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Testing question

Feb 19, 2005

Dr. Horwath, What other test, other than the elisa, would you recommend to rule out hiv? Also, are PCR DNA test that are the "home brewed" variety reliable? Mine was from a testing facility that I got the number from the CDC. They sent it to Quest Diagnostics in California. I tried calling them but they wouldn't talk to me. Your comments are appreciated. Thank You

Response from Dr. Horwath

The other technology used to quantify viral infection is viral load testing. Commercial tests are available using either RNA or bDNA techniques to estimate the viral load. However, these tests were not developed for purposes of HIV screening. For example, an undetectable viral load is not a reliable sign that a person is not infected.

The best available screening test is still the ELISA with Western blot confirmation. I'm not sure what you mean by home brewed tests.

Can we ever be sure?
Thanks for good advice

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