Human Immunodeficiency Virus ( Hiv )

1473 WordsApr 27, 20166 Pages
Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is a virus that can lead to Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) (About HIV/AIDS, 2015.). This is an incurable virus that has come a long way in the means of treatment and diagnosis. Testing for HIV has advanced rapidly throughout the years as scientists do more and more research on the virus. HIV is hard to detect after initial infection because antibodies for this virus take time to build up in the body before they can be detected with a common serological test. Screening tests and diagnostic tests are used to detect the presence of HIV. They can also tell you at what stage the virus may be at in the body because the test determines the ratio of CD4-cells or T-cells in your body that are infected…show more content…
Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) or Nucleic Acid Amplification Testing (NAAT) is the most accurate way to detect the HIV virus in a patient. (Kapler, R. 2015.). There have been different generations of HIV tests that have come out. The 2nd Generation HIV test checks for only IgG antibodies. The 3rd Generation, which is now getting phased out that can test for IgG and IgM antibodies. The last test is the 4th Generation HIV test, which not only looks for both HIV-1 and HIV-2 antibodies, but also the p24 antigen or HIV RNA (Kapler, R 2015.). The 3rd Generation HIV test came out roughly in the end of the 1990’s to early 2000’s (Kapler, R. 2015.). This test still requires a follow up confirmatory test of either WB or IFA. Many of the tests that showed repeatedly reactive on the 3rd Generation test were coming back negative or indeterminate on the WB or IFA (Rothman, R., Saheed, M., Heish, Y. 2014.). These patients were getting diagnosed as negative and leaving the doctors but never returning to be retested. This is a big issue because of immune variability among patients. HIV antibodies can take up to two to 12 weeks to show up in the blood of individuals who have become infected (Rothman, R., Saheed, M., Heish, Y. 2014.). The weeks before a person actually seroconverts and has the antibodies in their system are when they are at most risk of passing HIV on to another individual. HIV RNA testing can actually detect HIV infection in the blood within 9 to 11 days post
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