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Types of testing for HIV and accuracy- scared

Jan 19, 2003

I went to my family doctor and asked to get tested for HIV. I asked them after my testing if they used the Elisa or western blot test. They said no, that they do an antibody 1 and 2 test and if those come out pos, then they do the Elisa or western blot to confirm the result. They said that they have been using this testing for years and that they have never had a problem with inaccuracy. I got my testing done just a few days back which is seven months after a low risk exposure. Their testing came back negative. Am I suppose to get an Elisa or western blot done? Or is this antibody screening/test good enough? I am worried. Should I go back and get tested again?

Response from Mr. Kull

It doesn't sound like you got the whole story. The ELISA/EIA is the standard screening method for HIV antibody detection. While I would probably not worry too much about the accuracy of your results (you probably received reliable testing), you might want to be a little more persistent in finding out the details, just so you can clear the air for yourself (and your doctor!). A closer look at the actual lab results, or a phone call to the lab, should provide answers to this mystery.


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