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Can't you have antibodies without being actively infected?

Aug 4, 2001

I'm curious about the presence of HIV antibodies being the sole factor in determining an active infection. In an asymptomatic person, couldn't this simply mean that one has encountered the virus and successfully "defeated" it, leaving antibodies behind? This is the case with so many other illnesses, it seems that it should also be possible in the case of HIV.

Response from Dr. Holodniy

There have been sporadic case reports in the literature of people with positive antibody tests, or cell immune function assays where people have reacted to HIV specific antigens, and yet are not infected. However these very few cases pale in comparison to the 40 million cases that are HIV antibody positive and have evidence of active infection by virtue of positive viral load or DNA PCR tests.

Is it common?
Qualitative DNA PCR--HIV O?

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