Aug 20, 2007
Dr. Brian, What test should I get? Will a PCR test detect both HIV 1 and HIV 2 virus? I have to get a PCR test, because I was on immunosuppressants for a long period of time for my transplant. Which PCR tests would you recommend? I heard there are different types of PCR tests. What happens if it comes out to be a false positive. Will the ID specialist be able to do other tests and confirm if indeed it was a false positive. Will it detect both HIV 1 and HIV 2 virus. After getting the PCR tests done atleast can I safely put the fear of HIV behind me? Thank You.
Response from Dr. Conway
The PCR tests that are done in the clinic are specific to HIV-1, and are incredibly sensitive and specific. You will be able to rely on the result. False positive tests are rare and show a very low amount of HIV-1. An experienced ID doctor should be able to tell you whether a false positive test is suspected, or whether it is truly a positive result. If HIV-2 is a concern, you need to tell your doctor about this ahead of time, as a specific and different test must be done to detect it.
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