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PCR >400 vs. PCR > 50 copies

Apr 29, 2001

About 5 months after a known exposure, I went to the doctor for an HIV test, I really wanted to be sure so the doctor ordered a RNA PCR ultra -sensitive test (>50+ copies). The Elisa came back negative. About a week later the RNA PCR came back no copies found >400. The nurse told me that the lab did the >400 because the Elisa was negative and that I wasnt on drug therapy. Question #1: Does this sound right to you? Question# 2:If I had an exposure 5-6 months ago would my RNA PCR be >400 to detect? Confused & Concerned.

Response from Dr. Holodniy

I cannot comment on what viral load test labs are using, as these are not approved for diagnostic purposes anyway.

CD4/Viral Load
Not Undetectable

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