HIV RNA Test/HIV DNA PCR Test

Question

Dr Brook, to one of your answers dated 28 October 2001, DNA PCR Test while Pregnant you said that the HIV RNA test is more sensitive than the HIV DNA PCR test for detecting early infection if you are not taking antiretrovirals. Now does this mean that if a some take antiretrovirals and you go for a test e.g. an Elisa test there is a possibity that the results will be negative, I am asking this becuase I have been positive now for a year and have been on antiretrovirals, and my husband always goes for the Elisa test to different doctors whenever he is home and not working in England and all his test show that he is negative (which I find very hard to belive since he has been the one sleeping around in our marriage and I have not.

If so how does this work and what is the difference between the Elisa and the above testes you mentioned.

Answer

Once an adult individual is infected with HIV and is antibody positive, the use of antiretrovirals for treatment will not cause the ELISA test for HIV antibody to become negative.

BJ