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Information leaflet for women who have received an initial reactive result in HIV, hepatitis B or syphilis in pregnancy


Published January 2022, 3rd Edition.


Contents

Introduction
― What your blood test result has shown
Why does a blood test give an unclear result?
― Further testing during your pregnancy
― Next steps

 

 

Introduction

This leaflet is to help explain the result of one of the blood tests that you had recently.

The result that you have received from the laboratory is called a reactive result. This means your result is unclear. Your midwife will discuss which blood test is unclear.

We know this result can cause you anxiety.

This leaflet aims to give you reasons for an unclear result and what further tests we will offer you to confirm that you do not have an infection.
 

What your blood test result has shown

Your initial blood test has shown a reactive (unclear) result.

This result does not mean that you have an infection.
 

Why does a blood test give an unclear result?

All laboratory tests can produce unclear results.

This is usually caused by a weak reaction to the blood test.

The blood test can give an unclear result, without you having an infection, for many reasons.

  • It may simply be as a result of a mild illness such as a cold.
  • It can also happen if the blood sample was too warm or too cold when being transported to the laboratory.

Often there is no known reason for the unclear result. 
 

Further testing during your pregnancy

We will advise you to have a further blood test to confirm that you do not have an infection. This second blood test usually confirms that there is no infection. It is important that we take this repeat blood sample so that we can give you a definite result.

You will normally be asked to give the second blood sample at a later antenatal appointment. Your midwife may ask you some questions which will help you and the midwife decide together when would be the best time to take this second blood sample.   Sometimes more than one repeat blood sample is needed to give you a definite result.

Your midwife will be able to tell you how and when you can get the results of the repeat blood test (or tests) and to answer any further questions that you may have.

It is important to discuss any concerns that you may have about the infection with your midwife. Your midwife will be able to help you make sure that you get the best possible care for you and your baby.
 

The result of one of your blood tests for infections in pregnancy has shown a reactive (unclear) result We recommend that you have a second blood sample taken so that you can receive a definite result Your midwife will discuss with you the best time to have a second blood test

Your midwife will discuss with you how and when you will receive the results from your repeat blood test:

  1. The result of your blood tests for infections in pregnancy has shown a reactive (unclear) result 
  2. We recommend that you have a second blood sample taken so that you can receive a definite result
  3. Your midwife will discuss with you the best time to have a second blood test
  4. Your midwife will discuss with you how and when you will receive the results from your repeat