Anonymous
hello, i was tested for hiv 1 and 2 ab. I did some research on the clinic and apparently they use ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay). Im not sure which generation that is. I want to know how sensitive this test is? I tested after five weeks and five days ...i had unprotected vaginal sex (i am a male). all my tests were negative but they want me to come back in six months...could you please give me some insight?
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Anonymous
Hi there, thanks for contacting the AIDS Vancouver helpline with your HIV related questions and concerns. We're happy to help!

The ELISA test can either refer to the 3rd generation or 4th generation test, but if it was just testing for antibodies then it's likely referring to the 3rd generation tests! All of these tests are really great and accurate and effective!

This test is around 95% accurate within 4-6 weeks, meaning your results are unlikely to change after this point, which is great! However, in order for your results to be conclusive, a test at 3 months is necessary.

Here in Canada all HIV tests are considered conclusive at 3 months, except in 4 situations which are:

1) if you're on antiviral treatment for Hepatitis C

2) If you're on treatment for cancer (such as chemotherapy)

3) If you're on PEP for HIV

4) If you have an immunodeficiency disease (you would know, they are diagnosed in infancy).

In these 4 cases, testing up until 6 months may be necessary as a precautionary measure. If these do not apply to you, there is no reason to re-test at 6 months, only at 3 months! If you're in the states, often times doctors will lump the guidelines together, because it's not differentiated well in the American guidelines. When you tease it apart, however, it's clear that only certain circumstances (that I listed above) need testing up to 6 months.

I hope that helped!
Please visit our website or avert.org for more reliable HIV information!

Sincerely,

Christina

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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