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mistake in hiv testing
May 26, 2010

hi Dr. can it possible that any mistake is occur during hiv testing? which are they? also can the mistake is occur in antibody and DNA or other hiv testing? explain this? please reply.

Response from Dr. McGowan

"Mistakes" in testing are rare. The time when the test may not be accurate is very early on (in the first couple of weeks) when the antibody levels to HIV may still be low...these will increase and for > 90% of people will be positive by 6 weeks. The other time is when a RNA PCR or DNA PCR test is done in an uninfected person...it is possible to get a false low level positive test...this is why it is not recommended to routinely use the PCR for HIV diagnosis, it should only be used during "acute" HIV infection, within the first couple of weeks before antibody is positive when the viral load should be extremely high.

Thanks for your post, Joe



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