Suspect tests trio still not cleared of HIV

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The Independent Online

Health Editor

All but three people whose blood was tested with a suspect HIV testing kit have been reconfirmed as negative for the virus so far, health ministers said yesterday.

More than 90 per cent of blood samples tested with the 1Mx HIV-1/2 kit have now been retested, and the vast majority of people reassured that they are not infected.

John Bowis, junior health minister, told the Commons yesterday that further investigations are underway, including more tests on samples from the three people whose HIV status is still in doubt.

Some 66 laboratories across the country have used the kit since it was introduced in July, and a total of 125,000 people tested with it.

Of those, 25,000 tested with the suspect kit between September 1995 and March 1996.

The manufacturers, Abbott Laboratories, based in Chicago, withdrew the kit from sale at the end of March after reports of negative results being obtained for people known to be infected with HIV.