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Ultra Quantitative RNA Test
Jul 31, 1998

I took an Ultra Quantitative RNA Test at 14 days after possible exposure. I was told this test measures down to 40 copies. This test came back showing no sign of the virus. Can you tell me the significance of this result? Also, I have been told there is a PCR test that can be taken at 28 days after exposure and that this test should be conclusive to determine infection. Is this true?

Response from Dr. Holodniy

A PCR test 14 days after true infection with HIV is likely to be positive in the majority of patients. There is no "special" PCR test at 28 days. From the acute infection studies to date though, if one is truly infected with HIV, PCR based or other plasma viral load tests, will be positive in almost 100% of patients. Viral loads in early infection are likely to be in the 100,000s range. HIV antibody tests may be negative or indeterminate at 14 or 28 days after infection. MH



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