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HIV and AIDS

DNA PCR Test For Diagnosing HIV

06/21/2006

Question:

For some testing sites, they claim that DNA PCR is so sensitivie (chance of false negative is very very low). If you have a negative result after 28 days, the result is conclusive and you don`t need further testing. Is it true? I know that this test is not approved by the FDA. However, if the test does not give a false negative, I`m willing to try it. Thank you very much.

Answer:

There is the possibility of a false positive PCR result-- that is why this test should not be used for diagnosis. The correct test for diagnosis is an EIA or ELISA-- if that test is negative, nothing more needs to be done. If that test is positive, then it needs to be confirmed by a western blot test.

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Response by:

Judith   Feinberg, MD Judith Feinberg, MD
Professor of Medicine
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati