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HIV-1 RNA Undetectable?
Aug 3, 1999

I recently took an RNA by PCR and the result came back as less than 50 copies/ml were detected (less than 50 is the reference range of the test). What does this mean? Does this mean that I have HIV, but the viral load is below 50. Or does this mean that I do not have HIV because the test result came back below the test's reference range? What is the test telling me? Also, please explain the difference between undetectable and "not detected" if there is a difference. Thanks in advance for your expertise in answering my questions - you are great.

Response from Dr. Holodniy

I don't see any antibody results, so I don't know if you are infected or not. The viral load test can not get to zero. It is not an exact test. The result means that no virus above 50 copies was detectable. We cannot quantify below 50. MH



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