Asymptomatic Blood Donor with a False Positive HTLV-III Western Blot

Academic Article


  • To the Editor: The recommendations of the Public Health Service for screening donated blood for antibodies to the HTLV-III virus have recently been implemented.1,2 The financial and psychosocial repercussions of widespread testing of asymptomatic persons from low-risk groups have been well illustrated in a Sounding Board article in the Journal.3 We report a case that further highlights the limitations of the currently available tests. The patient was a 34-year-old woman from rural Alabama who donated blood in May 1985. Initial testing at the local blood bank revealed that she was positive for HTLV-III antibody by ELISA tests on two. © 1986, Massachusetts Medical Society. All rights reserved.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Saag MS; Britz J
  • Start Page

  • 118
  • Volume

  • 314
  • Issue

  • 2