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RNA PCR vs DNA PCR?
Feb 8, 1999

DR:

What is the difference between the two? Which one is more accurate in making sure if one has HIV or not? I tested negative at 16 weeks, which one should I use to confirm??

Thank you

Response from Dr. Holodniy

RNA PCR measures the cell-free HIV virus in plasma, DNA PCR measures the HIV that is inside cells. If infection were present, both would be positive within several days to a couple of weeks after exposure. I am not sure why you would need to confirm with one of these tests. A repeat antibody in a few weeks would be sufficient. MH



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