Rapid Test and HIV test results
Jul 25, 2008
If a known HIV positive individual whose viral load is "undetectable" is there a possibility that if he takes an HIV Rapid test that his test results will produce a "non-reactive' (negative)reading?
Response from Dr. Frascino
Nope! This question comes up frequently. (Check the archives!) Briefly, plasma HIV viral load measures viral activity. HIV-antibody tests, such as the rapid test, check to see if someone is infected or not by assaying for anti-HIV antibodies. Anti-HIV antibodies are circulating proteins made by the immune system in response to HIV infection. Once someone is HIV infected, they remain HIV-antibody positive, whether or not the HIV viral load is "detectable." An undetectable HIV viral load merely means the viral activity is below the level of detection of the specific test being used. It does not mean HIV-antibody negative or that the person is no longer infected with the virus.
Get Email Notifications When This Forum Updates or Subscribe With RSS
This forum is designed for educational purposes only, and experts are not rendering medical, mental health, legal or other professional advice or services. If you have or suspect you may have a medical, mental health, legal or other problem that requires advice, consult your own caregiver, attorney or other qualified professional.
Experts appearing on this page are independent and are solely responsible for editing and fact-checking their material. Neither TheBody.com nor any advertiser is the publisher or speaker of posted visitors' questions or the experts' material.