July 29th, 2011 | Published in HIV Testing
Knowing Your HIV Testing Options
The HIV DNA PCR test is a specific type of early detection HIV test. This test provides results approximately 10 days after a potential exposure. However, certain barriers prevent this test from being as widely used as other methods.
Unlike conventional antibody tests, the HIV DNA PCR test detects the DNA of the virus using polymerase chain reaction technology. If the test is positive, it must be confirmed by the ELISA antibody HIV test for a full diagnosis.
The HIV DNA PCR test is less commonly used as a diagnostic HIV test. Compared to the preferred ELISA antibody test, it is more expensive and complicated to administer. However, antibody tests fall short in screening newborn infants who were born to HIV-positive mothers since newborns retain their mother’s antibodies for a while after birth. The HIV DNA PCR test can accurately diagnosis an infant allowing treatment to take place if necessary.