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Would there be a viral load before a Positive result?
Jun 17, 2003

Two months after I first noticed the Shingles and a sore throat,I was SO scared, I went to an infectious disease specialist who gave me a P24 test, ELISA Hiv 1 and 2 test and a Viral Load test, done with the Amplicor Ultra Sensitive test, down to 50 copies. All came back negative, the viral load was in the normal range or <50 or undectable. My question, since this was only eight weeks from my last possible exposure, would there have been "some" detectable viral load of 50 or better? How soon, would a detectable viral load show up, if at all before a positive test on ELISA?

Response from Dr. Wohl

Most persons with recent HIV infection will have virus that is detectable by the HIV RNA PCR (viral load) test within days of infection.

If your antibody test is not positive by 3 months (and certainly if negative at 6 months), HIV becomes increasingly unlikely as the cause of your illness. DW



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