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4th Generation EIA vs. HIV Home-test



I took bought an online hiv test to take at home and it came back "reactive" 5 weeks after I slept with someone.

The online company told me to go to my nearest STI clinic to take anther test. The STI clinic gave me the 4th generation ag/ab test six weeks after exposure which came back negative. I was then told to come back 4 weeks later to retake the test, I done this and it came back negative again. The 2nd time I took the 4th generation test would make it 10 weeks after I slept with that person.

Would you say I am HIV negative and I should stop worrying? I still feel worried and I feel like i have symptoms but Im not sure if it's the stress of worrying that may be causing them.

Also would you be able to tell me what can cause a false positive result to happen? I spoke to the online company that I first took the test with and they said that false positives are always a risk when taking the test.

Many Thanks



Thank you for your inquiry. From what we gather from the question, you were asking about the conclusiveness of two negative 4th Generation EIA "DUO" Test result versus a positive HIV home test.

From your question you stated that a 4th Generation EIA "DUO" test was performed 6 weeks post-exposure as well as 10 weeks post-exposure. After 6 weeks, most HIV specialists would consider the 4th Generation EIA "DUO" test conclusive because the test can detect HIV infection in 99% of people after this amount of time (1). Although a false-positive outcome from a home test kit is rare, it has been cited in the literature (2). Home-based HIV testing may lead to a false-negative result, thus a lab-based test should be favoured when comparing the two (3).


1) http://www.catie.ca/en/fact-sheets/testing/hiv-testing-technologies

2) https://sti.bmj.com/content/81/4/359.1

3) http://www.catie.ca/en/pif/spring-2014/hiv-home-based-testing-potential-benefits-and-ongoing-concerns

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


AIDS Vancouver Helpline/Online, Marie