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If in past 15 years 5 times I had documented negative TB skin test zero mm duration and redness, Does this proof I did not have TB?I was told because I came from midleast country that TB is pendemic there I have had TB before my entry to US. is it true?

By Anonymous November 22, 2011 - 10:30pm
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HERWriter Guide

Hi there!

Daisy did a great job explaining this to you but I wnt to add that I've dealt with this issue too and it really is paranoia without knowing the facts! I am non-American and got the BCG shot (a vaccination against TB that Americans do not get) and because all vaccinations carry a tiny amount of what they vaccinate against, it can show up as a false positive in tests. I also have come up against this in testing too, sevreal times, as I am also vaccinated against TB.

The H.R. person at the company I got a job with told people IN PUBLIC that I had TB and panicked, ran into her office and contacted her supervisor to tell her - all with the door wide open!  It was mortifying and I was sent to the hospital to talk with doctors. Thankfully they saw my vax marks and sent me on my way. Quite frankly, I should have bawled my new (health care!) company out for violating privacy laws and not being educated in vaccinations! People to calm down until the know what's going on!  

I hope this helps,


November 23, 2011 - 11:26am
EmpowHER Guest

Hi Anon,

Welcome to EmpowHER. Having Zero MM, is most likely you do not have TB.  Immigrants who have moved from a country with a high TB rate in the past 5 years are considered positive 10MM or higher.  This is not a perfect test. Up to 20% of people infected with the bacteria that cause TB may not have a reaction on the PPD skin test, but that can be due to certain conditions that impair the immune system (cancer, recent chemotherapy, late-stage AIDS) may cause a false-negative test result. 

Here's a link that can help




November 23, 2011 - 5:11am
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