A patient suspected of having human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) tests positive on an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The nurse understands that:

False positives occur, so additional testing is required before a diagnosis is confirmed.

Explanation

• Testing for HIV using the ELISA can produce false-positives. The test has a high sensitivity and low specificity, meaning a negative result indicates the absence of disease but a positive result may not indicate the presence of disease

• If the ELISA is positive, a western blot test is required for confirmation

• Treatment begins after confirmation using the western blot test

Visit our website for other NCLEX topics now!