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To Not_Scared
      #6923 - 07/10/00 03:41 AM

I had a quick question for you. Since you're quite knowledgeable about these tests, I thought I'd ask you.

I found the fact that N.Y. State Labs tests blood twice with ELISA tests to be quite intriguing. I say this because I've talked with the Ontario Labs, and they test blood three times using the 3G ELISA, and confirm twice with WBs if any of the ELISAs turn positive. What's the reason for this? Does this increase the predictive value any way, or are they trying to account for lab errors? Just curious!

Also, I responded to some of your previous posts. Have a look at them if you have some time!

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Re: To Not_Scared new
      #6928 - 07/10/00 12:29 PM

It's a part of what I understand to be a "testing algorithm" which is known to reduce error. If they could test even more than that (like 10 times, they would even reduce the error even more; but like the law of diminishing returns, it becomes less significant BUT very impractical and costly). I am only a microbiologist giving my view from reading the Seroconversion Study Panel results. I will try to get the reference; although dated, it is the seminal study on this issue and the powers that be don't seem to be doing as intensive study on window periods as they are on a cure or treatment for HIV.

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Re: To Not_Scared new
      #6941 - 07/10/00 03:48 PM

Yeah, I know what you mean about the powers not investing much more time into the window period studies. I think the reasons are two-fold. First of all, reliable testing methods already exist in the ELISA/WB combos, so they probably figure that there is not much more to gain in studying the window period anymore. I don't necessarily agree with this because I think shortening the window further could prevent more infections, but I guess in the grand scheme of things the need for better treatments still gets priority.

Secondly, I don't think the big drug companies can make as much profit from designing more advanced HIV tests than they can from coming up with new treatments. Since they seem to be the major sponsors in virtually all the studies that are taking place, it doesn't surprise me that there aren't any more new window period studies going on. Maybe that's the way it should be anyway? I don't know enough about the issues surrounding AIDS to comment much more!

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