This test looks for antibodies which the body develops in response to infection with the Human T-Cell Lymphotropic Virus (HTLV). HTLV infects white blood cells which are important to the body’s immune system. HTLV infection can be responsible for the development of a number of conditions including Leukemia, Lymphoma, and nervous system disorders. The HTLV 1&2 Abs test detects and differentiates both type 1 and type 2 HTLV infections.
Risk factors for HTLV infection include:
- Having multiple sexual partners
- Being an IV drug user
- Having a history of blood transfusions
- Living in or having a sexual partner from parts of the world where HTLV is prevalent such as Southwestern Japan, parts of Africa, the Caribbean, and the Southeastern U.S.