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can treatment of acute infection prevent a later positive status?
Jan 29, 2002

I think I may have been infected with HIV. I heard that I could take a viral load test to see if I have been infected recently and that if so I can be treated for acute infection. Should I go this route?

Response from Mr. Kull

If you think that you have been infected with HIV, meaning that you had a definite exposure to someone who is HIV infected or at high-risk for infection, see your doctor. It could be beneficial to detect HIV early and begin treatment.

PCR testing is ONLY useful for early detection if you are experiencing symptoms related to early HIV infection. Otherwise, PCR testing is not useful for diagnosis of HIV status and you should rely on HIV antibody testing, the more accurate tool.

See my response to "Accuracy and timing of PCR tests" (http://www.thebody.com/Forums/AIDS/SafeSex/Archive/Testing/Q12489.qna).

RMK



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