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HIV Transmission and Education >> Am I Infected?

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PCR Facts
      #29196 - 03/03/02 02:48 AM

First off, there are 2 types of PCR tests...RNA and DNA. RNA PCR tests for the free floating virus and in very very FEW cases, like not very many, some people will have undetected RNA loads that cannot be picked up by a PCR RNA test. THIS IS RARE! Now, with that said, a PCR DNA does NOT go NEGATIVE even if the RNA is undetectable. A PCR DNA tests for the HIV DNA that's incorporated in healthy cells that in turn produces the RNA (free floating HIV virus). You cannot have RNA unless there is proviral DNA incorporated in your cells. IF you have a negative RNA PCR test and a negative ELISA and are indeed infected you will still have a POSITIVE PCR DNA test. There are a LOT of responses on this by all the doctors here at the Body. As a matter of fact if you look around this site most of the doctors say a PCR DNA test is very accurate if done through a lab that performs them with frequency like Labcorp, AML and Quest and they are done >28 days. False + are the problem not false negs. If you have VERY low WBC that could pose a problem for possible false negs, BUT your WBC (actually neutrophils) have to be VERY low, not just low, but VERY low. Look at this post that will sum it up.

Should you follow up to be 100% for sure at 6 months???...depends on the reality of your exposure NOT symptoms. If you have a wife, partner or are sexually active, SURE...but again if you've gotten a (-) PCR DNA (which is for diagnosis of HIV IS APPROVED by CLIA which is a US GOVERNMENT agency and has authority OVER THE FDA,,also the FDA has approved it for infants and people who have had a DEFINATE exposure to someone who has HIV, like in needle stick cases) you are pretty home free.

Remember, even if the RNA is not detected the DNA will still show positive aka detected. BUT PCR DNA's do have a 3% (sometimes more) false positive rate, which IS VERY HIGH...30 out of 1000 will actually be negative but show positive, so don't freak out if that happens...get the ELISA and WB to confirm. False negatives are very rare.

I've called the labs, done the research and you can too...

Good luck

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Re: PCR Facts ammended new
      #29197 - 03/03/02 02:52 AM

I needed to add, that undetected RNA PCR tests without antiviral meds is VERY VERY LOW. So this almost includes anyone who is using the RNA test to be a diagnositc tool. Now there are MANY HIV (+) people who are on meds that indeed do have undetected RNA...which is great...but not without meds. But even those on meds will BE PCR DNA positive.

Thanks again...just wanted to make sure I didn't confuse anyone

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