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Confused or Real Confused?
Aug 23, 2007

Hey there you awesome Doctor,

Just a little confused. I have read posts on this website about people's viral load being "undetectable."Does this mean that if someone tests negative with an Elisa at 12 months they can actually be positive? I guess what I mean to ask is if someone has an "undetectable" viral load, then would they not have developed sufficient antibodies to test positive on an Elisa test? Hopefully you could clear this up for me so that I can truly trust my negative Elisa and move on. I know that they are totally different tests, but I just want to rule out any circumstance in which my 12 month Elisa would be false negative. Thank you so much for all that you do and DOWN WITH BUSH!

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

An ELISA tests for circulating anti-HIV antibodies in the blood. These are proteins formed by the body's immune system in response to HIV infection.

HIV plasma viral load is a measure of the HIV viral particle itself.

Not only are these two very distinct tests measuring two very different things, but the two tests are not related in the way your question suggests. "Undetectable" plasma viral load would not change the results of an HIV ELISA test. Your negative 12-month ELISA is definitive. Stop worrying and start WOO-HOOing.

Dr. Bob



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