The New York Times on False Positives and False Negatives

From this New York Times article:

Researchers found the home test accurate 99.98 percent of the time for people who do not have the virus. By comparison, they found it to be accurate 92 percent of the time in detecting people who do. […]

So, while only about one person in 5,000 would get a false negative test, about one person in 12 could get a false positive.

4 thoughts on “The New York Times on False Positives and False Negatives

  1. It’s almost impossible to know what the true numbers should be (instead of 5000 and 12) because the population that chooses to take the test will almost certainly have a different HIV prevalence than the overall population.

  2. Argh! I mailed them about the error two days ago, but they only implemented a partial correction! My suggested correction was “So, while only about one person in 5,000 would get a false positive test, about one person of every 12 carriers of the virus would get a false negative”. It’s unfortunate that they are clueless enough that even after someone points their attention directly to it, they still can’t see the mistake.

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