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Window period for PCR(Qualitative test)

Nov 21, 2012

Dear Doctors,

I have done an HIV PCR(Qualitative) test 20 days post the potential exposure. The test reads

Specimen....: EDTA Plasma HIV PCR.....: Negative by Nested PCR

I have done some research and the info over the internet regarding the PCR test are conflicting each other.

So my questions are

1. What is the window period for such particular test? 2. How accuracy is the test?

Thank you

Response from Mr. Cordova

Hi there:

Thanks for writing in. In most cases, a Qualitative PCR or PCR-DNA test is highly accurate within 48 to 72 hours. However, a small number of people don't have viral loads that are high enough to confirm a diagnosis until 28 days after exposure. Any negative PCR-DNA test results should be followed up with an antibody test at the 90 day mark.

In health,


Please help! Testing guidelines question!
hiv positive

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