hiv/lupus

Question

I tested poz for hiv and my doctor ordered another test that came back inconclusive. My mother has lupus and I am wondering if I might have have lupus and that is why the last test came back inconclusive? Should I let my doctor know there is a history of lupus in my family?

Answer

There may be a modest increase in the false positive rate for the HIV screening antibody test in certain conditions (including perhaps lupus). Generally the confirmatory western blot test in those situations is indeterminate or negative suggesting a false positive. An HIV specialist after an evaluation and review of the lab tests can usually sort out the situation and offer the best advice.