DO “RAPID” TESTS DETECTION OF HIV ARE SAFE?

Currently , you can find on the market several “fast” tests for HIV, even pudiéndolas purchase online. Considering significance of test is to be performed with this type of tests, we believe it is essential to know the safety of their results.

There are several rapid tests approved by the FDA, the regulatory body in the U.S. of all diagnostic methods and drugs, and representing quality standard worldwide reference (www.fda.gov). These authorized tests are based generally on the same basis that the ELISA technique (detection of antibodies against the virus) is based.

With this type of testing our body ‘s response to infection (antibody production) is detected, which, you need at least 3 months after possible infection occurred. This period is known as the “window period.” So, if the practice of risk took place less than three months ago, result of these tests is invalid.

Only technique that shortens window period of 7 DAYS, is PCR. This technique detects the presence of the virus , rather than the response of our body, and then a week after the contact of risk, it can detect the virus.

With respect to the “fast” tests if read carefully and in detail the prospects of all of them, either printed or on- line, you can always read: “It is imperative that a positive result is confirmed by a more sensitive as a method the Western Blot, ELISA or PCR, performed by a specialist. ” Also, this type of testing is never indicated for the detection of HIV in blood donations, always in these cases using PCR. So these are tests that provide “provisional”, which if positive, results should always be validated.

Furthermore, it is noted that all these tests must be performed by specialized and non-medical technicians. Importantly, the diagnostic tests are performed in specialized laboratories, not medical advice.

Risk in this type of evidence is existence of a large number of them sold out of control and they are NOT authorized. You may know the tests that are approved by FDA through a complete list provided by this agency.

So you have to take special care rapid tests for HIV, as it is very likely that their results are not backed by studies and quality standards required.

And … if you have doubts, come see us !!