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understanding test results
Oct 20, 2009

Unprotected oral sex with a woman. At 6 weeks i had a negative elisa and an undetectable PCR DNA - PCR RNA At 9 weeks i had a negative elisa and an undetectable PCR RNA. If an hiv+ person did not have antibodies at 9 weeks after exposure, would the PCR DNA and the PCR RNA surely detect the virus? Even after a 12 week elisa negative, symptoms continue and I am worried. I have read so much conflicting stuff about PCR's Please answer.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

It's true PCR testing is not recommended for routine HIV screening. This is primarily due to the rate of false-positive results, other technical considerations and cost. False-negative results are generally not a problem.

If you are HIV-antibody negative at 12 weeks, you are HIV negative. HIV is not your problem. No way. No how. The undetectable qualitative HIV PCR DNA and undetectable quantitative HIV plasma PCR RNA viral load merely corroborate what we know: HIV is not your problem!

Dr. Bob



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