Episode Summary

We can probably all agree that any false positive test result is bad, but I think it’s safe to say that some false positives, like a false positive HIV test for example, is much more anxiety provoking than others. And when it comes to HIV, there have been a number of key advances in the field over the past decade, include the development of improved diagnostics and optimized algorithmic approaches, all of which have allowed for earlier detection of infected patients, and particularly those with acute HIV. Among these advancements has been the development of 4th and 5th generation serologic assays, which offer multiple benefits over prior assay versions, but unfortunately, are not immune to the possibility of false positive results. So, confirmatory test remain a necessary – the challenge though is that depending on the institution and environment, the turnaround time for such confirmatory testing can be prolonged, leaving patients and clinicians in a kind of diagnostic limbo. So, is there a way to minimize the risk of false positive first-tier HIV serologic results? And that is the question will be the focus of our discussion today.


  • Dr. Shivanjali Shankaran - Assistant Professor and ID Clinician in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Rush Medical Center in Chicago
  • Dr. Beverly Sha - Professor of Medicine, also in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Rush Medical Center

This episode of Editors in Conversation is brought to you by the Journal of Clinical Microbiology and hosted by JCM Editor in Chief, Alex McAdam and Dr. Elli Theel. JCM is available at https://jcm.asm.org and on https://twitter.com/JClinMicro.

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