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      #14991 - 01/22/01 07:55 PM

Hello everyone, I pray all are doing well. I posted 1-11-01 about the fda approved Home Access Hiv-1 testing. I was wondering if people could let me know if you think it is just as reliable as the doctor's test for hiv. I just want to be content with my negative result that I received from the home access test. Please I would like people's opinions thank you. Peace and God Bless.

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      #15011 - 01/23/01 04:16 AM

It is just as "reliable" as the tests used anywhere!

There has been a significant amount of misinformation on this board about Home Access and 1st vs. 3rd generation of Elisas. What most people are confusing is "sensitivity" versus "specificity" or perhaps reliability.

Elisas or EIAs are extremely sensitive and they can sometimes pickup antibodies they are not to HIV. That is why a "specific" confirmatory test - either a Western blot or IFA (which Home Access uses) is used to confirm that those antibodies are indeed for HIV. If they are both positive then you are positive.

Home Access and most public clinics use a 1st generation test which is highly improved from when it was first developed. However it is not as sensitive as a 3rd generation Elisa which may show positive as early as 10 days after infection. Herein lies the dilemma. While Elisas have improved and shortened the window period Western blots have not. So you may test positive earlier by Elisa and still be negative by WB. Which is a false negative result. Because of the tests sensitivity, it would be irresponsible to suggest that you may be positive. Public clinics quite often only get one shot to diagnose a patient. That is why they say wait three months. You will not get a valid result before then!

At three months ALL currently used tests are equally "reliable" at 99%. Even the CDC in its new draft of guidelines says as much. You may test again at six months to get 99.9% Good Luck.

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