About Choosing An Accurate HIV Test?
… is it past 6 months after the behavior … the convenience of using rapid or CMIA tests … Or do we just check with PCR RNA so we don’t take blood repeatedly so it’s faster to find out negative / positive
Hello Alviano Thank you for asking HealthReplies.com.
Examiners tests to detect HIV infection can be done in various ways. The following are some of the HIV test examinations in general, divided into 3 forms:
Serological tests for example: rapid test, ELISA test to detect antibodies, Western Blot test
PCR virological examination: in the form of HIV qualitative DNA, and quantitative HIV RNA
Antibody and antigen combination testing or HIV Ab-Ag test
The first serological tests, including the rapid test, ELISA and Wetern blot, aim to detect antibodies to the HIV virus. If a person is infected with this virus, the body will form antibodies that can be detected through blood tests. And these antibodies begin to form at week 3 to week 12 after you are infected. In a neat test, the number of blood samples taken will be less and the time to wait for the results is also quite fast, approximately 20 minutes. If the antibody test results show reactive or positive, it can indicate that a person is infected with the HIV virus. The ELISA test results usually take longer, around 3 days, if the test is positive, a more specific examination called the western blot test can be done.
PCR virological examination is to detect the presence of HIV virus material, namely DNA and viral RNA. Quantitative HIV RNA examination uses blood plasma and this test is used to check the amount of virus in the blood or viral load. Therefore, this examination is usually carried out after the antibody test shows a positive result. In addition, testing the results of this RNA may take several days to weeks depending on the laboratory. This test is one of the most accurate tests, but is rarely used as a test for HIV screening despite the high cost of testing.
The CMIA HIV test, which stands for Chemiluminescent Microparticle ImmunoAssay, is an examination method used to detect antibodies and antigens. This examination is classified as a combination examination and has a high accuracy rate of 99.8%. However, this examination will be accurate if you perform the examination 12 weeks post exposure or 12 weeks after risk behavior.
Therefore, there are no perfect tests to detect. But the time of the examination must be done right. In order to detect HIBV reliably, the HIV detection test must be carried out at the right time, which may take up to 12 weeks for HIV antibodies to be detected in our blood. So if you do the examination 6 months after the risky behavior, that time is considered the right time because more than 12 weeks when HIV antibodies can be detected in the blood.
However, not all hospitals or laboratories have services for all types of HIV detection tests. If the result is negative, you should avoid behaviors that put you at risk or susceptibility to contracting HIV. And if the results are positive you should consult a doctor to get the right treatment. And regarding the selection of these examinations, it's a good idea to discuss it again with a specialist in internal medicine, so that the examination is carried out according to your needs.
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