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RT/enzyme test: could it mean a good VL test for all strains of HIV 1 and HIV 2?

Aug 2, 2003

Dr. Holodniy, In a recent answer, you discussed research into tests that look for the RT enzyme (versus current PCR RNA tests) - if this different testing method for RT/enzymes proves valid, does that mean that - for the first time - there will be good VL tests for every subtype and group of HIV as well as for HIV 2? Am I correct in understanding that there is an enzyme common to all retroviruses and that, because these tests look for this enzyme, they are not influenced by genetic variations or mutations among HIV viruses (whereas the PCR RNA test may be)? Or do different strains/subtypes of HIV have different forms of enzymes that could elude the RT enzyme test?

Your clarification of this would be appreciated.

Response from Dr. Holodniy

I guess we'll just have to see the data from large studies with different subtypes to answer your questions.

stable CD4 but increasing VL
NAT/follow up Q

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