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News From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
August 14, 2013

Revised HIV Testing Procedures Could Detect More Acute Infections

JAMA. 2013;310(6):573. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.76213

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has suggested revised HIV testing procedures to reduce false-negative results, especially for patients with easily transmitted acute infections.

Patients with HIV infection in the acute phase—the interval between HIV RNA appearing in blood and the detection of HIV-1–specific antibodies—may have millions of virus copies while those with established infections are more likely to have far fewer copies, perhaps thousands. Therefore, an important goal of testing isn’t only to detect HIV but also to diagnose these acute infections when patients are most capable of transmitting the virus.