June / July #8 : New Test for HIV Itself

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Down for the Count

Second Wave, Second Thoughts

AIDS' Next Frontier

Role Model

Banker's Hours

Pedigree Activism

Sex Positive

Hey! Watch the Teeth

A Boy and His Toy

Kitten Does Disability

Take Your Best Shot

ADA Upheld

Don't Regulate My Body

Those Darned Kids

Curb Your Dogma


AIDS Sweeps Week

White Line Fever

Hot for Teacher

Diet and Exercise

New Test for HIV Itself

Most Popular Lessons

The HIV Life Cycle


Herpes Simplex Virus

Syphilis & Neurosyphilis

Treatments for Opportunistic Infections (OIs)

What is AIDS & HIV?

Hepatitis & HIV

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June / July 1995

New Test for HIV Itself

The procedure most people call "HIV testing" doesn't actually look for the virus in blood or saliva. Instead, the tests in common usage today detect the antibodies which the immune system produces in response to the presence of HIV. Now, according to Reuters, Belgian researchers have developed a new test which checks specifically for HIV. Testing for the virus itself overcomes the major drawbacks of the HIV anti-body tests: It takes time to develop antibodies. "Usually you have to wait about three months after exposure before knowing whether you are HIV positive," says Professor Jose Remacle of Namur University in Belgium, a develop of the new test. "We can detect the virus a day or so later." Use of the new test virtually eliminates the so-called "window period" of time between possible exposure to HIV and when it can be determined if HIV infection has actually occurred. The test is being marketed in laboratories in France, Italy and Belgium at $10 per kit and the makers are hoping to distribute it elsewhere in Europe and in the U.S. as well.

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