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Sex Transm Infect 81:359 doi:10.1136/sti.2004.013615
  • Letter

A case of a false positive result on a home HIV test kit obtained on the internet

  1. L J Haddow,
  2. A J Robinson
  1. The Mortimer Market Centre, Capper Street, London WC1E 6AU, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr Lewis J Haddow
 The Mortimer Market Centre, Capper Street, London WC1E 6AU, UK; lewis.haddowcamdenpct.nhs.uk
  • Accepted 13 October 2004

There are two major reasons to diagnose asymptomatic HIV infection: to facilitate timely initiation of antiretroviral therapy, and to reduce the chance of onward transmission. A negative test offers an opportunity for preventive health promotion. All these aspects of testing require follow up by suitably trained personnel. We describe a case illustrating the hazards of self testing for HIV.

A 31 year old British heterosexual man attended the genitourinary medicine clinic requesting an HIV test. His last sexual contact was 3 weeks earlier with a female partner of 3 months. He had recently learnt that she had had a previous male partner who had had African sexual partners and therefore may be at higher risk of having HIV infection. He obtained a home HIV test kit (“Discreet” HIV Home Test Kit, Seville Marketing Ltd) from a Canadian based internet site and this result was positive. On further inquiry he gave a history of sore throat and swollen cervical …