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Antigen p24 - 4th generation tests

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blondbeauty:
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?  ???

newt:
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

blondbeauty:
Thank you Matt!

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