Treatment News : Altered Testing Methods Can ID HIV Earlier, May Help in Prevention

POZ - Health, Life and HIV
Subscribe to:
POZ magazine
Join POZ: Facebook MySpace Twitter Pinterest
Tumblr Google+ Flickr MySpace
POZ Personals
Sign In / Join

Back to home » Treatment News » June 2013

Most Popular Links
Most Popular Lessons

The HIV Life Cycle


Herpes Simplex Virus

Syphilis & Neurosyphilis

Treatments for Opportunistic Infections (OIs)

What is AIDS & HIV?

Hepatitis & HIV

20 Years Ago In POZ

More Treatment News

Click here for more news

Have news about HIV? Send press releases, news tips and other announcements to


June 26, 2013

Altered Testing Methods Can ID HIV Earlier, May Help in Prevention

A revised HIV testing algorithm can identify acute infections that would otherwise fall under the radar, MedPage Today reports. In the agency’s June 20 issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported two recent studies in which an HIV RNA test detected HIV infections that traditional HIV tests would have otherwise miscategorized as HIV negative.  

Acute infections are defined as the period after a person is initially infected and before antibodies can be detected, typically spanning a few weeks. Acute infection plays a “disproportionate” role in transmission according to the CDC. Viral load typically skyrockets during this phase of HIV infection—making someone much more infectious—before it lowers significantly once the body has initiated an immune response.

Testing traditionally has two phases: First, tests detect two classes of HIV antibodies as well as the p24 antigen, which can be identified before the appearance of antibodies. If the test is positive, then a Western Blot test is performed to confirm the test result. However, many of these subsequent tests erroneously provide an HIV-negative result, “potentially leading to adverse clinical outcomes for patients and further HIV transmission within the community,” in the words of the report. To get around this discrepancy, two studies used HIV RNA screens to more accurately detect HIV infections.

Between July 2011 and February 2013, a Phoenix emergency department identified 37 HIV infections, 12 of which yielded contradictory results between the first two rounds of tests and and which would have gone undetected without the RNA test. These 12 people had a median viral load of 3.6 million, while the 25 others with established infections had a median viral load of 27,000.

Another screening program detected 99 cases of HIV out of 37,876 people. Of these, 55 (55.6 percent) were detected through an RNA screen following either a negative of indeterminate result from the HIV-1/HIV-2 antibody differentiation test.

To read the MedPage Today article, click here.

To read the CDC’s MMWR, click here.

Search: HIV test, CDC, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, RNA test, p24 antigen, acute infection, antibody test.

Scroll down to comment on this story.


(will display; 2-50 characters)


(will NOT display)


(will display; optional)

Comment (500 characters left):

(Note: The POZ team reviews all comments before they are posted. Please do not include either ":" or "@" in your comment. The opinions expressed by people providing comments are theirs alone. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Smart + Strong, which is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by people providing comments.)

Comments require captcha.
Please enter this number for verification:

| Posting Rules

Show comments (0 total)

[Go to top]

Facebook Twitter Google+ MySpace YouTube Tumblr Flickr Instagram
Quick Links
Current Issue

HIV Testing
Safer Sex
Find a Date
Newly Diagnosed
HIV 101
Disclosing Your Status
Starting Treatment
Help Paying for Meds
Search for the Cure
POZ Stories
POZ Opinion
POZ Exclusives
Read the Blogs
Visit the Forums
Job Listings
Events Calendar
POZ on Twitter

Ask POZ Pharmacist

Talk to Us
Did you participate in an event for National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day 2016?


more surveys
Contact Us
We welcome your comments!
[ about Smart + Strong | about POZ | POZ advisory board | partner links | advertising policy | advertise/contact us | site map]
© 2016 Smart + Strong. All Rights Reserved. Terms of use and Your privacy.
Smart + Strong® is a registered trademark of CDM Publishing, LLC.