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A 48-year-old member asked:

How reliable for hiv are elisa test and a western blot?

3 doctor answers7 doctors weighed in
Dr. LUIS IRIZARRY
A Verified Doctoranswered
A US doctor answeredLearn more
Very reliable : Elisa is to screen, western blot is to confirm.
Dr. Martin Raff
Infectious Disease 56 years experience
Very: But that assumes that sufficient time has elapsed from the time you were infected until you were tested. It may take up to several months before antibody testing becomes positive, but generally most will appear by 4-6 wks.
Dr. Martin Raff
Infectious Disease 56 years experience
HIV testing: Elisa assay is quite sensitive (will detect antibodies best) but the western blot is more specific and confirm the results of the elisa if it was positive, as being either truly positive or false-positive. There are several other circumstances in which conditions other than HIV will produce a positive elisa assay. If there are symptoms and too early for antibody test, then PCR for RNA is best.

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Similar questions

A 41-year-old member asked:

Is an HIV ELISA test always done with an western blot test?

1 doctor answer2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Joel Gallant
Infectious Disease 36 years experience
No: In general, the elisa is done first, and the lab then does a western blot if the elisa is positive. However, it is possible to order just the western blot, in which case the elisa usually isn't done.
CA
A 28-year-old male asked:

So there are no tests other than ELISA and western blot that would detect HIV if a person is sure of an encounter with an hiv+ person?

3 doctor answers3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Allison Greco
Dr. Allison Grecoanswered
General Practice 9 years experience
Repeat testing: It may take up to 6mos after an exposure to HIV for the ELISA & western blots to turn positive. If you were exposed to HIV & had negative tests, it is recommended that you get retested in 6 months. If positive, your doctor will perform more detailed studies, like viral load & CD4 counts. Not all exposures result in HIV infection, however you should use precautions to protect yourself & others.

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Last updated Apr 30, 2016

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