How is HIV infection diagnosed in vaccine recipients?

Updated: Sep 19, 2018
  • Author: David J Cennimo, MD, FAAP, FACP, AAHIVS; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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The diagnosis of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)–1 infection in vaccine recipients is difficult, as vaccination induces antibodies that might result in a positive result on a screening or confirmatory test. [55] To date, no serological tests distinguish virus from vaccine-derived antibodies. The diagnosis can be based on interpretation of the Western blot pattern or detection of the proviral DNA or RNA. [56] Most recently, a serologic assay (HIV-SELECTEST) directed at conserved sequences of the gp 41 and p6 not present in most current HIV vaccines demonstrated over a 99% sensitivity and specificity for the diagnosis of HIV-1 infection. [57]

The diagnosis of HIV-1 infection in these cases should be made in conjunction with the vaccine research group.

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