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Does everyone who got an Australian COVID-19 vaccine need to be tested for HIV?

Wednesday, February 23, 2022
By Ed Payne
NO

A COVID-19 vaccine that produced false-positive results for the virus that causes AIDS was used during clinical trials in Australia but later discontinued because of the "risk to vaccine confidence" those test results generated. The vaccine used harmless HIV fragments that produced the false positives.

A video shared in a social media post with the alarming but out-of-context text, "You should all get tested for HIV," is old and edited.

The original was produced by Australia's Seven News in December 2020. The country had just pulled the plug on the University of Queensland/CSL vaccine, which was under clinical trial and producing false positive HIV test results due to the harmless HIV fragments in it.

While the vaccine was effective, the PR risks associated with false positives for HIV made the Australian government decide against using it, according to Australian Minister for Health Greg Hunt.

This Fact Brief is responsive to conversations such as this one.
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