The association of false-positive rapid plasma reagin results and HIV infection

Sex Transm Dis. 1998 Nov;25(10):569-71. doi: 10.1097/00007435-199811000-00013.


Background and objectives: To study the relationship between a false positive rapid plasma reagin (RPR) result (FP), syphilis, and HIV infection in our patients.

Methods: A prospective study of the incidence of FP tests and syphilis in the general population and its relationship to HIV infection over a period of 6 months.

Results: 8.76% of the population were HIV positive. False positives were found in 15% and 1.2% of the HIV infected and noninfected patients, respectively; the attributable risk for HIV was 14.97. Syphilis was found in 5% and 0.9% of the positive and negative HIV patients, respectively; the attributable risk for HIV was 5.4.

Conclusions: The incidence of false positive RPR results in the HIV-infected population is significantly higher than that of the non-HIV-infected patients.

MeSH terms

  • False Positive Reactions
  • HIV Infections / blood
  • HIV Infections / diagnosis*
  • HIV Infections / epidemiology*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Prospective Studies
  • Spain / epidemiology
  • Syphilis / blood
  • Syphilis / diagnosis*
  • Syphilis / epidemiology*
  • Syphilis Serodiagnosis* / methods