|Chiron HIV-1 RNA Branched DNA version 3.0 test
Jun 6, 2001
Dear Dr. Little,
If someone was possibly infected years ago (5) with HIV-1, will the newer Chiron HIV RNA DNA test reflect a "viral load" for all possible subtypes of HIV-1 (i.e, M, N,and O). I've tested negative with the Elisa HIV-1/2, and the RNA DNA test, but I'm concerned about a possible missing subtype. This is driving me CRAZY! Thank you for your hard work, it really means a lot to "us" who are scared beyond belief. God bless.
Response from Dr. Little
Unless you were exposed to someone who was HIV infected in Africa or the far East, the chances that you were exposed to a non-B subtype of HIV is extremely small. The HIV 1/2 antibody test is very good for most HIV strains in the M family. This is still more than 99% of the isolates identified in North America, except in individuals exposed to someone from areas of the developing world. I would not recommend that you seek out additional testing unless your physician is concerned about some unexplained symptoms or abnormal immunologic measure in your blood tests which would warrent such testing.
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