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HBV PCR/DNA vs HIV PCR, this confused me,need your advise!?
Oct 17, 2010

hello dr: sorry for my poor english i am a young man from China. my story is here: last year i had a risk exposure for hiv ,then i went to test with hiv-antibody tests 5 times over the 8 months after the exposure and all came back negative.But i was still worried after,so i came to search some posts on to check if i need a hiv pcr to make me feel better,and then i found all the Dr said my last 5 antibody tests were conclusive ,no way to get infected and HIV PCR test is not recommended.

Now i had some new questions: I read some websites in China,and they said some people may get HBV infected but test all negative with routine HBV screening test (like test for HBsAg,HbsAb,HbcAb sort of) and then they tested HBV PCR/DNA positive ,and defined these people get some "hidden infection" or"dormant infection"for HBV,and these websites recommended people should get HBV PCR/DNA test also to make sure their hbv status. Now i am worried again,how could these people tested HBV all negative with routine way but positive by the HBV PCR? dose it mean some people may get Hiv infected but always tested hiv antibody test negative and may test positive by the hiv pcr? do i need hiv pcr? why HBV test need pcr to be sure?

Response from Dr. McGovern

THe hepatitis B testing story you refer to is "occult HBV" and it is quite uncommon. No I would not extrapolate this testing issue to HIV. You are done with testing.

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