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Question
Posted by: RESEARCHER | 2004/11/24

HIV AND IMMUNE SYSTEM

Dear Doc,

As I see that the HIV EXPERT is no longer available, please can you tell me approximately how long it takes a person with a weak immune system to develop antibodies to HIV? How long after the window period does it take the 3rd and 4th generation HIV Elisa and HIV PCR Qualitative tests to detect antibodies/virus ?

Many thanks.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberDoc

Researcher, you will have to define what you mean with a weak immune system, but in general it happens as soon as the immune system is exposed to the virus. The problem comes in with trying to detect these antibodies. A PCR is more than 90% sensitive after 5 days and will give a definite result after 14 days. 4th generation ELISA tests are positive within 3-4 weeks and a follow up after 3-6 months will give a definite result. Good luck.

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