Testing for antibodies and not the virus
Apr 21, 2002
Why are HIV tests designed to detect antibodies and not the virus? I am a social worker who runs a sexual health program in four homeless shelters. One of my clients asked me this question and I was not sure that I answered it correctly. I explained that I thought the reason for testing for antibodies was because HIV conceals itself very well inside the T cell, incorporating itself into the cell's genetic material. Is this correct?
Response from Dr. Holodniy
HIV circulates in two forms, cell free in the blood plasma and inside T cells. In those who are infected, HIV can be detected and measured as "viral load" in the plasma, so it is not concealed from detection.
Get Email Notifications When This Forum Updates or Subscribe With RSS
- Is Fever A Symptom Of HIV?
- Sex With A Prostitute Worried I Have AIDS
- Do People Get AIDS From Sex With A Prostitute?
- Ache In Testicles After Insertive Oral Sex Worried I Have HIV
- Burning Penis After Mutual Masturbation Worried I Have HIV
- Coated Tongue After Topping Without Condom Does It Mean I Have HIV
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.