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Definition of «HIV test»

HIV test: A test for the human immunodeficiency virus, the cause of AIDS. HIV tests are designed to detect antibodies to the HIV virus or the HIV virus itself.

The antibody tests are:

  • ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay): a screening test used to detect infection with HIV. If positive, the ELISA test is usually repeated.
  • Western blot: a test usually used to confirm the results of an ELISA. It can rule out a false-positive by distinguishing HIV antibodies from other antibodies that may react to the ELISA.
  • IFA (indirect fluorescent antibody): a test used like the less expensive Western blot to confirm the results of an ELISA.

The premiere test that can identifies the genetic material, the RNA, of the HIV virus is called PCR (the polymerase chain reaction). PCR can detect an early HIV infection before antibodies are evident and determine whether a baby born to an HIV-positive mother will have HIV. A test similar to PCR testing, called the branched DNA test, also detects the RNA of HIV.

For More Information «HIV test»

  • National HIV and STD Testing Resources

    What You Need to Know About HIV: The Basics on HIV Infection and AIDS; Staying HIV Negative; Living With HIV/AIDS: Staying Healthy, Protecting Others

  • HIV Testing

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  • A Quick, Cheap Diagnostic Test for HIV and Other Infections

    A small plastic chip that costs just 10 cents to make can reliably diagnose HIV and syphilis within about 15 minutes. The chip, which is based on microfluidics, uses ...

  • Testing - Welcome to AIDS.gov

    Testing Index Page ... What Is an HIV Test? An HIV test looks for signs of HIV in your body. When you get tested for HIV, you will usually give a sample of blood, but there are ...

  • HIV and AIDS: Diagnosis & Tests - WebMD - Better information ...

    Probably no medical test is more important to understand than the HIV test. Here's where to learn about what an HIV diagnosis means -- and what to do about it.

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