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Difference between the two
Jun 14, 2004

Dear Brian, I have been wondering as to what is the difference between the following 2 tests:- HIV DNA Qualitative HIV PBMC Qualitative The AIDS research centre in NYC offers both. I always thought that the HIV DNA Qualitative test used PBMC from the blood to detect HIV? Please advise. Regards, Mark

Response from Dr. Conway

Both tests measure DNA in PBMCs in similar ways, the qualitative test only detects whether HIV DNA is present or absent and the quantitative test actually count how much is present. They are both used in research (usually to figure out if DNA is present in cell reservoirs). Only the qualitative test has any diagnostic application, to diagnose HIV infection in young infants and in other settings where the usual tests are inconclusive.



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