CONFUSED!!! RNA PCR VIRAL LOAD TEST AT 4 MONTHS?
Feb 14, 2001
After being the victim of a sexual assault, I experienced what I thought was ARS approx. 4 weeks later. Antibody tests were negative at 5.5 weeks, 9.5 weeks, and 16 weeks. RNA PCR at 18 weeks <400 copies. Should I be looking for a more sensitive test (i.e, <50 copies or can I trust these results. Still experiencing ongoing symptoms which may be attributable to stress and anxiety (i.e., GERD, rosacea, tingling sensation in legs and nerve endings in areas of head). PLEASE RESPOND!! I want to move on, but in reading this forum, I have come across a number of people who tested negative and indeed were positive and why is it that some who are positive have VL down to <50 copies.???CONFUSED!!
Response from Dr. Holodniy
You have to be careful in interpreting what people describe in this forum or anywhere else on the internet regarding antibody negative, but truly HIV-1 infected. These cases have not been objectively identified and verified. The first generation of viral load assays had lower level of detection limits down to 400-500 copies. These assays now have a threshold of 50 copies. People can be HIV-1 antibody positive (and infected) with viral loads that are <50 because of treatment, or because of successful immune system containment of viral replication. MH
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