What are NAT, DNA, RNA and PCR tests?

dna NAT PCR RNA tests
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What are NAT, DNA, RNA and PCR tests?

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HIV tests that detect the genetic material of HIV itself (rather than antibodies or antigens) are known as PCR tests. PCR stands for Polymerase Chain Reaction and is a common way of testing for a variety of different organisms. The overall process of extracting and amplifying the genetic material of an organism (in this case HIV) and then testing for it with a PCR test is called Nucleic-acid Amplification Testing or NAT. NAT tests generally take two forms: DNA PCR tests and RNA PCR tests. RNA PCR tests are most frequently used for screening blood donations and donor organs for HIV, while DNA PCR tests are used for testing newborn babies born to HIV positive mothers. Both types of test can be used to measure the amount of virus that is present within a person’s body (when they will usually be referred to as ‘viral load’ tests).

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