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HIV Transmission and Education >> Am I Infected?


Reged: 07/19/05
Posts: 576
Re: How Accurate is CRP Test at 10 days post expos
      05/05/06 05:41 PM

You said in the post above that you meant "PCR" and not "CRP." I don't understand the result you're reporting, though. A PCR would give you a viral load count, not a percentage.

There are two types of widely available PCR. One looks for viral RNA in the blood and is called "quantitative" because it also counts that viral load. I've heard varying things about how soon this test would detect HIV, everything from a few days to two weeks. One expert told me it would be accurate after 7 days, which seems like a good, middle-of-the-road answer.

The second type of PCR is the proviral DNA PCR, which looks for viral genetic material in infected cells. This test is called "qualitative" because it doesn't count -- it just says whether proviral DNA is or is not present. Usually this test is used to detect infection in infants who have not yet generated antibodies. Again, I've heard varying things about how soon it can be accurate -- 28 days according to one prominent testing firm.

The MOST important thing to remember about PCRs, though, is that they are NOT FDA approved for detecting HIV infection by themselves. No matter what your PCR tells you, it MUST be confirmed by an HIV antibody test after three months. PCRs can produce false positives, and presumably false negatives too. They're good for determining whether someone is going through ARS, but they aren't good for general diagnostic use in adults.

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Subject Posted by Posted on
* How Accurate is CRP Test at 10 days post exposure Susie428 05/05/06 02:15 PM
. * Re: How Accurate is CRP Test at 10 days post expos SteveR   05/05/06 05:41 PM
. * Re: How Accurate is CRP Test at 10 days post expos jtpa   03/17/12 12:13 PM

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