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229411 tn?1189759425

What exactly is an RNA test?

Yesterday I had an oraquick test at 3.5 weeks negative and they also took my blood to do an RNA test.

What is RNA? How is that different from oraquick? What is an ELISA test?

I am confused.
11 Responses
Avatar universal
Avatar universal
it looks for the virus
Avatar universal
it's test too see if u have any hiv in blood
229411 tn?1189759425
Yes, but what is the difference between RNA and ELISA?
Avatar universal
elisa for antibodies it same tests that blood banks used now dr's are doiong it
188761 tn?1559713227
Nucleic Acid Test (Polymerase Chain Reaction) :

1. PCR (NAT) tests directly look for the virus in the body unlike the Antibody test which looks for the body's response to the infection

2. PCR tests can tell you if your body is infected as early as 72 hrs after the exposure

3. PCRs are lately approved for diagnostic purpose however doctors may order for NATs if they feel that one is going through ARS since it enables appropriate treatment by early detection of the virus

4. Theoritycally PCR can detect the virus as early as 72 hrs after the infection and the detection just keeps getting better along with the time since the HIV virus replicates itself in millions every day which means viral load keeps increasing every single day after the infection. For practical purposes one should wait atleast for 10 - 12 days aftr the exposure in order to get a PCR test

5. Comparisn RNA PCR / DNA PCR:

Another type of test is an RNA test, which detects the HIV virus directly. The time between HIV infection and RNA detection is 9-11 days. These tests, which are more costly and used less often than antibody tests


But RNA (viral loads) can become not detectable in some (meaning not many) cases when the body finally fights back. But on the other hand PCR DNA tests are best used from 28 days on, but as early as 2 weeks, b/c these levels will not become none detectable over time.

So in short less then a month or during ARS, PCR RNA tests is best (9 -11 days after the exposure) but after a month a PCR DNA test would be best, but at this point an Elisa test would work just as good and without the risk of false positive which would make most people here go crazy.

6. RNA PCR is for early detection, test at the 14 th day after the exposure backed up by an antibody test at the 6-8th week is good enough to rule out HIV.

DNA PCR at the 28th day after the exposure backed up by an antibody test at the 6-8 th week is good enough to rule out HIV

Both are NAT tests and are highly sensitive.

7.Drawback(very very unlikely though)
In some HIV positive individuals there are cases of undetectable viral load however a hypersensitive viral load test ( sensitivity -  50 copies / ml, 10 copies / ml) are good enough to detect the presence of the virus in the body.

8.Misconception about the PCR test (False Positives)
False positive rates have drastically dropped and every positive PCR is confirmed with another PCR for confirmatory reason, this eliminates the possibility of false positives, they are very reliable after 28 days, your result would be conclusive, however just for your own peace if mind back it up with a confirmatory test at the 8th week and move on.

In a nutshell, if you have the money to spend RNA PCR is a great test but one has to back it up with an antibody yest for confirmatoty reasons only.

As per my research, Most of the experts haven't seen a negative PCR result changing ahead.
229411 tn?1189759425
Thank you so much for that info.

I was at Seattle Public Health yesterday and I had a negative oraquick.

Now I am concenred why the lady who did my test did and RNA test? Do you think it was because I was telling her I had a slight fever and did not feel well? Does she think I am HIV + ?

At the time I was sure it was ARS symtoms but today I found out its due to mono.

Would RNA work accurately 3.5 weeks after the last exposure?
229411 tn?1189759425
Ahh I see. I'm sorry, I am so run down by this mono I can barely keep my eyes open :)

188761 tn?1559713227
1. She did an RNA test to put your anxiety at a rest, so that you find some peace of mind since it gives you the an indicative result with out waiting for 6 weeks after exposure

2.  You don't read properly, I have already mentioned that before

"Another type of test is an RNA test, which detects the HIV virus directly. The time between HIV infection and RNA detection is 9-11 days." So, 3.5 weeks post exposure is enough time for the test to detect ample amount of virus in an individual's body , if any

Avatar universal
Hello  i took a aptima rna hiv1 qualitative at 16 days after pozsible infection came back negative do u think if i take a oraquick now at my 6 week after the possi le infection and if it come negative . Will i be hiv free?
Avatar universal
You can obtain your conclusive negative test result 3 months post exposure. If you have any further questions please start your own thread.
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