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Avatar universal

Standard screening methods


I would like to understand the issue regarding test reliability based on information I have been reading and would like you to put my mind at rest.

I have the following info from a Penn University Research paper:

"Not only did the parallel analysis help researchers to cut time, the new screening technique also uncovered four rare, minor drug-resistant mutations in the patient samples of HIV that had gone undetected by standard screening measures."

1.  Is it possible for the virus to mutate to escape detection by standard methods as discussed above?
2.  If so. what tests can detect the virus?

Many thanks
10 Responses
239123 tn?1267651214
I don't know enough about the biology of HIV testing to answer those specific questions.  The important thing is that delayed seroconversion (or failure to develop positive blood tests) is too rare to worry about.  Your negative test results 3+ months after exposure, which I gleaned from a look at your HIV community forum discussions, proves you weren't infected.  Please move on.

Best wishes--  HHH, MD
Avatar universal
Put simply, can health officials guarantee that an HIV test is 100% accurate / sensitive?
Avatar universal
I read the article, and it seems that they are talking about drug resistance screening, not HIV screening in general.  So those cases are about people who have viruses that would test incorrectly on measurements seeking to treat their HIV infection.  But, those people would still test positive under antibody ELISA tests. Hope that helps.
Avatar universal
Thanks - that's what I thought / hoped

I'd just like the doctor to clear it up as it's pretty confusing / frightening
Avatar universal
Thanks but the problem is I have classic symptoms, my CD4 bloods are low, my girlfriend has experienced the same symptoms, her lymphocytes rose to 3.9 and then came down to 2.3 in a month.  

I have seen pictures of the rash during acute stage and I had exactly the same thing.  Can you suggest someone / somewhere that I can find to get an answer to this as I am now fearful that other people may be infected as my girlfriend is going to move on with all the stress this has created.
239123 tn?1267651214
Symptoms mean nothing in the presence of negative HIV tests.  Please search the forum for probably at least 1000 different discussions about the fact that even classical HIV symptoms usually are due to other things and that test results ALWAYS outweigh symptoms in judging whether or not someone has HIV.  Please drop HIV from your thinking; you don't have it, period.  To learn the real cause of your symptoms, find a health care provider you trust and follow his or her advice.

I will have no further comments or advice.  This thread is over.
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