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HIV PCR DNA vs PCR RNA test
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HIV PCR DNA vs PCR RNA test

I want to clear up this issue on which of these testing methods is better PCR DNA or RNA and please correct me if I am wrong.

I had the DNA HIV-1 test done by LabCorp at 30 days after, came back none detected or negative. I am told that this is a good test. However I read that HIV does not have a DNA and that the DNA test examines the DNA of the infected cell. HIV changes the structure of the cell it infects and that is how they are able to tell if you are infected or not.

The RNA test actually looks at the viral load of the virus itself if present plus the CD4 count.
So which test is better? There are mixed opinions I read on line regarding these tests some say the RNA test is better some say that DNA test is more accurate. And what about HIV-2, why they only test for 1? Why it is not 1/2 combination?
Tags: test, antibody
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16 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_n_tn
Try not to worry about the differences.  If you got one DNA test at 30 days..you really didn't need to.  You could have gotten a simple ELISA HIV-1 test (the one the CDC and countless HIV testing health clinics all across the world recommend) done which is a standard HIV antibody test, which is many times more accurate than the RNA test.  I'll vouch for what you said about the RNA test since I have heard/read it is used to test for viral loads in ALREADY infected patients and not always to see if people are infected. I have never heard of the DNA test. A single test of the HIV antibody can be between 90-95% accurate as early as 4 weeks, between 95-99% at between 6-8 weeks.

Dr. H will tell you the riskier your encounter, i.e., if you had sex with a KNOWN positive person (i.e., you know for sure he/she was HIV positive) or came into contact with the virus through other sources, then an earlier test would be necessary.. It has to do with probability and risk, don't ask me why.

As to why most health clinics don't test for HIV-2..well if it's just not prevalent. It is mostly in Africa, from what I know.  There are no known documented cases of HIV-2 here.  If you did end up testing positive, you'd be like the first documented case in the US.

Good luck.

-WorriedUS
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Avatar_n_tn
WorriedUS - then why do they have these tests and they cost so much money? It is new technology and I think anyone that is paranoid and has HIV like symptoms should be screened using these tests. Medical community and high risk professions use these tests. These tests can pic infection even with in 72 hours after exposure. So they are good. And I don't know why some doctors are so against them. Maybe if it was their child they would feel differently. Regular antibody testing is considered conclusive I believe at 13 weeks to 6 months. With the PCR DNA/RNA you can have a conclusive result at 28 days or earlier. Waiting in the unknown is just kills you. I know it caused me so much havoc in my life that now I really don't believe in any test. And for me if I had that test done at 14 days after maybe it would have eased my stress. I wish my doctor would have even mentioned about these tests.
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Avatar_n_tn
hiv pcr rna is good only if you are dectable! if you are below radar you are still positive. hiv pcr dna im not sure about. but if you had the test (pcr rna from two weeks to 4 weeks after exposure and it was undectable then you are probaly ok. the viral load spikes then goes down to a set point. most set point are low and dectable.
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386032_tn?1220405038
either test has to be accompanied with an antibody test at 3 months.
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Avatar_n_tn
its true that the antibody test is needed to confirm. you might be undectable up to three months or more.
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Avatar_n_tn
It is unbelievable how people could give others advise about hiv and testing.

Indent, are you a doctor, hiv expert or specialist which is authorized to give advise, or do you take your knowledge from other websides where absolutely uknown people said something and then you educate others with it?

My best advice to everyone is to trust your doctors although it is difficult, not strangers.
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Avatar_n_tn
no im not a doctor.  to my knowlege it is not about the test. the hiv test are very accurate when someone has dectable antibodies. everyone is different amounting a sufficient amount of detectable antibodies. some take longer then three months and some take longer than six months, that is why the cdc recmommends testing between three and six months.  if you test neg with  an antibody test it could mean a few things. 1. you dont have enough antibodies for the test to pick up. 2. to early no antibodies,
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173692_tn?1371540094
A PCR-DNA test is not an approved diagnostic test in the US. A PCR-RNA test is a supplemental test in helping diagnose early HIV infection and it is not a stand alone test and must be followed up with an antibody test.
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Avatar_m_tn
i tested neg for RNA-PCR after an unprotucted intercourse 32 days before with someone with unknowen HIV status, am i neg, or RNA is not acurate, i've heard and my doctor told me that RNA is the most acurate HIV test and great for early deduction coz it looks for the HIV virus itself unlike the DNA wich it might sometimes gives fals positive!
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173692_tn?1371540094
RNA is not a stand alone test and if your doctor didn't advise you of that then switch doctors.
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Avatar_f_tn
i passed 3 month and im negetive but many doctors day told me hiv pcr rna it can show early infection. i did it twice and both negetive at 1 month and half and 2 month and half  more than 3 doctors or for they told me pcr rna negetive means u dont have (normal doctor,specialist,proffesor of infection(the first women in middle east and assia in infection)
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Avatar_f_tn
they (sorry fast writing
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173692_tn?1371540094
PCR- DNA tests are not approved for diagnostic use. They are monitoring tests for people that ARE HIV positive to monitor their HIV progression.

PCR-RNA tests are supplemental tests that have to be use in conjunction with an antibody test. They are never used to diagnose HIV by themselves.
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Avatar_m_tn
I have 27 days test negative for COMBO, 30 days with PCR-RNA negative. the ban would help me! docter??
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