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The Rapid Antibody Tests for HIV are also known as point-of-care tests. They are used to test the presence of the human immunodeficiency virus in a person without having to wait up to two weeks for results that standard tests take. However, it is recommended that Rapid Antibody Tests be used in conjunction with standard, more accurate tests, as results from the rapid tests carry a potential margin of error, which has implications for higher risk groups.
The results of the rapid tests should also take into consideration medical history, risk factor and clinical status of the person being tested. Thus, rapid tests for HIV testing are best used as qualitative immunoassaying only. Several test options are available in the category of Rapid Tests for HIV, some of which have been outlined below:
1. Home Access Express HIV-1 Test:
This is an U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved test kit for home testing using finger pricked blood. It costs approximately $60 a test. The finger of the testing person is pricked with the needle and a few drops of blood are collected and sent to the laboratories for testing.
The kit comes with a detailed instruction manual which makes it easy to understand, and quick and convenient to use for accurate testing. The collected drops of blood are protected by a weather-resistant pouch which is placed in a self-addressed, pre-paid shipping envelope available inside the test kit.
The anonymity of the person testing is maintained and he or she is identified with an access code/number only--in other words, the person is not required to give his or her name or address. The results are delivered over the phone as is the counseling. However, throughout the testing process, professionally trained counselors are available to provide assistance. (Source: Home Access Health Corporation; Article Title: Express HIV-1 Test How it Works; URL: http://www.homeaccess.com/ExpressHIV_How_Works.asp)
2. OraQuick Advance Rapid HIV ½ Antibody Test:
This is an advancement by OraSure Technologies Inc. over its earlier HIV test kits that required a whole blood specimen, either from a fingerstick or a tube of blood.