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Rapid Test Options for HIV

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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. The test is not meant for home testing but is used at clinical centers only (point-of-care usage).This test requires oral fluid and claims to give 99.8 percent accurate results after between 20 to 40 minutes of testing.

As per the National Center for Biotechnology Information’s (NCBI) resource Pubmed, the OraQuick Advance Rapid HIV ½ Antibody test “has been approved for use on oral mucosal transudate, whole blood or plasma. Clinical evaluation of the OraQuick ADVANCE Rapid HIV-1/2 antibody test has revealed high sensitivity and specificity." (Source: PubMed.gov; Article Title: OraQuick ADVANCE Rapid HIV-1/2 antibody test; Author(s): Reynolds SJ, Muwonga J. from National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, ICER Program Uganda, 2190 Kampala Place, Washington, DC 20521, USA. [email protected]; URL: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15347252)

The procedure of testing is safe, easy, fast, accurate and convenient. It involves three basic steps: 1--Swabbing once with the swab stick on the teeth and upper and lower gums. 2--Inserting the device into the buffer provided, and 3--Check the result after between 20-40 minutes. A line in the C Zone indicates a non-reactive result and a line between the C and T Zones indicates a Preliminary Positive result. The results can be followed by standard tests to be sure. (Source: OraSure Technologies Inc; Article Title: OraQuick Advance Rapid HIV ½ Antibody Test; Last Updated: 7th May, 2009; URL: http://www.orasure.com/products-infectious/products-infectious-oraquick.asp)

3. Uni-Gold Recombigen HIV-1 Test:
This rapid test is only FDA approved for testing the presence of HIV 1 virus in the serum, plasma and whole blood (from veins and through finger) of the person. It is not meant for home testing but is used at clinical centers only (point-of-care usage).

After wiping the finger area to be pricked for blood with an antiseptic wipe and sterile gauze, the finger skin is punctured by a tiny lancet near the finger pad and blood is collected in the fingerstick sample transfer pipette provided. From here the blood is transferred into the sample blood port. The required numbers of Wash Solution drops are put into the sample blood port and results are awaited.

It takes 10-12 minutes for the result to show. The test kit usage conditions and the manual provides guidance to the clinical staff who are also trained in its usage. (Source: Trinity Biotech; Article Title: Quick Reference Guide for Uni-Gold TM Recombigen® HIV; URL: http://www.unigoldhiv.com/unigold_quickref.pdf)

There are a few more options available in the rapid Antibody Tests for HIV evaluation that you may want to read up, such as:
• Clearview Complete HIV 1/2 and Clearview HIV 1/2 Stat-Pak
• Reveal G2 HIV-1 Antibody Test
• The INSTI HIV-1/HIV-2* Rapid Antibody Test
• iDiagnostics Rapid HIV Test
• Multispot HIV-1/HIV-2 Rapid Test


Reviewed June 22, 2011
Edited by Alison Stanton

Mamta Singh is a published author of the books Migraines for the Informed Woman (Publisher: Rupa & Co. URL: http://www.amazon.com/Migraines-Informed-Woman-Tips-Sufferer/dp/8129115174/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1298990756&sr=1-2), the upcoming Mentor Your Mind (Publisher: Sterling Publishers) and The Urban Woman’s Integrated Fitness Guide (Publisher: Hay House India). She is also a seasoned business, creative and academic writer. She is a certified fitness instructor, personal trainer & sports nutritionist through IFA, Florida USA. Mamta is an NCFE-certified Holistic Health Therapist SAC Dip U.K. She is the lead writer and holds Expert Author status in many well-received health, fitness and nutrition sites. She runs her own popular blogs on migraines in women and holistic health. Mamta holds a double Master's Degree in Commerce and Business. She is a registered practitioner with the UN recognised Art of Living Foundation. Please visit www.mamtasingh.com

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.



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