I heard DUO test or HIV RNA by PCR can be done after 6 weeks or so from the day started. I cant really wait for 3 months since I cannot stop worry about this. Are these tests available in Canada?
Hi there & thanks for your question,
The standard form of HIV testing is a 3rd Generation (blood test). You can take one of these tests as soon as 4 weeks post possible exposure. 95% of infections are detectable in 4-6 weeks so your results after 4-6 weeks are a very good indicator of your status. A follow-up test at 12 weeks (or 3 months) for completely conclusive results but your earlier test results should help you address your worry and give you a very good indication of your status.
As for the DUO (or 4th Generation Test), it is true that many medical professionals agree that this test is conclusive after 6 weeks. This test is available in some parts of Ontario, some maratime provinces and in Victoria, BC but may not be widely available elsewhere.
Here in Vancouver, there is funding available for men to access an "early test" or Pooled RNA HIV NAAT test. These tests are 90% accurate after 10-12 days, 95-98% accurate at 6 weeks and over 99% accurate at 12 weeks. We are not aware of where else in the country these tests may be available, they are not typically used for screening for HIV infection as the 3rd Generation ELISA tests (currently used) are much more accurate and reliable.
Please let us know if you have any other questions or concerns & I apologize for the delay in responding to you.
All the best,
AIDS Vancouver Helpline
604-696-4666, Monday-Friday 9am-4pm