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HIV Transmission and Education >> Am I Infected?

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      #28476 - 02/18/02 02:35 PM

Recently had a ELISA test at a health testing center. Result negative.
Im concearned because the nurse could not tell me what generation test it was and in fact never heard of different generation tests. I assumed the center was professional
Cost $105 Results in 1-2 days
Any thoughts

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Not So Horrible

      #28478 - 02/18/02 02:55 PM

I had the same concerns...

Ryan M. Kull just posted this last week.

A 1st generation ELISA is likely to be as accurate six months after exposure when compared to 3rd generation ELISA. However, there are some important differences. Early generation assays will detect antibodies to HIV in about 6 to 12 weeks following exposure; newer generation (3rd and 4th) can detect antibodies as early as three to four weeks. Also, newer generation tests are fine tuned to detect antibodies to all known subtypes of HIV. This is not as important for someone whose exposure is limited to the U.S., since subtypes that are commonly found in the U.S. would be detected by 1st generaiton.

Clearly, being antibody tested with newer generation assays is more desirable, and it is unlikely that you would be tested with 1st generation assays in the U.S, unless you use the Home Access testing system.

Also, I corresponded personally with Dr. Samuel Reichberg who is the Corporate Clinical Pathologist for Quest Diagnostics, one of the largest labs in the country. He suspects that the reason we have difficulty obtaining information about the “generation” of HIV antibody ELISA screening tests is that classification of HIV ELISA tests by “generation” is not as widely used as it is for HIV molecular testing. In fact, manufacturers of the reagents used for these tests do not usually specify the “generation” of their assay.

In other words, the labs running the ELISA tests don't refer to them in terms of generation.

Hope this helps...

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      #28480 - 02/18/02 03:18 PM

What was your time frame? From what I have read, the newer tests can pick up the virus in 3 - 6 weeks in most people. While the older by 12 weeks. Thus by 12 weeks they are basically the same.

Good luck,

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