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Proviral HIV RNA by PCR - Results in 2-4 Business Days
The HIV RNA by PCR is the most sensitive test for detecting infection. While most healthy individuals are accustomed to waiting 3 months for a conclusive result, the HIV Proviral DNA can provide conclusive results after only 7 days. The RNA PCR is an antigen test, that is, a test that looks directly for the virus. This test is conclusive well before the antibody test because it is not dependant on an antibody response. It is looking for the actual circulating particles of HIV. Patients with acute infection may be asymptomatic, but can manifest 1 or more symptoms of acute retroviral syndrome, including, diarrhea, fatigue, fever, nausea, and rash. HIV replicates rapidly during the acute phase, resulting in a high circulating viral load (>100,000 copies/mL). For patients with a high level of anxiety or strong reason to suspect infection, the RNA PCR and other PCR based techniques can be useful even days after exposure, not only to help rule out infection, but also to help support decisions about post exposure prophylaxis therapy. The qualitative HIV-1 RNA assay can be used to detect HIV-1 infection, including acute infection; to confirm positive screening test results; and to confirm infection in patients with positive results on a serologic HIV screening test but negative or indeterminate results on supplemental antibody testing. It may also be used to detect or confirm HIV-1 infection in infants born to infected mothers, as maternal antibodies may interfere with serologic testing. Call a testing representative for further information.