies, enough to make the WB positive.

It is to be noted that all AIDS risk groups (and Africans as well), but not the general US or Western European population, have this problem
in common: they have been exposed to a plethora of foreign antigens and proteins. This is why people in the AIDS "risk groups" tend to
have positive WBs (i.e., to be considered "HIV-infected") and people in the
population don't. However, even people in low-risk populations have false-positive Western blots for poorly understood reasons 47.

Since false-positives to every single HIV protein have been documented 36, how do we know if the positive WB bands represent the various
proteins to HIV, or a collection of false-positive bands reacting to several different non-HIV antibodies?"


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