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HIV 1 vs HIV2 RAPID TESTS
Jan 26, 2005

Hey Dr.Bob,

What's the scoop on these quick HIV tests for diagnosing HIV-1 versus HIV-2. I think I may have had exposure to someone from West Africa yet I can't stand the thought of having to wait for test results. Then again I'm not really sure he was from West Africa or had contact with anyone from West Africa. The window period has passed, at least I think it's past. Now I just need to get the test done -- or maybe forget the whole thing? If I do get it done I really want to get it done rapidly.... very rapidly. You know like draw the blood, go drink a starbucks (or maybe smoke a joint) and then come back for the results in 20 minutes. Any chance I can do that .... wanna have a cup of coffee or a toke sometime soon... I could use the company and maybe an ativan prescription. Please send me some of your infalable good luck or maybe at least some ativan... i need it -- don't I?!?

Thanks Bob-bob-berino

Confused dude

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Confused,

What did the caption under your yearbook photo read? "I used to be indecisive, but now I'm not sure?"

OK, here's the latest on rapid HIV tests. The original version of OraQuick Rapid HIV Antibody Test was approved in 2002 for the detection of antibody to HIV-1 in blood. In 2004, the FDA approved OraQuick Rapid HIV1/HIV2 Antibody Test for detection of HIV-2 (a variant of HIV that is prevalent in West Africa, but only rarely found in the USA) in blood.

More recently, the FDA approved another rapid test to differentiate between HIV-1 and HIV-2. The single-use Multispot HIV1/HIV2 Rapid Test, produced by Bio-Rad Laboratories, detects circulating viral antibodies in blood. Its use is limited to approved clinical laboratories. Clinical studies have found it to be 100% sensitive and 99.93% specific.

So, roll up that sleeve (and roll up that joint?); it's time for your indecision to decisively come to an end. You'll have your result even before an Ativan tab would have the chance to kick in!

As for sending some of my infallible (or "infalable", for that matter) good luck, -- you got it! OK? And, regarding HIV-2, the chances are great that "you don't got it."

Good luck.

Dr. Bob-bob-berino



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