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AIDS and Feces

Sep 2, 2009

Dear Sir/Madam,

I thought AIDS is not found in feces, however, I came across this site which illustrates that AIDS is found in feces. Can you tell me whether AIDS is found in feces?



here is the abstract of the article:

A simple method for the isolation and subsequent detection of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) RNA from feces is described. Viral RNA was isolated by the method developed by Boom et al. (R. Boom, C.J.A. Sol, M.M.M. Salimans, C.L. Jansen, P.M.E. Wertheim-van Dillen, and J. van der Noordaa, J. Clin. Microbiol. 28:495-503, 1990), which was adapted for feces. HIV-1 RNA was detected by reverse transcription (RT) followed by a nested PCR encompassing the V3 region. Reconstruction experiments revealed that the efficiencies of the extraction technique and the subsequent RT-PCR were not considerably affected by the varied composition of feces. The method was applied on fecal specimens from 18 HIV-1-infected individuals, among which were samples that had been stored for 9 years. It appeared that HIV-1 RNA was detectable in the feces of 12 persons (67%). Viral RNA was present in the feces of persons who fulfilled the criteria for CDC class II and CDC class III HIV infection as well as in patients who were diagnosed with AIDS (CDC class IV). Direct sequencing of amplimers obtained from paired fecal and serum specimens showed that differences in sequence heterogeneity existed. In one patient a remarkable difference in the HIV-1 sequences between isolates from feces and serum was observed. In conclusion, HIV-1 RNA is frequently present in the feces of HIV-1-infected individuals, and in some cases the HIV-1 subpopulation in feces differs from the HIV-1 subpopulation in serum.

Response from Dr. Frascino


You are confused about several points. First off "AIDS" is not found in feces. AIDS is Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. It's a disease, not a specific pathogen. HIV is human immunodeficiency virus. It is the pathogen (virus) that causes HIV disease and AIDS. HIV can be detected in feces with specialized testing. However, feces that does not contain visible blood is not considered to be HIV infectious. This is analogous to tears and saliva. HIV can be detected in these fluids with sophisticated testing assays; however, again these fluids without visible blood are not considered to be infectious. The amount of HIV is insufficient to transmit the disease. Fluids such as blood, semen, cervical/vaginal secretions etc. are considered to be infectious fluids capable of transmitting HIV. Sweat, tears, nasal mucous, vomitus, feces, etc are not considered to be infectious bodily fluids (assuming there is no visible blood present). Hope that helps clarify things.

Dr. Bob

Stopped in to smoke a cigar and ended up getting mine smoked
You have a God's word, Dr. Bob , Here is my PCR result ( You have correctly diagnosed me ...)

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