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Hiv / Aids Basics

HOW HIV CAN BE DETECTED

You can not tell by looking at personís face whether he or she is infected with HIV. The infected person looks perfectly healthy and feel well for years. The infection can only be detected by doing a blood test i.e. ELISA HIV antibody test. If someone is found to be positive by ELISA and confirmed by second test (done on different blood sample and by different method) the person is said to be seropositive.

ELISA HIV antibody test

SPOT TEST:

This is simple rapid test for finding out the HIV status of a person in which the result can be given to the patient within half an hour. Rarely there are chances of a false positive report and hence a positive report should be confirmed by doing ELISA test.

WESTERN BLOT (WB) TEST:

Specialized and costly confirmatory test for HIV. Done only to confirm a positive ELISA or SPOT test report. Ever since the standard of ELISA and SPOT test has improved the role of this test seems to be very little in diagnosis of HIV infection.

CD4 AND VIRAL LOAD TESTING:

Very costly tests and done only in those affording patients who are willing to start anti-HIV (antiretroviral) drugs.

It is mandatory to do pre-test and post-test counselling of all the patients before and after the test respectively.

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