Rapid Aids Testing

The normal HIV test, ELISA, can be a very time-consuming process of 1 to 2 weeks. The worst part about this process is waiting for the final reports to arrive. Rapid AIDS Testing is a fast and effective method that tests HIV within a reasonably short span of 5 to 30 minutes.

One Rapid AIDS Testing technique, named OraQuick, was invented in the year 2003, by OraSure Technologies Inc, and was approved by Food and Drug Administration. It has an accuracy of 99.6%. The other one, (also approved by FDA) is called Uni-Gold. Both are screening test for detecting the HIV1 and HIV2 antibodies. Itís is a very simple method, involving testing one drop of blood from the finger stick. It can be carried out in both clinical and non clinical settings.

Both Oraquick and UniGold are CLIA (Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendment) waived, which enables the testing outside laboratory settings, by an untrained person too. A sample of bodily fluid like blood, or saliva is tested to locate HIV antibodies.

OraQuick is a spoon-shaped test device with nitrocellulose strips and Synthetic GP41 peptides. The blood is taken in the developer vial, while the saliva can in placed on the spoon-shaped device, and then transferred on the developer vial. If the person is HIV positive with the presence of HIV antibodies, then they react with the peptides, to create a red line on the test device. This process takes just 20 minutes.

UniGold is a rectangular shaped plastic device with a test cartridge and a dropper containing buffer solution. This also contains Peptides and Nitrocellulose strips in the test region. One drop of specimen, like blood, or saliva is placed on the test cartridge. Then four drops of the buffer solution are added to the specimen. Two lines, one on the test and the other on the control region, of the instrument, indicate the presence of HIV antibodies. While, just one line on the control region, indicates HIV negative. In that case, the person does not require any further testing for confirmation.

OraSure is another method of Rapid AIDS Testing. But this method does not assure a rapid result if the patient is a new victim to HIV. Moreover, this cannot be conducted outside a clinical/ laboratory setup, as the method demands some time for the final laboratory testing

Rapid AIDS Testing is a very cost-effective method, to enable more patients to administer the test. Many times, the patients refuse to get a test done in a clinic, as that might lead to loss of privacy and social stigma. This method will help a person to carry out the test within a private setting. If he is diagnosed HIV positive, he can always go for further antiretroviral treatments.

It has been found, that ever since Rapid AIDS Testing was introduced in 2004, people were more inclined towards this method of diagnosing HIV than any other traditional method. 90% of the people (1038/1148) interviewed, in 24 clinics in New York, preferred Rapid AIDS Testing.

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