I think it is just natural for people to be concerned regarding those topics that have an influence on their health, like the different diseases and one of the most dangerous diseases of our days is HIV. Therefore, it is more than natural that people would like to find out about it as much as they possibly can, that also includes the available HIV testing methods.
In the majority of the cases, the most common screening test used in order to find the antibodies created to fight HIV is the EIA (also known as enzyme immunoassay). To perform this test there is need for blood that has been drawn from a vein. In case the result of the test is positive, there is a need for another test to be done, like a Western blot in order to be able to give an accurate diagnosis. Some other EIA tests use some other kinds of body fluids to conduct the tests and these include oral fluid tests.
In this case, oral fluid collected from the mouth with the help of a special collection device, but this fluid isn't saliva. This kind of test is an antibody test that is very alike to the standard blood test. Also, in this case there is a need for a follow-up Western blot test that is done based on the same oral fluid. Another kind of EIA test is the urine test. Just as the name suggests in this case instead of the blood, urine is used. The truth about this test is that it is less sensitive and less accurate than the blood and the oral fluid test. Since this is an EIA antibody test, there is need for a follow-up Western blot test to confirm the diagnosis in case of a positive result.
There are also the rapid tests that you should know about. These screening tests, just as the name suggests are able to give you a rapid result, in about 20 minutes. These tests use blood that has been drawn from a vein or from a finger stick but it is also possible to use oral fluid and it is meant to look for antibodies that the body produces against HIV. Just as in case of other kinds of tests, the rapid tests also need a follow-up test to be able to say for sure that the patient has been infected or not with HIV. The accuracy of these tests is just about the same as the traditional EIA tests.
There are also some home tests kits available, that officially are known as consumer-controlled test kits, and these have been licensed for the first time in 1997. There are several different kinds of HIV tests available on the internet, but at the moment there is only one that has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration, the Home Access HIV-1 Test System since the others cannot be verified. This system is available at the majority of the local drug stores.
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