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PCR rna test hiv (virus load) result shows 20 copy /ml. What does this mean?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2001
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Hi doctor!I have incident with needle stick by positive hiv person .I did antibody test st 8 month negative but when I does pcr rna hiv (virus load ) result say less than 20 copy / what mean .I so worried .thanks for help.
Posted Wed, 4 Dec 2013 in HIV and AIDS
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 40 minutes later
Brief Answer: less than 20 means the virus was not detected Detailed Answer: HI, thanks for using healthcare magic It means the HIV virus was not detected. The PCR RNA test looks for the virus itself compared to the antibody test which looks for antibodies . Antibodies are formed when the body reacts to the virus. This is the reason that window period for antibody tests would be longer than for the pcr rna test. The window period is the time it takes for a test to be able to accurately determine if a particular infection is present. The window period for antibody testing (the first test that you did), is 3 to 6 months. This means that the test that you did at 8 months which was negative was truly negative. The pcr rna window period is shorter, 2 to 3 weeks, since this was done later and this result is also negative , you can conclusively say you are NOT infected with HIV. You are HIV NEGATIVE. NO HIV present. I hope this helps. Feel free to ask any other questions
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