There are a few different types of blood tests that can be run to determine whether or not a person is infected with HIV:

  • HIV genetic material screening. This test is more likely to pick up the disease early.
  • Testing for HIV antibodies
    • ELISA (Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay)
    • Western blot

The EIA (ELISA) is the standard qualitative test used to assess HIV status. The enzyme immunoassay (EIA) test detects the presence of the antibodies that the immune system produces in response to an HIV infection. EIA is not always effective immediately following contact with the HIV virus because it takes time for the body to produce detectable levels of the HIV antibody. Please call one of our trained counselors or nurses for more information on the EIA "window period." The HIV testing window period is extremely important for accurate test results.

See more: HIV RNA Early Detection Test

Tests may need to be repeated later if risk is high and both results are negative as it can take months for antibodies to be high enough to measure.

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Who should undergo the HIV test?

It is recommended that people who engage in risky behaviors such as unprotected sex or needle-sharing and all pregnant women be tested for HIV infection.

HIV testing procedure

The HIV test procedure is a blood test. All the HIV tests require a small sample of blood to be drawn from the arm, which our lab will then use for analysis. This will provide our doctors with a positive or negative diagnose; if positive it will help determine what stage of the disease is present.

Our labs and doctors make the whole HIV test procedure as quick and pain free as possible. We know this can be a scary time for many people, so we offer assistance and counseling during every step of the HIV test process.

Mark Riegel, MD

Quick snapshot

Can it be cured?

No. Viruses don't have cures, but symptoms can be controlled with proper treatment.

Type of Infection

Viral. AIDS is caused by HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus).

How is it treated?

Antiviral Medication. HIV/AIDS is treated with a variety of antiviral medications: fusion inhibitors, protease inhibitors and RT inhibitors are the most common.

Recovery Time

AIDS / HIV is Incurable. HIV/AIDS is incurable; as such treatment is aimed at slowing progression and treating symptoms.

Can I have sex?

Yes. Partners should be informed of your condition and condoms/dams should be used consistently.

Can I get re-infected?

No. HIV is incurable; once you are infected, you will carry the disease with your for life.