False Positive HIV Results Reported

Barbara Miller and Stephanie Dalzell
ABC Australia

December 10, 2020

Clinical trials of a COVID-19 vaccine being developed by the University of Queensland in partnership with biotech company CSL have been abandoned after trial participants returned false positive HIV test results.

Key points:

  • Human clinical trials of the UQ and CSL vaccine had been conducted since July
  • But the antibodies produced by the vaccine can interfere with certain HIV diagnostic tests
  • There is no possibility the vaccine caused infection

The vaccine is one of four the Federal Government had committed to purchasing, and agreements had been made to secure 51 million doses of the vaccine.

In a statement to the Australian Stock Exchange, CSL said it would not progress with trials, however stressed the vaccine had a “strong safety profile”. 

CSL also said participants were told before the trial started that the vaccine could interfere with certain HIV diagnostic tests. 

“The potential for this cross-reaction had been anticipated prior to the commencement of the trial,” it said.


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