QUICKER HIV TESTA quicker and more accurate method to test for HIV in bloodplasma was unveiled at the Ninth International AIDSConference in Berlin.

The assay detected 98.5 percent of HIV in 69 samples frominfected patients, compared with only 32 percent with plasmaculture methods currently used.

The method uses probes to bind viral RNA and a second large,branched DNA molecule to bind these complexes. This stepreleases a faint light that can only be detected by sensitivemachinery, which can quantify the amount of RNA present.

This so-called "branched DNA" technique, developed at ChironCorp. and presented by The Gladstone Institute of Virologyand Immunology at San Francisco General Hospital, takesonly two days instead of the current method's two weeks.The assays monitor response to treatment.

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