Diagnosis of HIV Infection and the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)
Since the description of the first cases of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) in 1981, the global impact of this new epidemic has been dramatic. By July, 1993, more than 150 countries had reported over 718,894 cases to the World Health Organization (WHO, 1993), and more than 8 million persons worldwide were estimated to be infected with the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1), the etiologic agent of AIDS. There are estimated to be at least 1 million HIV infected persons in the United States alone. Most of these infected persons are expected to develop AIDS. HIV-1 was first isolated in 1983–1984 from patients with ARC and AIDS (Barre-Sinoussi et al., 1983; Gallo et al., 1984; Popovic et al., 1984) and is found worldwide, primarily in Central Africa, Europe, North and South America and now in Asia. A second AIDS virus HIV-2 (Clavel, 1987; Clavel et al., 1986; Horsburgh and Holmberg, 1988), closely related to the simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) and more distantly related to HIV-1, was discovered in 1986 and shown to be endemic in parts of West Africa and to have limited spread in Western Europe, the United States, Canada, and Brazil.
KeywordsPolymerase Chain Reaction Simian Immunodeficiency Virus Infected Person Polymerase Chain Reaction Technology Polymerase Chain Reaction Process
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