Feb 24, 2009
I recently had an HIV-1 test done at 5 months 1 week, came back nonreactive. My question is would this test pick up on HIV-2? I went to the forum at www.medhelp.org and one of the people there (hiv/aids community speaker) said that this test would show for HIV-2 if I had it. I called the lab that did the test and they said that they only check for HIV-1. I was reading some of the expert opinions (Other MD's) and from the posts I saw they said it should cause a reaction in the standard test. I ask this because we have a guy at my school from the Ivory Coast who pretty much sleeps with every girl he can and when I read that HIV-2 is found predominantly in that area I became extremely worried. Thanks for all your help.
Response from Dr. Frascino
HIV-1 tests do not pick up all strains of HIV-2. If you are worried about HIV-2, you'll need an HIV-2-specific test. You can read more about HIV-2 in the archives of this forum. It is extremely rare in the USA and becoming even rarer over time.
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