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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Discovery of "false Elite Controllers": HIV antibody-positive RNA-negative blood donors found to be on antiretroviral treatment.

  • Author(s): Sykes, Wendy
  • van den Berg, Karin
  • Jacobs, Genevieve
  • Jauregui, Adam
  • Roubinian, Nareg
  • Wiesner, Lubbe
  • Maartens, Gary
  • Swanevelder, Ronel
  • Custer, Brian
  • Busch, Michael
  • Jentsch, Ute
  • Murphy, Edward L
  • Vermeulen, Marion
  • NHLBI Recipient Epidemiology and Donor Evaluation Study-III (REDS-III)
  • et al.

BACKGROUND:An increase in potential HIV elite controllers (EC) and anecdotal reports of antiretroviral therapy (ART) use among South African blood donors led us to verify EC status. METHODS:Stored plasma samples from potential EC were tested for ART drugs. Demographic and temporal associations were examined using multivariable logistic regression. RESULTS:150 (66.4%) of 226 potential EC had detectable ART with increasing prevalence by year (OR=7.57 for 2016 vs. 2010, 95% CI 1.96-32.17). DISCUSSION:False presumptive EC status due to undisclosed ART represents a growing proportion of potential EC donors in South Africa coincident with the country's ART rollout.

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