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can virus load test detect non-B type HIVs?
Sep 20, 2007

I have very low CD4 count (234) and HIV symptoms and no HIV and anti-HIV can be detected by six month. I can't make an appointment with HIV doctors because of my negative status. All these tests were requested by me through ID doctor who is not specialized in HIV and didn't specify what kind of PCR test in his order. Can virus load test and proviral DNA PCR detect non-B type HIV? The immunologist did functional test on my immunoresponses and said I may not produce antibody in a timely manner. Could you tell me how reliable the PCR tests I have done? Do I have to wait until 12 months or longer for antibody production while my CD4 CD3 CD8 are rapidly dropping? My infection was through dirty needle in my vein, co-infection with HCV is possible. I am waiting for HCV PCR result. Are there any other test to further confirm or exclude HIV infection? Thanks!

Response from Dr. Pierone

The viral load test may not detect non-B virus, but the antibody test would. Many other processes may lower CD4+ lymphocyte counts and it does not sound like HIV is the culprit in your case. Follow up testing directed by the immunologist (or a second opinion immunologist) should be able to sort out what you may have. An HIV specialist would be necessary if you have HIV infection, but with the above negative tests this seems doubtful. Best of luck!



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