|Ultra-Sensitive RNA, GMHC Window, HIV II
Oct 12, 1998
Dear Dr. Holodniy,
Thank you for considering the questions of those that are worried about possible infection. Regardless of how my 6 month test comes back, I will be much better prepared for the results because of the service all of you at The Body provide.
Is it possible for an ultra-sensitive RNA assay (25 copies) to be falsely negative at 3 months post-exposure in someone who has never taken anti-virals?
Why do the NY Department of Health and Gay Men's Health Crisis contradict the 6 month window and tell callers that the 3 month test is conclusive?
Where have the limited number of HIV II cases in the United States been mostly reported?
| Response from Dr. Holodniy
Thanks for the kudos. I think it is extremely unlikely that a viral load would be undetectable 3 months after HIV infection. I think the current algorithm (of waiting to 6 months)is probably dated. The new 4-5th generation antibody tests are more sensitive than those of a few years ago when the standard algorithm was adopted. >99% of patients will seroconvert within the first the 3 months after infection. The problem with using HIV viral load tests for diagnosis is that viral load tests are not FDA approved for this indication. HIV-2 in the US has been reported (only a few cases) on the east coast (NY etc.)
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