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Reged: 05/23/10
Posts: 21
The RNA test.
      #250659 - 06/08/10 05:08 AM

I have took the I believe it is called an "RNA" test because no antibodies have been found in my body so this test will look for the virus itself in my blood.I just want to know is this very accurate?

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Reged: 01/19/10
Posts: 660
Re: The RNA test. new
      #250660 - 06/08/10 03:51 PM

How long have you been testing negative post exposure now? You should really trust antibody tests before seeking other types of tests. If you are negative, you are negative. But here is some info on RNA testing anyway.

"RNA / NAAT Testing

The "NAT" or "NAAT" test (nucleic acid amplification test) is used to detect the presence of genetic material that is specific to HIV. It is not approved for the use of diagnosis of HIV infection perhaps with the exception of diagnosing infection in newborns of infected mothers who have antibodies to HIV that are transferred from the mother.

However, this test is being increasingly used to detect recent infection at the viral load 'spike' that occurs when HIV is first contracted. This is usually at 2 -- 4 weeks after infection. Although a letter of diagnosis and actual treatment is not given until a three month antibody test is confirmed, this does allow providers to get a patient into health care options sooner. It also lets the client know early on so hopefully they can make risk reducing behavioral choices. It is thought that when this initial infection spike occurs that people are at their most infectious stage, so this test can be used to try and combat that as well.

There is research suggesting that between 10-50% of new infections happen during the acute infection stage. Many feel that identifying and making interventions during this period will greatly reduce infection rates.

A cost-effective and efficient way to combine standard ELISA tests with viral load tests is called a "pooled PCR". Viral load tests are expensive to do individuallys. Instead of performing viral load tests on individual blood samples, they have found a way to combine or "pool" samples and test multiple people's specimens at one time. If a pooled sample tests positive, the laboratory technicians test individual samples in the pool until they find the sample that is positive."

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