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Rapid HIV Test Accuracy?
Jan 19, 2005

I recently had a Rapid HIV test using fingerstick done in a facility that said they were FDA approved etc... The test came out negative and I am well beyond the "window period".(4 years) Can I beleive this test? Is it as accurate as test sent to lab that takes a few days? I don't beleive the results and I am making myself sick with anxiety & fear. Please help.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

Well, well, well . . . . I never really understand folks who decide to make themselves sick with anxiety and fear because they don't believe good news. Isn't there enough bad news in the world for you to be anxious about????

There are two FDA-approved rapid tests, OraQuick and SUDS. The OraQuick test can be read by the provider at the site of care, so I assume this is the one you had performed. Results are available within 20 minutes. The sensitivity and specificity exceed 99%. A negative test beyond the window period is considered definitive. A positive test, however, requires confirmation by standard serology testing before it can be called definitively positive.

In short, you are indeed well, well, well. So stop making yourself sick, OK?

Dr. Bob



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