Human Immunodeficiency Virus 1 and 2 (HIV-1/2) Preliminary Blood Test (4th generation)
The HIV-1/2 Preliminary Blood Test (4th generation) includes an Enzyme immunoassay (EIA) for antigen/antibody screen for HIV-1/O/2 with reflex to supplementary differentiation assay for HIV-1 or HIV-2. Specimens positive by the screening assay but negative by the supplementary antibody typing assay will reflex to qualitative nucleic acid amplification (NAA).
The HIV Antigen/Antibodies Test is the recommended standard rapid test for routine HIV Screening. It typically sees quick results in just 1-2 business days and is one of the most affordable HIV tests available. The HIV Antigen/Antibodies test, also known as a 4th Generation HIV Test, looks for both antibodies to the HIV virus and the p24 Antigen which is specific to HIV. Antibodies to HIV typically begin to develop several weeks after exposure. In the majority of people, these antibodies will be detectable by 12 weeks from the point of exposure. In some people, antibodies may be detectable as early as 4 weeks from exposure. The p24 Antigen is a viral protein which makes up the majority of the HIV viral core (capsid). P24 Antigen levels are typically highest a few weeks after exposure and drop to undetectable levels during the time when antibodies begin to develop. The combination of screening for both antibodies and antigen allow this test to detect a significantly higher number of early infections than previous generations of HIV screening.
In addition to the antigen/antibody screening, this test includes additional supplemental testing at no extra cost in the event of a positive result. If the initial screening comes back positive, it will be run again multiple times. If any of the additional runs come back with a positive result, an HIV Multispot confirmatory test will automatically be run. The Multispot Supplemental test provides differentiated testing for antibodies to both HIV 1 and HIV 2. If the Multispot test has a negative or indeterminate result, a Qualitative RNA test will be run. This test looks for the genetic material of the HIV virus. With three possible levels of detection, the 4th Generation HIV Antigen/Antibody test provides a thorough and in depth analysis.
HIV-1/2 Fourth Generation Test
Human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV, is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) that damages the immune system. This makes it easier to get sick and even die from infections or diseases that the body could normally fight off. This test checks your blood for two types of HIV: HIV-1 and HIV-2. HIV-1 is the most widespread around the world. After being infected with HIV, it can take several weeks or months for blood tests to detect the virus. If you test too soon, the test may be negative even if the virus is in your body. If you think you may have been exposed to HIV, you should get medical help immediately. Prompt treatment within 3 days of a possible exposure can lower the chance that you’ll develop an HIV
What are the symptoms of HIV?
A few weeks after being infected, some people develop flu-like symptoms such as:
- Sore throat
- Swollen lymph nodes
These usually disappear within a week to a month, and people may not have any other
symptoms for years.
If left untreated, HIV will continue to destroy the immune system and eventually causes AIDS
(acquired immunodeficiency syndrome). Symptoms of AIDS include:
- Extreme, unexplained tiredness
- Rapid weight loss
- Soaking night sweats
- Shaking chills or fever for several weeks
- Swelling of lymph nodes for several weeks
- Chronic diarrhea
- Persistent headaches
- Unusual infections
How is HIV treated?
There’s no cure for HIV. However, medication can slow the damage the virus causes by
lowering the amount of HIV in the blood. These medications have made it possible for people
with HIV to live as long as they would without HIV.
If your results detect HIV, you will have the opportunity to speak with a board-certified
PWNHealth physician about your results at no additional cost.
Who should get tested?
Everyone between the ages of 18 and 65 should be tested for HIV at least once.
This test is recommended if you:
- Are a man who has sex with men.
- Have new or multiple sex partners.
- Have had unprotected sex with someone at high-risk of HIV.
- Share or have shared injection drugs needles.
- Have symptoms of an STI.
- Are concerned you’ve been exposed to an STI.
- Have had another STI since your last test.
- Have hepatitis or tuberculosis (TB).
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