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Timing of Test
Oct 31, 2000

Dear Doctor

Great Job on this forum!

I need some expert advise, from the smartest man on the internet. I have read through some of your past Q & A's to try and find the answer to my questions, but I'm still confused.

My question regards test timeframes and reliable of the results.

I have had 4 negative ELISA's and one <50 PCR RNA (50 copies). The last two test, which were the PCR RNA and one ELISA, were done on the same day at almost 8 months after a possible exposure. From what I have read the best time to do a PCR RNA is shortly after exposure, during AVS. Is it possible that if I hadn't converted yet, my CD4 and CD8 could have contained the virus to undetactble levels with out antibodies? Because I have read that when the virul load becomes undetactable, is when antibody production has taken place or treatment such as HAART has begun, which I think means the ElISA test I did, should have been positive or at least indeteminte. I have been sick for the last 3 months before my last series of test, and am thinking if this was HIV related, something would have shown up to verify this. Was the timing of my testing off. I asked my doctor to run a virul load test, which he did, I should of asked him to do a DNA, but he said the odds of me testing negative at 8 months on an antibody, and undet. on a RNA, but still having HIV were like 1 in million. He seems to think that if I was seroconverting and my illness was HIV related, I would have one huge virul load. I had a normal CBC count the same day as the PCR and the ELISA which was normal. Is my doctor right or should I do more testing.

Thank You so MUCH

Response from Dr. Holodniy

Your doctor is correct. MH



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