What causes a false-negative enzyme immunoassay (EIA) result in HIV testing?

Updated: Sep 19, 2018
  • Author: David J Cennimo, MD, FAAP, FACP, AAHIVS; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Causes of false-negative EIA results include the following:

  • Technical error

  • Testing during the window period [31]

  • Decreased host immunoglobulin production such as in a common variable immunodeficiency [32] and advanced AIDS [33]

  • HIV-2 if tests to detect HIV-1 only are used

  • Non–clade-B HIV-1 [34] or type N or O strains of HIV-1 [35]

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