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Is HIV 2 testing for antigen or antibodies

Question: 

Hello,

I got an HIV 1 and 2 test that came back negative. I know that the test was ELISA but I don't know which generation or type. I was worried that the test might have been the antigen only one, meaning it could have given me a false negative at 80 days when I tested. But if the test looked for HIV 2 then it must have checked for antibodies, since there is no antigen test for HIV 2, correct?

Answer: 

Hello and thanks for reaching out to the AIDS Vancouver Helpline with your question.

You are concerned whether the tests results you got gave you a false negative. Please note the following:

  1. Most HIV tests these days test for both HIV1 and 2. If you received an ELISA test then both were tested.

  2. All tests are conclusive 3 months post exposure. Since you were tested at 80 days we encourage you to get tested after the 90 days period for you to have conclusive results.

  3. The Antigen tests are used within the first few weeks and the antibodies test are normally administered in 4-12 weeks window period. However all tests centres will provide the appropriate test depending on the individual's circumstances.

Thank you for contacting the AIDS Vancouver Helpline.

Lawrence

AIDS Vancouver Helpline/Online
Monday-Friday 9am-5pm (PST)
1 844 INFO-HIV (Toll free Canada & U.S.)
helpline@aidsvancouver.org
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