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Will HIV Show Up on Normal Blood Work?

August 26, 2016

It really depends on which tests your healthcare provider orders as part of your normal blood work. The tests that are most commonly ordered cannot detect HIV infection.

The complete blood count (CBC) measures your red and white blood cell numbers as well as hemoglobin and other numbers. Abnormal increases or decreases in these cell counts may indicate that you have an underlying medical condition that calls for further evaluation. But the CBC is not a test for HIV. Other tests often included examine your blood glucose, calcium, electrolyte, cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

Only if your healthcare provider orders an HIV test alongside the other ones will HIV show up. If an HIV test is to be included, you should have been told that the test will be included and you should be given the chance to say that you don't want this test to be run.

The test for HIV is a blood test, identifying the presence of HIV antibodies in your blood. The test may also detect the presence of p24 antigen, a sign of recent HIV infection.


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More on HIV Testing at TheBody.com

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In addition, our Q&A experts sometimes address questions about HIV testing in our "Ask the Experts" forums. Here are some of those questions and our experts' responses:

  • HIV report with normal blood test
    Does a normal blood test tell about the HIV status? I heard that after the blood test if the doc finds any fault in the sample he suggests us for going through the respective test.
  • Routine Blood Test at Physical Exam
    I had a blood screening two months ago and everything came back normal. The test included testing my WBC (White blood Cell) and RBC (Red Blood Cell) count. My question is can a routine blood test detect symptoms of HIV?


Elsewhere on the Web

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See Also
Quiz: Are You at Risk for HIV?
10 Common Fears About HIV Transmission
More on HIV Testing

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