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Feb 10, 2003

I tested + 2 yrs ago. I do not know when I was infected. current cd4 709 and VL300. Dr tells me my P24 is negative. How come?? She says P24 only becomes + during early infection then turns negative then it becomes + when one has AIDS. Is this true. I do not seem to believe this.

Response from Dr. Young

Thanks for your question.

I agree with you, in that this is a unusual situation. I think that the answer lies in a question of the sensitivity of the tests. Your viral load is actually quite low-- meaning that there isn't an awful amount of virus available for detection by the p24 antigen test.

This doesn't mean that the virus is not present, but merely at very low levels- the viral load is just at detectable levels, using the most sensitive assays available, namely the viral load PCRs. It would not be unexpected that a less sensitive test, the p24 antigen might be unable to detect this level of virus.

Hope this clarifies things. -BY

P24 testing and window question
P24negative - response

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