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I am curious to know why my text emphasize that diagnostic test of choice as gold standard is HIV RNA PCR, but in children of age 6 weeks of age HIV DNA PCR is done instead.

what I think is that it may be related to crossing of placenta but if rna can cross so does dna and generally this kind of testing if done in HBV we choose hbv dna testing in child because antibodies might have crossed placenta.

So are these things related or it's whole different thing in hiv?

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HIV DNA PCR is found to be more specific for actual infection than RNA PCR . https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9951977/ I didn't read the whole thing I guess DNA PCR actually detects reverse transcriptase activity as not all person who are inoculated with virus get infection.Few lucky ones have receptor mutation.

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  • Yes, as the linked paper states "Positive RNA results can be found in a small number of infants who are not HIV-1-infected. HIV-1 RNA detection should not be routinely used alone for the diagnosis of HIV infection in young infants."
    – Armand
    Aug 24 at 23:53

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