Techniques for the quantification of HIV-1 load in semen include culture and nucleic acid amplification techniques. The latter tend to be used in the reproductive, public health and research settings due to speed, throughput, sensitivity and capacity to eliminate and control for contamination or inhibitory substances from semen. Commerciallyavailable assays such as nucleic acid sequence-based amplification and reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction are equivalent in yielding more reliable and reproducible results than in-house, non-commercial assays, and should be used for the determination of HIV-1 load in semen. Sensitivity is increased when silica extraction methods are used.
Keywords: HIV-1, nucleic acid amplification, nucleic acid sequence-based amplification, polymerase chain reaction, reverse transcriptase, semen, viral load
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