rapid test curiosity, new one for you

Question

Hi Doc, this may be a new one for you. I recently had a rapid HIV test done, the results were negative. After the test was done, I took the actual cassette that they used home with me.(I know, dumb but I was curious) I took it apart and handled the membrane inside. My friend who is a doctor told me I should never have touched that because they use animal protein on it, and it could have HIV on it. Plus I touched it with my freshly pricked finger, and I had a raw cuticle. Is there any way you can get HIV from improperly handling this membrane? Is my friend crazy? or am I for listening to him? please help? do I need to test again??

Answer

Hi,

Test kits, rapid or otherwise, do not contain live HIV. Your risk is nonexistent and there is absolutely no reason to retest.

Dr. Bob