The HIV-1 antibodies test is one of the most popular HIV screening tests in the United States. It produces rapid results and is one of the most affordable HIV tests available. This test looks for antibodies which are produced by the body in response to an HIV infection. HIV, or the Human Immunodeficiency Virus, attacks the immune system by destroying T-cells. In time, HIV may lead to the development of AIDS.
HIV is spread through exposure to infected blood and bodily fluids, primarily through sexual contact and the sharing of needles during intravenous drug use. HIV infections often show no symptoms. When symptoms do occur they are typically described as flu-like.
The Health Protection Agency (HPA) has reported that 1 in 4 people with HIV are not aware they are infected. Undiagnosed HIV cases threaten not only the person infected, but everyone they may potentially spread the virus to. Testing for HIV can assist in early diagnosis and treatment. With effective treatment, HIV patients have a much improved chance of living a normal lifespan.
HIV screening is recommended for anyone who is sexually active but especially those who engage in high risk behaviors such as sexual contact with multiple partners and intravenous drug use. Anyone who learns that a past or present partner has tested positive for HIV should receive an HIV test themselves. Prenatal testing for HIV is recommended for pregnant women due to the risk of passing the infection to their baby. Early detection is key to effective HIV treatment, so it advisable to be tested even if you are not experiencing symptoms.
The HIV-1 Abs is ideal as a routine screening for HIV as it is typically highly accurate at three months or more past exposure. This test can be ordered earlier, but patients may wish to retest at a later date to verify their test results. Those concerned about a recent exposure can also order the early detection HIV PCR by DNA test.
In the event of repeated positive results for this test, a confirmatory HIV Western Blot Test will be run at no additional charge.
Turnaround time for the HIV-1 Abs test is typically 1 business day.
Antibodies for HIV can appear as early as a few weeks after being infected with the HIV-1 virus. The bulk of the population would demonstrate HIV-1 antibodies after 3 months from a potential contact or exposure. In rare circumstances, it could take past 6 months to be detectible for HIV-1.
This rapid HIV testing does not have any special requirements.HIV Test Overview