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Does the DNA by PCR test detect HIV 2 as well with HIV 1?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2009
Answered : 595 Questions
Does the DNA by PCR test detect HIV 2 as well or just HIV 1?
Posted Sun, 27 Oct 2013 in HIV and AIDS
Answered by Dr. Yogesh D 24 hours later
Brief Answer:
Yes, indeed it can.

Detailed Answer:

Thanks for posting your query.

The simple answer to your question is, YES. PCR can indeed detect both types of HIV, but one needs to ask for it specifically, generally when a PCR test is asked for HIV, we ask for both, so PCR will detect both types of HIV, 1 &2.

I hope this answers your question. Please write back if you have further queries.

Wishing you good health.

Warm regards,
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Does the DNA by PCR test detect HIV 2 as well with HIV 1? 31 minutes later
Hello, thank you for answering my question. What's the accuracy of the test exactly at one week from post exposure? And at exactly 32 days of post exposure? Both test were done in the US by Quest Diagnostic and Lab corp.

I read many different information about this test i.e. 14 days, 21 days and 28 days. I just would like to get the correct information. What is the window period for the DNA by PCR test and the accuracy of the tests on those two specific dates.

I thank you in advance for any information you provide.
Answered by Dr. Yogesh D 21 minutes later
Brief Answer:
The guidelines don't suggest such vigorous testing.

Detailed Answer:
Hello XXXXX,

Thanks for the follow up.

The DNA PCR has a window period of 2 to 3 weeks, that means, it may not become positive till 2 or 3 weeks after exposure, and the accuracy of this is 99.6% after this period. So at 1 week, it may be negative or positive, but at 32 days, if you have HIV, then it should detect almost without fail, that is with 99.6% accuracy.

You had asked me earlier if HIV DNA PCR can detect both types 1 & 2, it does, but type 2 must be specifically asked for.

I have provided the precise information you asked for, I hope that addresses your query. If you still have doubts you are most welcome to ask me for clarifications.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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