ZocdocAnswersCould a flu shot give false positive results in hiv rapid test?

Question

Could a flu shot give false positive results in hiv rapid test?

Im pregnant had a HIV rapid test and was negative but at the third trimester they repeat it and i had a recent flu shot could this interact with the test results?

Answer

A flu shot should have no interaction with the HIV test. Therefore, a positive HIV test result should not occur because you recently had the flu shot. I recommend that you follow up with your OB GYN doctor about this result, and they should be able to tell you want to do next. The way the HIV test works is that it is at first a rapid screening test. The way a screening test works is that it is designed to be very sensitive, meaning that it picks up any potential cases of HIV while missing very few. However, the downside of this is that it means that a significant percentage of positive test results will end up being false positives, meaning that the test will be positive even though you do not actually have HIV. Practically what this means is that any positive screening test result for HIV needs to be followed up with a more definitive diagnostic test, usually another blood test, which is more specific - meaning that there will not be any false positive. I suspect that what your doctor will want to do is order this test to determine whether or not this is a real test result. Good luck, and please see your doctor soon.

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