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Antigen p24 - 4th generation tests


In the subforum "Am I infected" there is a thread titled "4th generation tests". If I understood correctly, antigen p24 dissapears when our bodies seroconvert and create antibodies against HIV. Then...¿why did my antigen p24 test gave a result of 23 (considering a count below 0,25 as negative) If I was already HIV+ in my elisa test?
Can somebody explain this?
Am I in a very advanced stage of the infection if antigen p24 and antibodies are present at the same time?  ???

Well disappear is not quite true, it often becomes hard to detect. Since it is not a quantitative test, and has not been related to any stage of HIV infection other than acute infection before antibody production, all the results say are "yes/no, p24 is/isn't present".  That's all.  A fair proportion of people who are HIV antibody-positive will test "yes" on a p24 test from time to time, but clinically speaking, no-one really knows what detectable p24 after seroconversion means, if anything.

See HIV Viral Antigen Assays on HIV InSite for some science:

"When antibodies to HIV become detectable, however, p24 antigen is often no longer demonstrable, most likely due to antigen-antibody complexing in the blood. When detected, p24 antigen is highly specific for infection." (my bold)

- matt

Thank you Matt!


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