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DNA PCR missing some subtypes?
Jul 15, 2001

I have read on this forum and on various online articles that the Qualitative DNA PCR can miss detecting some subtypes of HIV, especially non-B subtypes. This is mind, how can the Qualitative DNA PCR be considered a good test for HIV if the test can miss some subtypes? I understand that the B-subtype is the only prevalent subtype in America. Are so many people in the USA infected with the B-subtype that other subtypes are not usually considered? And therefore the Qualitative DNA PCR is a good test in America? I'm in America, and I'm just a little confused and a little afraid. Could you please clear this up for me?

Response from Dr. Holodniy

The overwhelming majority of infected people in the US have subtype B. Certain DNA PCR tests can miss some of the subtypes. Others might pick them up. Several current antibody tests can pick them up.



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