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Viral Load Assay Question
Mar 2, 2008

Hello Dr. Holodiny, I notice on my lab report for my viral load under the Actual Kit copies/ml that it states <50 and then on another line is says HIV-1 RNA Not Detected. I know that 50 is the lower limit for detection for the LMDS-ROCHE Ultrasensitive test that is being used. Is it possible to have a result of <50 and yet the second line read HIV 1 RNA detected? In general, what is the meaning or purpose of that second line that says HIV 1 RNA Detected or Not Detected? I did have a small blip 6 months ago of 58 and on that report it did read HIV 1 RNA detected. Is it possible to have a detected level of HIV RNA but the amount still be below the lower limits of the test to quantify?

Thanks!

Response from Dr. Holodniy

The assay can detect viral load below 50 but not reliably. Because of that, the lower limit of viral load detection is pegged at 50 copies, which is where the reproducible lower limit of the assay is.



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