Using technology similar to that of an ELISA, a rapid test produces results in approximately 20 minutes. Two types of rapid tests are available now. One uses blood; in this case, a clinician pricks your finger with a small needle and takes a few drops of your blood. The other uses oral fluids and is very similar to the oral fluid test described above.
There are two possible outcomes with this test: negative (meaning that the test does not detect any HIV antibodies) or "preliminary positive." In the case of preliminary positive, the rapid HIV test shows an HIV-positive result, but, as with the ELISA test, that result must be confirmed with a second test such as a Western blot. If the result is preliminary positive, the counselor will discuss what this means with the client, including the importance of practicing safer sex and taking other precautions until the confirmation test results come back, and will schedule a time for the client to receive confirmatory results and additional counseling.
HIV Antibody Confirmation Tests
The ELISA test is designed to be highly sensitive, that is, to miss as few HIV infections as possible. The downside of the high sensitivity is that the ELISA may produce a small number of false-positive tests. This usually is due to the presence of antibodies to other diseases that the ELISA mistakenly recognizes as antibodies to HIV. For this reason, it is important to supplement a positive ELISA with a confirmatory test, such as a Western blot, that is less sensitive but more specific, that is, one that has a lower rate of producing a false-positive result.
Copyright 1994-2018MedHelp.All rights reserved. MedHelp is a division of Vitals Consumer Services, LLC.
The Content on this Site is presented in a summary fashion, and is intended to be used for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to be and should not be interpreted as medical advice or a diagnosis of any health or fitness problem, condition or disease; or a recommendation for a specific test, doctor, care provider, procedure, treatment plan, product, or course of action. MedHelp is not a medical or healthcare provider and your use of this Site does not create a doctor / patient relationship. We disclaim all responsibility for the professional qualifications and licensing of, and services provided by, any physician or other health providers posting on or otherwise referred to on this Site and/or any Third Party Site. Never disregard the medical advice of your physician or health professional, or delay in seeking such advice, because of something you read on this Site. We offer this Site AS IS and without any warranties. By using this Site you agree to the following Terms and Conditions. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your physician or 911 immediately.