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Can a cold virus cause a false positive for an RNA HIV test?

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Infectious Diseases Specialist
Practicing since : 2002
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Can a cold virus, or any virus for that matter, cause a false positive for an RNA HIV test? I haven't taken the test yet, but I plan on taking it today. Should I continue with the test as scheduled? Or should I wait until the potential virus runs its course?
Posted Tue, 11 Mar 2014 in HIV and AIDS
Answered by Dr. Roopa Hiremath 8 hours later
Brief Answer: Virus interactions with HIV Detailed Answer: Hi XXXX I understand your concern if any virus may interact and give a false positive result for HIV RNA test. My answer is unlikely... HIV RNA is detected by a test called PCR (Polymerase Chain reaction) which is a very specific test targeted to detect a specific sequence of DNA or RNA. It can detect up to 10 nanogram of DNA or RNA. So there is no possibility of any viral interaction occurring during the test process as the HIV RNA test detects only HIV RNA and no other viral RNA. Moreover, the test is targeted to detect specific sequences found only in HIV RNA. I suggest you take the test as scheduled. I hope I have cleared your doubts. Please let me know if I can assist you further. Thanks.
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