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PCR Testing Accuracy
An_244366 posted:
I recently got tested for HIV with a PCR test 10 days after potential exposure. How accurate are these tests? All the information I've found is years old and I would assume the test has been tweaked over the years to be as accurate as possible. I've been freaking out for weeks and I can't do this for 3 more months waiting for an anti-body test so if anyone has any advice or knowledge on PCR accuracy I would appreciate it.
Nieciedo responded:
The polymerase chair reaction type of test is usually used to measure the viral load of HIV-positive patients. That is to say, it searches for the presence of the virus itself instead of the antibodies produced against the virus.

If you had been infected 10 days prior to this test, it is likely that the virus would have made sufficient copies of itself for the test to detect. So, if this test did not discover an HIV that is probably an indication that there is no HIV to be found.

I would follow this up with an antibody test at 90 days just for closure's sake.


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