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Qualitative detection of HIV1 provirus

HIV Proviral DNA test

This is a specific blood test which is done to detect HIV infection. This test is also known as HIV qualitative PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test.

HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is the virus that causes damage to cells called as CD4 cells in humans. These cells help a person to fight infections. Thus this virus reduces immunity of a person. This makes the person prone to multiple infections and diseases. If medications for HIV infection called as antiretroviral therapy (ART) is not initiated it may progress to late stage called as AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome).at present there is no cure for HIV infection, so if a person has this infection he has that lifelong.

HIV is a retrovirus or a RNA virus. when this virus enters the human cells its RNA gets converted to DNA forming a provirus .thus this test is used to detect this proviral DNA form of HIV virus.

Why is HIV proviral DNA test prescribed?

HIV qualitative PCR test is prescribed in certain conditions like:

  • Detect HIV infection in children less than 2 years which are born to HIV infected women
  • Detect early HIV infection in individuals with less than 30 Days of infection
  • Confirm HIV infection in individuals with indeterminate antibody results

What are the components of this test?

This test is most useful for children born to HIV infected women. In them this test is recommended at 0-2 Days, 14 Days, 1-2 months and 4-6months after birth. Two consecutive positive tests are required to confirm the diagnosis.

Procedure and prerequisites

The sample for this test is taken from blood by inserting a small needle into vein of your arm. a small amount of blood (about 1ml) is then collected in test tube or vial. You may feel little pain due to needle prick. There are no contraindications or special preparation for this test.

Reference range

The result can be HIV proviral DNA detected, undetected or inconclusive. Usually a second test is conducted in those individuals with first test found positive to confirm the diagnosis.

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