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Massachusetts & Other Testing Info.

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jwolfan26:
Massachusetts is in the forefront of HIV research.  The work done at Massachusetts General Hospital continues to be some of the most important in searching for treatments and strategies to halt the spread of the virus.

Accordingly, Mass. has taken the lead in research on window period research.  Call the Massachusetts state HIV/AIDS hotline, which is fully endorsed by the Massachusetts State Department of Health.  Their counselors will tell you time and time again, without equivocation, that a six week window period is definitive.  In fact, they will state that six weeks is "more than enought time" to  produce antibodies.

Massachusetts goes on to state that the CDC's 3 month window is now the "conservative" time frame to cover the "outliers" that have suppressed immune systems due to chemotherapy, lupus, or other similar afflictions.  If you have no such problems, you can consider the 6 week test to be defnitive.

Furthermore, the six week window does not depend on "4th generation technology."  The Massachusetts officials on the hotline will inform you that Orasure, Oraquick, and all other antibody assays currently in use meet the 6 week window parameters!

Although Dr. Bob on The Body continues to encourage a 3 motnh window, he has stated that he has no reason to doubt the Massachusetts guidelines!

So if Massachusetts can so confidently endorse a 6 week window for EVERYONE except the immuno-compomised (CALL THEM AND VERIFY WHAT I AM SAYING! - 1-800-235-2331)....why can't the experts on this site????

jwolfan26:
Sorry, forgot to include the other info. I wanted to share:
1)  For those of you in the LA area that are inside a "window period" - the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center is now offering free NAAT screening to all who test at their main center (on Schrader Blvd. in Hollywood).  THis screening is the same test used by the Red Cross in screening the blood supply.  The officials at the Gay and Lesbian Center state that it is definitive at 3 to 4 weeks.  Visit the website for more infor:  www.lagaycenter.com

2)  The AIM Healthcare Foundation (two walk in sites in Southern California) offers DNA PCR tests for only $100.  They also have a number of draw stations throughout the country that will perform the test for $140.  The results are ready in 24 hours!!!  This is the only test used in the adult film industry to clear performers for non-condom sex scenes.  The outbreak in the industry a few years ago was contained because of this test.  The "patient zero" was identified within 30 days of his infection due to the DNA PCR screening.  If that patient had waited "3 months" to get an antibody screen, he would have infected coutnless more people!

The officials at AIM perform over 40,000 DNA PCR screens each year!  They know what they are talking about!

RapidRod:
Until the CDC makes changes in the window period. We will stick with the 3 month conclusive test guidelines.

Ann:
j,

Regardless of what AIM do or say, PCR testing is NOT approved for diagnostic purposes because they have a high rate of false positive results. We do NOT encourage PCR testing for this reason.

We do tell people here that a six week test is an excellent indicator of their true hiv status and a negative at that time rarely changes. But as Rodney says, until the official window period changes, we will stick to 12-13 weeks for a conclusive result.

Ann

jwolfan26:
But why use the CDC for the "official window period"??  If evryone acknowledges that the CDC is "conservative" to include the rare exceptions, why not quote the MAssachusetts guidelines as "official"?? 

Do you have ANY reason to doubt the Massachusetts guidelines?

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