False Positive HIV Test - Is This Possible???

Very careful, practice safe sex, have only had 3 partners my entire life. My wife convinced me to donate Plasma and they told me I tested positive for HIV antigens. I've never done IV drugs, my first partner was a "first" time for both of us, the second was always protected, and the third is my wife of 3 years. We have a child together...she was tested several times during pregnancy (and at the Plasma donation center recently) with negative results. How in the hell could I have HIV?!?!? Freaking out to say the least, I have a western blot scheduled for Thursday. I'm counting on it being lab error or a false positive.

9 Answers

  • BJC
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    Just to allay some of your fears.

    The ELISA test, which is what test they would have performed is a screening test. It looks for HIV antigens OR anything resembling HIV antigens, so the chances for a false positive on the ELISA screening test is high (the chances of a false negative are EXTREMELY rare).

    The Western Blot has a high specificity for HIV (and it costs more, so they do the ELISA screening first, then if positive or indeterminate they do the Western Blot). The chances of a false positive on WB is VERY rare. The WB results are the gold standard for HIV diagnosis.

    "A large study of HIV testing in 752 U.S. laboratories reported a sensitivity of 99.7% and specificity of 98.5% .... and studies in U.S. blood donors reported specificities of 99.8% and greater than 99.99% (46, 47). With confirmatory Western blot, the chance of a false-positive identification in a low-prevalence setting is about 1 in 250 000 (95% CI, 1 in 173 000 to 1 in 379 000) (48)." (Chou et al, Annals of Internal Medicine, 5 July 05, vol 143, #1, p 55-73)

    (Source: http://www.annals.org/cgi/content/full/143/1/55)

    "The performance of four enzyme immunoassays, manufactured by Abbott, Diagnostics Pasteur, Genetic Systems, and Organon Teknika, for the combined detection of anti-human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) and anti-HIV-2, was examined .... Sensitivity estimates in the four assays were 99.71, 99.94, 99.49, and 99.68% .... Specificity estimates from blood donations were 99.92, 99.46, 99.67, and 99.85% ..." [Silvester et al. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr Hum Retrovirol 1995;8:411]

    Source(s): HIV/STI Prevention and Outreach Educator HBSc. Microbiology and Immunology
  • Lisa
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    ok, first of please never again and tell everyone that you know to never donate plasma. My mother did this and got hepatitis c. My mother was very clean and healthy. Anyways those machines that they run your blood through then send it back to you are very often not cleaned. It is very possible that you may have gotten hiv from the plasma donation center if they do not clean the machine. You need to check into this. My mother got a very large settlement. If you want to talk with me further about this my e-mail address is blueye_32257@yahoo.com

  • 1 decade ago

    HIV testing is to test for HIV antibodies, so when you think about it, are HIV antibodies specifically for HIV? do we have a certain antibody specially designed for HIV? of course not, there are other things that could have triggered your so called "HIV antibodies" such as tuberculosis which can be caught just by leaving the country, and other handful of complications out there, if you never had any high risk sexual encounters lately then you might want to think about your status, but if you're solid and confident on your statement, then the test results should be a false positive.

    p.s. it's not about the number of partners, it's about the sexual acts you engage in, you can have 100's of partners in your lifetime and not catch hiv, if you're level headed about your acts, such as using a condom consistently and correctly everytime you have sex.

  • 1 decade ago

    good luck. It's also possible your plasma was mislabled when you donated. I donated blood recently and the labeling of the units of blood was really disorganized. Somehow things got mixed up and the staff were having a big discussion about which unit of blood belonged with which paperwork "No the lady with the blue shirt goes with this (unit of blood)" "No that's from the guy with the Nascar hat" Scary.

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  • 1 decade ago

    They usually double and triple check positive results just to be certain. It is possible that they made a mistake (or there was some contamination) but it is very slim. I'm sorry to say. Good Luck.

  • Dharma
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    well have you ever been in the hospital where you may have had a blood transfusion? did your condom ever break with any of your partners?

    this would freak me out too, i'm sorry to hear it and i hop its a false-positive...

    Source(s): :(
  • 1 decade ago

    The test could be wrong.

  • 1 decade ago

    yes it is very possible go to your doctor and have another test done.

  • 1 decade ago

    i read that the boxer tommy morrison was a faulse positive, so i guess it does happen

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