Diagnosis of AIDS
- Risk Factors
- Reducing Your Risk
- Talking to Your Doctor
- Living With AIDS
- Resource Guide
The doctor will ask about your symptoms, medical history, and risk factors, and perform a physical exam. If you have risk factors for AIDS or the doctor suspects you may be infected with HIV, he or she can order a blood test to confirm the diagnosis.
HIV tests include:
ELISA Test This test is used to detect HIV infection. If an ELISA test is positive, the Western blot test is usually performed to confirm the diagnosis. The ELISA test may be negative if you were infected with HIV recently. Many people with HIV (95%) will have a positive test within three months of the time they became infected. Most people with HIV (99%) will have a positive test within six months. If an ELISA test is negative, but you think you may have HIV, you should be tested again in 1-3 months.
Western Blot This test is very specific at identifying HIV. It is used to confirm a positive ELISA test result.
OraQuick Rapid HIV-1 Antibody Test This is a preliminary test using saliva that should be confirmed by an ELISA test.