AIDS Serology, Newly Diagnosed

There are many tests to detect the antibody to HIV. HIV is the virus that causes AIDS. The U. S. Public Health Service requires that an enzyme immunoassay (EIA) and another confirming test such as a Western blot or an immunofluorescence assay be positive for a person to have evidence of an HIV infection.

ELISA is an EIA test. ELISA stands for enzyme linked immunosorbent assay. ELISA tests for antibodies to HIV in the blood. It does not detect viral antigens (pieces of the virus themselves). Because of this it cannot detect infection in the earliest stages when the body has not formed antibodies yet to fight off the infection. This period of time may vary from a couple weeks to 6 months. This time period is important because during this period of time a person with a negative test can still be HIV infected and give the disease to another person. Your signature on this document indicates that you understand this warning regarding the possibility of passing the infection to another person.

PREPARATION FOR TEST

No preparation or fasting is required. A blood sample is taken by a needle from a vein.

NORMAL FINDINGS

No evidence of HIV antigen or antibodies which means that at this time, your test does not show you have an HIV infection. Remember, it is possible to have an HIV infection and not test positive in the beginning of the infection so it is important to have the test repeated, and sometimes up to 6 months following exposure.

Ranges for normal findings may vary among different laboratories and hospitals. You should always check with your doctor after having lab work or other tests done to discuss the meaning of your test results and whether your values are considered within normal limits.

MEANING OF TEST

Your caregiver will go over the test results with you and discuss the importance and meaning of your results, as well as treatment options and the need for additional tests if necessary.

OBTAINING THE TEST RESULTS

It is your responsibility to obtain your test results. Ask the lab or department performing the test when and how you will get your results.