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HIV Inhibitory sample
Oct 2, 2000

Dear doctor, I have been undetectable for almost four years. Two weeks ago, I was tested for my viral load, and the lab returned a report stating: "We are UNABLE to reliably determine a result for the specimen due to the presence of PCR inhibitor(s) in the specimen submitted. Attempts to remove the inhibitor(s) have been unsuccessful."

I was retested today, but could you kindly explain what the lab meant?? Thanks so much.

Response from Dr. Holodniy

Sounds like the internal control they put into the PCR (viral load test) reaction after they got your blood, failed to work. If that known HIV copy control does not give the right copy number or no copy number, they reject the result and the sample has to be rerun with a new blood sample. Reasons include wrong blood tube for blood collection, shipment problems, or assay problems.

MH



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