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Jun 7, 2001

Can somebody with subtype O and N HIV infection transmit the virus to another person and that person test positive with the standard HIV 1&2 Antibodies testing?

Response from Dr. Little

The standard HIV 1/2 tests were not designed to detect O and N types of HIV infection. Although I think that someone infected with either of these strains might test positive by the standard HIV 1/2 antibody test, I think it would be possible for them to test negative as well. If concerned about types O and N, you should always seek out more appropriate testing, which will only be readily available through an HIV care specialist or someone very familiar with these very unusual subtypes (in North America anyway).

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