P24 Antigen....?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 05, 2012 9:16 PM GMT
    Hey,

    So I recently got myself tested with negative results. The nurse just said it was negative and thats it. No followups no nothing. I did ask for the sheet with the diagnoses. When I read it, I was confused.

    It said: "this assay detects p24 antigen which may be present prior to the development of HIV antibodies, therefore a reactive result with a negative Western Blot should be followed up with repeat testing in 4-8 weeks."

    Isn't p24 only there if you have HIV? Why else would it be there? I'm...confused. And panicked.
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    Sep 06, 2012 12:20 AM GMT
    Thats a good question speaking of which when I was tested the nurse not the doctor called me with the results said everything was negative but I have yet to see the papers that was almost three months ago so I'm still wondering about the health care system here in the united states seems doctors dont really care anymore these days.
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    Sep 06, 2012 12:24 AM GMT
    I hope I don't get a bunch of bad messages for this question... but, honestly, what is P24 Antigen? icon_question.gif
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    Sep 06, 2012 12:32 AM GMT
    JulesVerne saidI hope I don't get a bunch of bad messages for this question... but, honestly, what is P24 Antigen? icon_question.gif

    Its the antigen that is detected in your body if you are infected with HIV
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    Sep 06, 2012 12:35 AM GMT
    FlawedAmigo said
    JulesVerne saidI hope I don't get a bunch of bad messages for this question... but, honestly, what is P24 Antigen? icon_question.gif

    Its the antigen that is detected in your body if you are infected with HIV


    Thanks, man.
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    Sep 06, 2012 12:41 AM GMT
    Negative means they arent there. Whats the issue?
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    Sep 06, 2012 1:28 AM GMT
    IceBucket saidHey,

    So I recently got myself tested with negative results. The nurse just said it was negative and thats it. No followups no nothing. I did ask for the sheet with the diagnoses. When I read it, I was confused.

    It said: "this assay detects p24 antigen which may be present prior to the development of HIV antibodies, therefore a reactive result with a negative Western Blot should be followed up with repeat testing in 4-8 weeks."

    Isn't p24 only there if you have HIV? Why else would it be there? I'm...confused. And panicked.


    Based on exactly what you've written, it sounds like it is explaining that the test detects (ie tests for, searches for, reacts to) p24 antigen....

    Not, "your test has detected p24 in your blood".
  • jim_sf

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    Sep 06, 2012 1:52 AM GMT
    IceBucket said"this assay detects p24 antigen which may be present prior to the development of HIV antibodies, therefore a reactive result with a negative Western Blot should be followed up with repeat testing in 4-8 weeks."


    Starting from the top here.

    p24 is the capsid protein (i.e., shell) of HIV. It is detectable in blood samples one to two weeks before the immune system produces enough antibodies for other tests to detect.

    It sounds as though this particular run of p24 antigen assays was complemented with Western blots. Western blots are good for confirming the presence of antibodies, since they will produce a characteristic set of results for all the different antigens in HIV (including but not limited to p24). Western blots have a longer "window period" than other methods, though, so it will take longer for a Western blot to show HIV infection than other methods.

    So, in this case, the testers used a combination of tests to double- and triple-check that your sample does not contain traces of HIV, and all your results came back non-reactive. That isn't an ironclad guarantee that you are HIV-free, since it still takes two to three weeks for a p24 antigen assay to come back reactive, but it's a very strong indicator that you are fine.

    In other words: nothing to panic about.
  • jim_sf

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    Sep 06, 2012 1:55 AM GMT
    FlawedAmigo said
    JulesVerne saidI hope I don't get a bunch of bad messages for this question... but, honestly, what is P24 Antigen? icon_question.gif

    Its the antigen that is detected in your body if you are infected with HIV


    One of many antigens, actually. And a p24 antigen assay will show as "non-reactive" once the immune system produces enough antibodies for other HIV testing methods to detect; it won't show "reactive" again until the HIV becomes very advanced.
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    Sep 06, 2012 2:40 AM GMT
    Thanks guys.

    I did some further lookups and apparently p24 is also detected if you have a common cold...and I've been coughing for three weeks straight.
  • jim_sf

    Posts: 2094

    Sep 06, 2012 4:28 AM GMT
    IceBucket saidThanks guys.

    I did some further lookups and apparently p24 is also detected if you have a common cold...and I've been coughing for three weeks straight.


    But p24 wasn't detected, was it? All you posted was the explanatory text from the lab report; you didn't say "this test was reactive".