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Arch Fam Med. 2000 Sep-Oct;9(9):924-9.

False-positive and indeterminate human immunodeficiency virus test results in pregnant women.

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  • 1University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, Department of Pediatrics, San Antonio, TX 78229-3900, USA.


Guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Ga, recommend that all pregnant women be offered human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) testing to ensure that they have the opportunity to use currently available therapeutic interventions to reduce the risk infecting their offspring with HIV. These recommendations have resulted in an increased number of low-risk women being tested and a significant rise in the percentage of false-positive results from HIV antibody screening tests and ambiguous (indeterminate) findings from confirmatory tests. Women receiving such results are generally in emotional turmoil yet must make treatment choices if they prove to be infected. This article provides guidelines to help general medical practitioners to understand the nature of HIV testing, to assess a woman's infection status when initial tests are ambiguous, and to determine when treatment is appropriate.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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