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Seroconversion and acute retroviral syndrome
May 4, 1998

Are seroconversion and ARS the same thing? I've seen alot of

messages regarding "seroconversion illness" and "symptoms

associated with seroconversion" and they sound alot like

ARS. Also, does serconversion happen all at once or

gradually over a period of time until a threshold is reached

resulting in a positive HIV ab test. Thanks.

Response from Dr. Cohen

Seroconversion is the process of developing antibodies (and other immune system changes) to HIV virus infection. the Acute retroviral syndrome is those symptoms that occur to the approximately 50% or so of people who are recently exposed to HIV. So yes they are essentially describing two aspects of the same thing. And yes there are stages of seroconversion - with a change in the antibody pattern - that is especially clear in the test called a western blot - on which early seroconversion will initially be read as "indeterminate" while later it will have more antibodies present and be read as "positive".

Hope that helps.

CC



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