Some individuals possess antibodies which react to HIV-1 Western blot proteins in patterns not diagnostic for HIV infection. A retrospective chart review of patients exhibiting such indeterminate HIV Western blots was performed in comparison to a control cohort of sex- and age-matched individuals from the same population of HIV-negative blots to determine if such blots were associated with any specific disease states. Twenty such patients with 25 indeterminate blots among them were found in a total population of 816 (2.5%). GAG-only (core) Western blots comprised the majority 84% (21/25). An indeterminate blot was statistically associated with Hashimoto's thyroiditis (p < 0.01) and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (p < 0.05). Kikuchi's disease and malignant histiocytosis were associated but the numbers were too small to reach statistical significance. The possibility that these diseases are caused by novel retroviruses, cross-reactive with HIV-1, is discussed in lieu of these findings.
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