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PCR 324:Is it +ve or -ve? (ROUTINE HIV SCREENING WITH PCR AND WB)
Jan 21, 2007

Dear Doc, Please help with this. ELISA and WB negative but PCR of 324 at 10-11 weeks of potential high risk exposure (ELSIA and PCR done on same sample). Will this be considered +ve or -ve (what would they with the donor blood if PCR of 324 was reported) and should I get tested again. Thanks a lot.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

You are yet another excellent example of why PCR testing is not recommended for routine HIV screening!

Your entire HIV testing was wrong on many levels!

1. Testing at 10-11 weeks is not definitive. You need to wait until the three-month mark.

2. If your ELISA test was negative, a Western Blot test should not have been run. It is only used as a confirmatory test following a positive ELISA.

3. PCR testing is not recommended for routine screening, due to the rate of false-positives. That's precisely what happened to you.

My advice is simple. Follow the guidelines and get an ELISA test at the three-month mark. If negative, then you are HIV negative. If positive, you'll need a Western Blot. It really is just that straightforward.

Dr. Bob



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