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What is difference between HIV RNA and HIV DNA test

Answered by
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Dr. Matin Ahmad Khan

HIV AIDS Specialist

Practicing since :1987

Answered : 298 Questions

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Posted on Tue, 19 Aug 2014 in HIV and AIDS
Question: What is difference hiv rna and dna test
doctor
Answered by Dr. Matin Ahmad Khan 3 hours later
Brief Answer:
HIV DNA qualitative while HIV RNA quantitative

Detailed Answer:
Hello , Thanks for posting the question. I am Dr Matin and will be answering your question

The major difference is while HIV DNA is qualitative, HIV RNA is quantitative . HIV RNA is also commonly known as VIRAL LOAD (VL) which is expressed in copies/ml of blood . Here is the detailed description of the two

Quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) (HIV RNA Test )

The quantitative PCR, also known as the viral load test (VL ) , is considered to be highly reliable for someone who may have recently been exposed to the virus, particularly in a high-risk situation. If the virus is present, the quantitative PCR will reveal how much virus is in a person's bloodstream (the viral load). In most cases, a quantitative PCR is highly accurate within 48 to 72 hours. However, a small number of people don't have viral loads that are high enough to confirm a diagnosis until 28 days after exposure. The most widely available quantitative PCR test, Amplicor version 1.5,which can detect subtypes A through G, accounting for 99.96% of HIV infections. It can also be used to determine 'Primary HIV Infection , which refers to the period from HIV transmission to sero-conversion. Here lab tests will show positive HIV RNA in absence of HIV antibody The standard recommendation is that a negative PCR result be confirmed with an ELISA test at 13 weeks(90 days)

Qualitative PCR: (HIV DNA test )
The qualitative PCR, also known as the PCR-DNA test, looks for DNA in cells that suggest that HIV infection has taken place. It is not a viral load test, meaning that it will only determine if the virus is present, not how much virus is present. This test is frequently used to determine if an infant born to an HIV-positive is infected with the virus, given that it can detect virus before viral load becomes detectable.

However, it's not at that clear if the qualitative PCR test has any advantages over the quantitative PCR test, which appears to be just as reliable, more widely available, and cheaper to perform.

Hope this helps.You can always revert with a query if you think so.

Be happy and safe.


Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Raju A.T
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Follow up: Dr. Matin Ahmad Khan 44 minutes later
What is hiv duo test ,"p 24 antigen tests
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Answered by Dr. Matin Ahmad Khan 36 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Duo test = antibodies against HIV + p24 antigen

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for your response
Here are the details of HIV Duo and p24 antigen tests.
The DUO test is an HIV test that looks for antibodies for HIV-1 and HIV-2 and also looks for evidence of the p24 protein which is on the surface of the HIV virus particle.
The advantage of testing for p24 is that this indicator of HIV infection can be detected earlier than with tests that only looked for HIV antibodies. This can be any time from 4 weeks after exposure.

One HIV antigen is a viral protein called p24, a structural protein that makes up most of the HIV viral core, or 'capsid'. High levels of p24 are present in the blood serum of newly infected individuals during the short period between infection and seroconversion, making p24 antigen assays useful in diagnosing primary HIV infection.
Antibodies to p24 are produced during seroconversion, rendering p24 antigen undetectable after seroconversion in most cases. Therefore, p24 antigen assays are not reliable for diagnosing HIV infection after its very earliest stages. However, HIV infection can be reliably diagnosed earlier with combined antibody/antigen tests than with purely antibody-detecting tests, and fourth-generation antibody/antigen tests are now the standard screening assay .

Occasionally, it may be used as an individual test to screen for early HIV infection. Early treatment of HIV infection and immune system monitoring can greatly improve long-term health. Also, if a person knows his HIV status, it may help change behaviors that can put him and others at risk.

The p24 antigen test is one of the earlier tests developed to detect HIV infection. Because levels of p24 antigen fall as antibody develops and do not rise again until late in the course of HIV infection, it may only be detectable during a short window of time after exposure, so its utility is limited as an individual test. Development of newer, better technology such as nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT) has resulted in a decline of p24 antigen testing. However, this test is now being used more effectively as part of a combination test with HIV antibody

Hope this helps.


Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Raju A.T
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Follow up: Dr. Matin Ahmad Khan 45 hours later
Whether Any antifungal medicines affect hiv test results
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Answered by Dr. Matin Ahmad Khan 30 minutes later
Brief Answer:
The answer is NO .

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for your response. An
There are no medicines (which includes Anti-fungals) as such which affect the the status of a HIV result. Influenza Vaccine may cause false positive results .
Hope this helps.
Be safe and happy.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Vinay Bhardwaj
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Follow up: Dr. Matin Ahmad Khan 37 minutes later
I have done my Pcr rna and hiv duo test after 45 days of exposure.how accurate it is
doctor
Answered by Dr. Matin Ahmad Khan 42 minutes later
Brief Answer:
No data available

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for your response.
There is no data available of accuracy of HIV Test at HIV DUO/PCR RNA at 45 days of exposure. But what is known about them is that these tests pick up 95 % of infection at 28 days of exposure and almost 100% at 90 days of exposure, meaning thereby that almost all of the infections will show positive result after the end of three months of exposure and that's why after 90 days , the final test of HIV is always recommended.
Hope this helps.
Be safe and happy.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Vinay Bhardwaj
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doctor1 MD

test name IN-Range Out of Range Reference
HIV AB, HIV 1/2, EIA,
with reflexes
HIV 1/2 EIA AB screen non-Reactive non reactive


A Non reactive HIV 1/2 antibody result does not exclude HIV infection since the time frame for seroconversion is variable. If acute HIV infection is suspected, antibody retesting and nucleic acid amplification (HIV DNA/RNA) testing is recomended

Hard copy to follow



This is the results exactly as it looks in the paper in same order and everything, can you explain me the results? thanks

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