This is considered the "gold standard" test and is the most common screening for HIV. This test is 99.5% accurate in finding antibodies after seroconversion. You should be aware that antibody testing will NOT find HIV in the blood immediately after you have been exposed to the virus.
When is a good time to test? Everyone's different. It can take some people up to 3 months to produce enough antibodies for the test to find. Sometimes it's sooner, sometimes later. If you're tested too soon, your result may be negative even though you've been infected. This is called a "false-negative". That's why repeat testing is critical. Getting another HIV antibody test in 3 months after the first test will give you the best, most accurate result. (So you can get some rest!)
What does "Reflex to Western Blot Confirmation" mean? Reflex testing is an automatic confirmation of the test results. That means that all positive tests are automatically followed up with another test to confirm the positive results. It's done with the same blood sample so there's no extra blood draw and no extra cost to you. You may read about something called an ELISA test. Antibody tests are also known as ELISA (Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay) tests.
This DNA test uses a sophisticated diagnostic technology called PCR to detect HIV DNA in blood cells. As it can pick up HIV as early as 48-72 hours past exposure with an 95% accuracy rate, this is an Early Detection test.
Also included with this test is the HIV-1 antibody screening test which can confirm antibodies, if they are present.
While a negative result with this test panel is very good news, all positive test results should be followed up with another antibody test after 90 days for confirmation of the diagnosis.
The HIV DNA test detects an HIV infection more accurately and more quickly after a possible exposure than the HIV Antibody test. The HIV DNA test can detect the virus as early as 6 days after possible exposure, however our physicians recommend waiting a full 21 days after possible exposure. Because no test is perfect, we also include an HIV Antibody test to give you an extra measure of confidence that your reported HIV status is accurate.
The HIV DNA test is one of the most technically advanced HIV tests available. It uses a sophisticated diagnostic technology called PCR to detect the DNA strands of the HIV virus in your blood cells.
The HIV DNA test differs from the HIV Antibody test in that the antibody test detects the HIV virus by measuring the body's production of antibodies used to fight off the virus. Because different people produce these antibodies at different speeds, the HIV Antibody test is recommended for use 3 months after possible exposure. Because the HIV DNA test detects the actual presence of the virus, and not just the body's production of antibodies to fight off the virus, it is accurate as early as 6 days after a possible exposure, however our physicians recommend waiting 21 days after possible exposure prior to taking this test.
Special equipment is used to process this test, so in some cases the test can take up to 5-7 days to release your results. If you are ordering this test in addition to other STD tests, all tests will be released at the same time. We do this so you and your assigned physician have a complete view of your sexual health.