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Why do we detect HIV antibodies instead of the virus?

Q: Why we try to detected HIV antibodies instead of detecting the virus directly?

A:Yes, it is true that the routine tests done for diagnosis of HIV infection are based on detection of antibodies. That is because they are cheaper (cost wise) and are quite reliable. Virus (antigen) detecting tests are available and can be done. However, their costs are prohibitive and hence they are not done routinely.

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