HIV - Prevention Expert Forum
Quantitative DNA test
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Quantitative DNA test

Hi-

I just took a quantitative DNA HIV test offered thru sexualhealth.com, comes with an antibody test as well, but I'm a little freaked out About possibly getting a false positive result?  I've read that it's somewhat a myth and generally happens with infants, truth to that? What's the rate of false positive? Cause if it tests positive and antibody is negative, I could be in window period which would create lots of anxiety.  I'm considering not looking at the result and just waiting to do a 4th gen antibody test? Thank you.
Tags: DNA test
300980_tn?1194933000
Welcome to the Forum.  Neither we, nor the U.S. CDC recommends use of these tests for HIV diagnosis.  They are not approved for this pupose.  Despite what the people who sell them say, the fact is that HIV PCR tests such as the ones you took have an at least 10-fold higher false positive rate than the standard antibody tests. While that is "only" about 1 in 1000 people, if you ar ethe one, is is not a good thing.  Further, these tests are considrably more expensive than standard antibody tests and are positve only a week ortwo before the recommended tests.  

Now that you have ordered the test, look at the result.  If negative, you are in the clear.  If positive, you clearly need further evaluatioon.  EWH
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THank you doctor.  I know they are more expensive but I paid out of pocket as frankly if pay 20x more to just have an answer now.  1 in a 1000 seems like low odds, are there any specific things that cause a false positive besides lab contamination?  Still not sure what I'll do but I guess I'll decide when I get the email, waiting for 4th gen might just be better.
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300980_tn?1194933000
No, precisely what causes the false positives in not known.  We see them occurring commonly enough to be a problem, both for the persons who experience the false positive and for those of us who want to assist them in working through things but it is not clear why they occur.  I suspect it has more to do with the chemistry of this type of test than it does the person in whom the result occurs.  EWH
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H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D.Blank
University of Washington
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