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HIV PCR by testing semen
May 6, 1999

Dear Dr, I took a HIV PCR test by testing my semen two weeks exposure. Do you think HIV PCR by semen is more sensitive than by blood? Can it detect the HIV sub-type O? Is there any window period for it? Could you pls give me an answer, because I'm thinkingg whether to do further tests. I live ina Asia country, no one can help me but you. Thanks!

Response from Dr. Holodniy

There have been no comparison studies regarding the sensitivity of PCR testing in blood versus semen. In most people who are infected and are not on treatment, the virus can be detected in both compartments. Current commercial based PCR tests cannot detect subtype O. There have been no studies in acute infection where serial semen samples have been obtained to identify a window period. MH



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