You are the man! Can autoimmune disorders delay seroconversion of HIV? Should people with autoimmune disorders test beyond the 3 month window period? What types of autoimmune disorders could cause a false negative outside of the 3 month window period? Would you reccommend they test out to 6 months or maybe even 1 year?
This question comes up frequently for unclear reasons as it is not really a problem. See below and stop worrying, OK?
LUPUS AND HIV TESTING
Apr 18, 2008
Hello Could you please tell me whether a negative Elisa test at 3 months is conclusive for someone who has lupus. I have read that having an autoimmune disease like lupus may cause a false positive or false negative result. What causes a false negative result? Would you reccommend another test at 6 months and is the Elisa test still suitable for someone with Lupus? Finally, will someone with lupus still produce hiv antibodies?
many thanks Patrick
Response from Dr. Frascino
Yes, a negative HIV test (ELISA) is conclusive, even if the person getting tested has lupus. No additional testing would be warranted due to a concurrent lupus diagnosis. I am aware of only a single case in which a false-positive HIV test was attributed to autoantibodies in a patient with systemic lupus erythematosus and end-stage renal (kidney) disease. This was reported in 1993. Interestingly enough this patient ultimately turned out to actually be HIV positive, which was verified by positive cultures. (The follow-up report was published in J. Med in 1994.) I have also read two other reports of patients with autoantibodies possibly causing indeterminate results (false-positive ELISA and indeterminate Western Blots). Both of these patients were HIV negative by viral culture.
False-negative HIV test results are not caused by lupus or other autoimmune illnesses. False-positives can be caused by (1) testing in the window period, (2) agammaglobulinemia, or (3) technical or clerical error.