Differential Diagnosis

Patient has an HIV infection.

Screening test is a false-positive; there is no HIV infection.

Suggested Additional Lab Testing

Western blot

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  • Most important test for patient with a positive HIV screening test

  • Will determine if patient has antibodies to specific HIV-associated proteins

  • Will confirm or refute a diagnosis of HIV infection.

CD4 count

  • Some HIV-positive patients have a low CD4 count.

  • Extent of decrease may be useful in making decisions about prophylaxis against opportunistic infections.

HIV viral load

  • More than 5000 copies/mL suggests progression

  • Less than 5000 copies/mL is the target for successful treatment of HIV.