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HIV2/rare strains?
Jun 18, 2001

Hi Dr. Jackson,

When should one be worried about HIV2 or other rare strains the current ELISA tests cannot detect (such as group O)? Or will there be some cross reactivity?


Response from Dr. Jackson

HIV-2 and HIV-1 group O strains are found mostly in West Africa. The HIV antibody tests licensed in the United States for blood donor screening will detect HIV-2 and Group O strains. There have only been a handful of cases of group O and HIV-2 cases reported in the United States. Therefore unless you have had exposure to someone from West Africa, it is very unlikely that you could be infected with these uncommon strains.


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