What Is The Western Blot Test For HIV?

ID-10015423Latest medical advances have made testing for HIV an easy and simple process. To test for HIV, antibodies to the virus or genetic material of the virus itself are searched for.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Western blot test, a laboratory test that detects antibodies specific for components of the HIV virus, is chiefly used to confirm the presence of HIV antibodies in specimens found reactive using a screening test such as the EIA (Enzyme Immunosorbent Assay). The Western blot test searches for these antibodies and is usually used as a follow-up, confirmatory test for HIV. To take the test a small blood sample is needed.

HIV Antibody Test

There are several primary tests for HIV that are confirmed with a Western blot test. For instance, an HIV Antibody test screens the blood for antibodies to the virus. On average it takes a person 25 days to develop antibodies, but sometimes it can take up to 6-12 weeks. Upon a positive HIV Antibody test diagnosis, a Western blot is conducted to confirm the presence of HIV antibodies.

ELISA Test

Although ELISA (Enzyme-linked Immunosorbent Assay) tests are sensitive, they can produce false-positive results. They are designed to look for reactivity to the virus rather than for antibodies making them highly unreliable for early HIV diagnosis. Therefore a positive ELISA test is often confirmed with a Western blot to eliminate any false diagnosis.

HIV RNA Early Detection Test

The HIV RNA Test or HIV early detection test does not use antibodies to detect HIV. This test directly screens the blood for the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). As a result, this test can be taken as early as 9-11 days after exposure to the virus. With this test there are no possibilities of receiving a false-negative result because it searches for the virus itself. If you test positive, HIV is present in your blood. If you test negative, no HIV was found.

Unlike other HIV Early Detection tests that are DNA-based, this test is RNA-based and has been FDA-approved. The RNA-based HIV Early Detection test is currently the fastest, most reliable test available for HIV in the market.

It is important to note that if you are at risk for HIV, you are also at risk of contracting other STDs. Any STD, if left untreated can lead to serious health complications. Most STDs, including HIV, are asymptomatic, meaning that they do not show symptoms and the person infected is usually unaware of their STD status. The only way a person can know if they have an STD is by getting tested.

If you have recently been exposed to blood or have had unprotected intercourse, consider getting tested for most common STDs.

 

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Bio:

 

Toni Sims is a senior web content writer with STDcheck.com (http://www.stdcheck.com), an online STD testing service. At its core, STDcheck.com is a technology company that has broken the barriers of traditional healthcare. The firm is helping unite the intersection of healthcare and ecommerce, and by doing so, has been able to deliver higher quality of care to health consumers, as well as contributing to the new age of healthcare.

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