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Antibody tests updated?
Mar 1, 2000

I've had a negative antibody test 1 year after exposure.I still have symptoms. I'm concerned I may have a subtype hiv-1.How does the public know if testing labs are using updated tests that can pick up all of HIV-1 stains? How does one taking the antibody test and getting a negative result feel 100% comfortable with the results?

Response from Dr. Feinberg

The universal standard by now is a test that looks for antibodies to both HIV-1 & 2. Rare subtypes that don't react to the HIV-1 test are indeed rare. Consult an infectious diseases specialist if you have an abiding concern, but more likely anxiety is a bigger problem than rare strains. (See prior answers for more details.)

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