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Confusion over tests
May 10, 2011

I recently had an encounter with a unknown women with no protection. After reading this site, the cdc and King county pages I am a little perplexed. I understand you do not recommend the RNA by PCR test for a few different reasons. King County says it is valid after 14 days. The CDC says the window is 9-11 days. Is it due to the fact this test has not been studied closely? I know to follow up with a antibody test at 3 months but can this test offer any piece of mind? And if so, what is the correct window?

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

Plasma HIV RNA levels begin to increase at about 1.5 to 2 weeks, peeking around weeks 3 to 6 after infection. Most HIV RNA PCR tests are not FDA approved for HIV diagnosis. To date the FDA has approved one qualitative HIV RNA test for diagnostic purposes, the APTIMA HIV-1 RNA Qualitative Assay. See link below for additional information about this test. Also, stay tuned to The Body. I plan to blog about HIV diagnostic testing this month.

Dr. Bob

http://www.thebody.com/Forums/AIDS/SafeSex/Q211943.html



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