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HIV neg aids diagnosis
Jul 27, 1998

Hi Dr. Holodniy - Sorry to trouble you with what I hope's not a redundant or repetitive question, but the references sited in the question of 7/22, were these people infected with rare substrains or did they just not develop antibodies for some reason to the more common strains of virus? Were these people ultimately diagnosed by virtue of the fact that they developed opportunistic infections or were tests of some kind useful in arriving at a diagnosis? If so, what tests would apply and are they readily available? I'm not a researcher and don't have ready access to medical literature so please forgive my naivity and indulge my curiosity if you could. Thanks.

Response from Dr. Holodniy

Your questions are all good ones. First in most of the cases, the strains were never analyzed. In the most recent study from the Geneva conference, these US cases were all found to be the B subtype of HIV-1. This is the most common type in the US. So it wasn't rare. It is not clear why these people did not develop antibodies. PCR based tests (DNA PCR from blood cells and blood plasma viral load) and viral culture were positive. PCR based tests are widely available. HIV culture is performed only in some major research or reference labs. MH



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