Advertisement
The Body: The Complete HIV/AIDS Resource
Follow Us Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Download Our App
Professionals >> Visit The Body PROThe Body en Espanol
Read Now: Expert Opinions on HIV Cure Research
   
Ask the Experts About

Understanding Your LabsUnderstanding Your Labs
           
Rollover images to visit our other forums!
Recent AnswersAsk a Question
  
  • Email Email
  • Glossary Glossary


relationship between viral load and antibodies in diagnostics
Feb 24, 2002

Dr Little---

I understand that PCR is not a tool recommended for diagnosis of HIV. However, in the absence of antibodies (due to possible simultaneous co-infection) six months from exposure, would a quant PCR detect HIV down to 50 copies? Trying to uderstand the dynamic: In an immunoincompetent host (due to simultaneous co-infection), if the antibody period is delayed, what does viral load do? If the body is not making antibodies, would the viral load stay low, as it is not being challenged/not in competition? Or would viral load soar as there is no challenge and virus just replicates with abandon? Maybe it's not as simple as that, but any insights you can give would be most appreciated. Thanks for yor expertise and compassion.

Response from Dr. Little

If I understand your question correctly, you are asking if an HIV RNA PCR test done 6 months after HIV and Hepatitis C coinfection would detect HIV - YES, this is a very good test and while coinfection may delay the development of an HIV antibody test result, the HIV RNA PCR test is so sensitive, that I do not believe that this test would be negative after 6 months of HIV infection.

Just to clarify though, the HIV RNA PCR test can be negative in people who are HIV positive - this occurs when the viral load in the infected person is below the limit of detection (a good thing) presumably because of a good immune response. This is why we always pair HIV RNA PCR and HIV antibody tests.



Previous
HIV RNA?
Next
culture vs

  
  • Email Email
  • Glossary Glossary

 Get Email Notifications When This Forum Updates or Subscribe With RSS


 
Advertisement



Q&A TERMS OF USE

This forum is designed for educational purposes only, and experts are not rendering medical, mental health, legal or other professional advice or services. If you have or suspect you may have a medical, mental health, legal or other problem that requires advice, consult your own caregiver, attorney or other qualified professional.

Experts appearing on this page are independent and are solely responsible for editing and fact-checking their material. Neither TheBody.com nor any advertiser is the publisher or speaker of posted visitors' questions or the experts' material.

Review our complete terms of use and copyright notice.

Powered by ExpertViewpoint

Advertisement