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Does PCR mean virus?

Apr 20, 2001

Dear Dr. Please, what really does a PCR mesure? Does 100,000 copies/ml mean 100,000 virus? I've read in a book that it needs 10,000 copies/ml to get one simple virus. And only one virus doesn't do any damage to anyone, right?

Response from Dr. Holodniy

PCR is a molecular technology that measures genetic material (DNA or RNA). Thus, a PCR test measures the HIV virus and not antibody. One copy is essentially equivalent to one virus particle.

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