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.