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IS PCR A GOOD TEST TO CONFIRM BEYOND THE 6-MONTH WINDOW?
Feb 15, 1999

Hi Dr. Holodniy:

I read in MR. Sowadsky's message board that he personally have known 1 person that tested HIV negative at 6 months but positive at 1 year. He thinks PERHAPS the person has a weak immune system that does not produce antibodies fast enough in 6 months. Although it is extremely rare, it is possible, right?

In your opinion, if that person had used the PCR to test around 6 months, would he had detected the virus? I certainly hope so.

Now, if this is the case, then for all of us that still stress out to the limit around the 6 months timeline, (and still have symptoms), wouldn't it a good idea to use the PCR test to confirm, just in case I am one of the "slow antibodies producing" type of person????

I asked this question based on the concern that I don't want to infect my wife if I were to test positive after the 6-month---I know this is not very common.

THank you for your comment

Response from Dr. Holodniy

Yes, there are rare reported cases of seroconversion after one year, or no seroconversion at all. PCR would have been positive earlier. Cost, and the fact that these are not FDA approved tests for diagnosis are overriding factors. MH



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