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if it dies
Apr 13, 2008

if the hiv virus dies shortly after leaving the body how do they test your blood for example when you take an at home hiv test and mail it in

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

This question comes up frequently. Not quite frequently enough to qualify as a QTND (question that never dies), but almost. HIV-screening tests measure anti-HIV antibodies in the blood. These specific antibodies directed against HIV are proteins made by the immune system in response to an HIV infection. Consequently HIV-screening tests are not actually measuring the HIV virus itself, but rather a specific protein (anti-HIV antibody) that circulates in the blood. You can read much more about HIV testing basics in the archives and related links.

Be well.

Dr. Bob



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