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Feb 9, 2002

In one post you stated "One study found that P24 antigen test couldn't identify 75 of infected sero-negative blood donors." What does this mean? What is sero-negative? Does it mean that if recently exposed and the antibodies have not been created yet that the P24 will have a 75 chance of being negative..I thought the P24 test was a very accurate test before the antibodies are created. Is it possible that it would be negative and the antibody test be neg. at the same time? thank you

Response from Mr. Kull

Seronegative means that no HIV antibodies are present, or detectable as measured by an antibody screen. A person can be seronegative, yet still be infected with HIV; this is why testing after the window period (at least three months) is crucial.

The p24 test can be useful in detecting infection early, but most sources state that the p24 reduces the window period (when compared with ELISA/EIA screening) by about a week. For this reason, p24 tests are useful for screening the blood supply and for screening a person with acute infection who has a recent high-risk exposure.


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