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Date of last update: 10/12/2017.

Forum Name: AIDS

Question: Test for AIDS virus directly?

 inkaquest - Mon Oct 22, 2007 6:09 pm

hi doc,

is it posible to test for the virus itself? what's the name of this test?
Will this test eliminate the window period, letting you know if your infected or not?
 Dr. Chan Lowe - Mon Oct 22, 2007 10:00 pm

User avatar Hi Inkaquest,

There is a direct test for HIV. It is called an HIV PCR test where the test looks directly for the virus DNA rather than the antibodies to the test.

Best wishes.
 inkaquest - Tue Oct 23, 2007 8:25 am

Will this test eliminate the need to wait for a window time? and the need to check twice? Or you still need to check twice even though you are testing with HIV PCR?
 Dr. Chan Lowe - Thu Oct 25, 2007 7:48 pm

User avatar Hi again,

The PCR test allows detection of the virus sooner but there is still a window period. I think it is about a month after exposure that the test becomes more reliable. I can't be sure on this as I tried to look it up but couldn't find the information.

If the test positive a second, different test is usually done to confirm. If it is negative it can be repeated in a month to see if it becomes positive making it much more sensitive.

Best wishes.

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