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HIV RNA & DNA Tests

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Hi Doc,

Possible exposure on 6-Apr

1st Test 19-Apr HIV-1 PCR-RNA (sensitivity <20 copies/ml) = Not Detected
2nd Test 25-Apr HIV-1&2 PCR-DNA = Not Detected

1. To what extend are these tests reliable? Considering a possible exposure to HIV-2
2. Is Rapid test (antibodies) on 6-May (1 month post exposure) will be conclusive?

Thanks,
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First Helper sirish
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replied April 30th, 2011
Hello and welcome to E health forum.

The earliest test - that can be taken to detect HIV infection is the PCR proviral DNA test. This test can detect the HIV DNA within 15-21 days of the infection.

Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for proviral DNA (PCR -DNA) can detect proviral DNA during window period, can differentiate latent HIV infection from active viral transcription and can quantitate the copy number of HIV DNA when used with external standards (e.g. viral load assays).

PCR can successfully differentiate between HIV- and HIV-2 infections. Proviral DNA can be detected in peripheral blood mononuclear cells before seroconversion. PCR is also be used to detect HIV infection in neonates born to HIV infected mothers.

The sensitivity of the test is 100% and is very accurate test. You can rely on it.

A proviral DNA PCR - at 3-4 weeks post exposure - can be confirmatory. (Although the earliest results can be available within 7-10 days of exposure).

Your test on 25th april (done at 19 days post exposure) might be conclusive.

In case you still want a confirmation, then doing a hiv combo test (HIV antibody + P24 antigen assay) at 1 month after exposure might be very useful. In case the test is normal, then there is no need to re-test again.

I hope this helps.



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replied July 30th, 2011
hiv pcr
doctor i had a pcr rna at 12 days post exposure and it is negative is this conclusive or do i need to repeat tests i have still got pharyngitis and mild abdominal pain .. got these 8 days post exposure
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