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Elisa test and HIV strains

Sep 28, 2001


Does the ELISA test pick up ALL strains/subtypes of HIV or are there rare strains that will not be picked up ?

Thank you for your answer.

Response from Mr. Kull

If you are talking about HIV-1 or HIV-2, you need to have HIV-1/2 specific tests performed to have an accurate result. Standard HIV-1 antibody tests will detect HIV-2 antibodies about 70% of the time. Testing for HIV-2 antibodies is not necessary unless you have specific exposure concerns related to HIV-2 (see "HIV 2" Otherwise, the standard HIV-1 Elisa test is fine-tuned to detect all subtypes. See my response to "Rare HIV Strains into Perspective" (


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