Anonymous
Dear All,

I wonder if there are any international standards for HIV Test's Accuracy? For instance is a 4th generation test done in a developing/ third world country as accurate as the same test done in First World Country?
I had a 4th generation ELISA test at a local clinic in Malaysia 6 weeks post exposure. However doctor advised me to retest again in 6 MONTHS. I google search and most of the websites(mainly USA website) say that a 4th generation test is considered conclusive at 6 weeks, or some say 3 months. The doctor I consulted is not an STD expert thus I wonder is he just being too conservative (since he is not an expert in this field) or in fact a 4th generation Test in Malaysia is different and really not up to other countries' accuracy?

Sorry to trouble you guys and your answer will be much appreciated.
God bless you all.
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Anonymous
Hi there and thank you for using AID Vancouver Helpline as a source for HIV/AIDS related information.

All types of HIV tests are used internationally and has no boundaries between countries. That is, the 4th Generation EIA test in Malaysia is the same as the one in Canada, the USA, and many other countries.

At the beginning of the HIV pandemic, HIV tests were considered conclusive at 6 months. However, due to the facts that the technologies are improving and that the majority of people can produce a detectable level of HIV-specific antibodies within 4 weeks to 3 months, all HIV tests are now considered conclusive at 3 months in many countries.

Notice that the mentioned time period (3 months) is for all HIV tests to be considered conclusive. For the 4th Generation EIA test, it is considered conclusive at 6 weeks by many HIV specialists and WHO. I have attached a link from WHO for you to look further into. When you are on the website, you can look directly into the "Diagnosis" section, which states that, "if someone has had a recent possible HIV exposure, retesting should be done after 6 weeks to confirm test results, which enables sufficient time to pass for antibody production in infected individuals."

I hope I have addressed your concerns. Please feel free to write us back at anytime for further assistance.

All the best,
Tina
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