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HIV can be cultured by cocultivation of lymphocytes with potentially infected and uninfected mononuclear cells to pro-mote viral replication. Primary isolates of HIV grow very slowly on cell lines compared with laboratory-adopted strains. Virus growth is detected by testing the culture supernatant fluid to demonstrate p24 antigen or viral reverse transcriptase activ-ity after incubation of the culture for an average period of 7–14 days or even larger (28 days).
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