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Pathology. 2004 Dec;36(6):551-60.

Advances in laboratory testing for HIV.

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National Serology Reference Laboratory, Australia, Fitzroy, Victoria, Australia.


In 2004, the diagnosis of established human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection can be made with close to 100% assurity. The extraordinarily engineered performances of HIV-screening assays are unprecedented. The well-established confirmatory tests performed by well-versed laboratories using criteria that are well understood in order to interpret the results of these tests give highly accurate outcomes of diagnostic testing strategies. Furthermore, the ability to monitor the progress of the infection and the viral pathogenesis is possible through the use of tests that quantify viral load or the peripheral CD4+ T-cells and other lymphocyte sub-type levels. Newer laboratory testing mechanisms, such as assessment of reverse transcriptase activity and sophisticated cell staining and flow cytometric analyses, have been used to map disease processes and progress on a research level and may be used in future to fine-tune therapy and to follow disease progression in even greater detail. Regulation of all HIV tests is of the highest level in Australia. In-house tests will be expected to conform to the levels specified for commercially produced tests.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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