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negative but positive
Jan 8, 2007

hi there, i was wondering that if one starts medication and surpresses the viral load to undetectable, does this also mean that one has no more anti-bodies in the blood which could be detected by a normal HIV test such as Western blot or Elisa? Thanks for this.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

Nope! "Undetectable" does not equal "negative". Even when anti-HIV medications suppress HIV plasma viral load to undetectable levels, HIV-positive folks still have circulating anti-HIV antibodies (proteins) in their blood that would be detected by HIV-antibody tests, such as ELISA and/or Western Blot.

You're welcome! You can learn more about HIV tests by accessing that topic under the "Quick Links" section on The Body's homepage. Have a look!

Dr. Bob


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