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Antibody negative, high viral load
Mar 15, 1999

Dr. Holodniy, You answered a posting on March 5 in which you said that there have been cases where people were antibody negative but had high viral loads. Were these people in the window period (up to 6 months) before antibodies appeared and did they subsequently develop antibodies? Have many cases been documented of people who never develop antibodies? Thanks!

Response from Dr. Holodniy

No, these were people that were relatively advanced and apparently never developed antibodies. They were all positive by viral load, PCR or culture. This number is probably less than 10. There is early literature (late 80's)about delayed seroconversion which was described to take as long as 3-4 years. These people were all PCR positive from very early on (the exact time of the first sample varied between people). That data has since not been replicated, probably because the tests are so much more sensitive now than 10 years ago. MH



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