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HIV rapid test (finger prick and test cassette)

Question: 

Hello,
Please help me lessen my overthinking and anxiety.
I had the said test yesterday, it turned out non reactive.
My questions are:
The person who performed the test did not used a pipette in collecting my blood, he just gently pinched my pricked finger and put certain amount of blood directly on to the test cassette sample well, would it interfere the accuracy of the result?

And it may sound irrelevant but, my bleeding pricked finger touched the sample well of the test cassette (recently opened from a sealed pouch) would I be at risk of infection from it?

Thanks.

Answer: 

Hello,

Thank you for your inquiry. From what we gather from the question, you were asking about accuracy of a rapid test and the risk from acquiring HIV from the test. From the information given, this scenario is determined to be No Risk (transmission of HIV is not possible in the given scenario).

HIV transmission occurs when bodily fluid containing HIV is exchanged to an individual who is HIV negative with direct access to their bloodstream through a high risk activity.

The blood going straight onto the sample well should not impact the result of the test. As the cassette was recently opened from a sealed pouch it is fair to state that the cassette is still sterilized especially if the pouch was opened in front of you.

The Rapid or "Point-of-Care" Test that you have taken has a window period of 4 weeks to 3 months (although up to 95% of infections are detectable within 4-6 weeks) (1). This means that HIV antibodies can be detected 4-6 weeks post exposure to risky activity that occurred (1). Therefore, it is important to make sure you have not had any risks within 4 weeks to the test or the antibodies may not be detected and another test in the future would need to be conducted to ensure accuracy. When the test is taken after the window period the test has an accuracy rate of 99.6 % (1). There was no risk in the test procedure you described, therefore leading to no risk of acquiring HIV by taking an HIV test.

Recommendation: No need for HIV test with the scenario provided, refer to a physician for other health related question.

Regards,

AIDS Vancouver Helpline/Online, Danielle