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HIV Rapid Tests
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HIV Rapid Tests

Hello

I live in a Middle Eastern, where barring a few countries, there is no concept of STD clinics and definitely no anonymous testing. Hospitals are the only source of STD screening. In countries where STD clinics do exist, these clinics are run by Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO's) with funding / testing kids provided by private donors or the government itself.

At one of such clinics in one of these countries, I was told that the HIV rapid testing requires only a 4 week period (time from suspected encounter till testing), that the testing kits are for HIV1/2, and with 99% accuracy. These kits are provided to the clinic by the government therefore no clue who the manufacturer is. The staff at the clinic are quite professional and one of them even went to the extent saying that the research is in progress of making the rapid tests accuracy window less than 4 weeks.

I know and have read a lot on this site about the Rapid Tests Accuracy and the window period and I apologize if I have still missed a previous post on this site answering my question. I would truly appreciate your advice on the Clinic's claim that Rapid Tests for HIV 1/2 are indeed effective at 4 week period and that their accuracy is 95% or higher.

Thank you
1024580_tn?1331577721
Hello,
Thank you for your post and welcome to our forum.
A negative antibody test at 4 weeks, even though highly reassuring, cannot be considered conclusive at that period of time.  Certinaly a test with a reliability of 95% is not conclusive.  Current UK guidelines still consider this test to be only concluisve if negative after 12 weeks.  However in practice 8 weeks would suffice to consider it conclusive.
At 4 weeks we can only consider the HIV Duo test of 4th generation as conclusive as it also detects the p24 antigen.
Best wishes,
Dr José
3 Comments
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Avatar_m_tn
Dear Doc, please allow me to add a third question to the two originally asked. If you answer yes to rapid tests being effective at 4 weeks and with an accuracy in excess of 95%, would you term the test results being conclusive, or further testing at a later mark be necessary, let say at 8 or 12 weeks? My apologies for adding this third question later. Thank you
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Avatar_m_tn
Thank you Dr. Jose.
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