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Rapid HIV Testing now available – results available in 10 minutes.
To perform this test the Doctor or Nurse will need to collect a small amount of blood. This sample is collected by using a small lancet to prick the end of your finger. The blood is then collected in a pipette and used to perform the test.
The result will take approximately 10 minutes.
An HIV test relies upon the detection or absence of HIV Antibodies in the blood to give a positive or negative result.
The timeframe between when you are exposed to HIV to the time you test positive for HIV antibodies can be up to 3-6 months. This period of time is called a “window period” for HIV testing.
The reason the window period exists is due to the fact that individuals develop antibodies at different times.
On average, you may need to wait 2 to 8 weeks from the time of possible exposure to get an accurate test result, because it takes at least that long for the immune system to develop enough HIV antibodies to be detectable.
Approximately 90-95% of individuals develop antibodies within 4-5 weeks and by 12 weeks 99% of individuals will have developed antibodies.
As we encourage full sexual health screening when you attend our clinic, you will be advised to have a routine blood test to exclude other infections. This test screens for Hepatitis B & C and Syphilis. Should your Rapid test display a positive result, this sample of blood will also be used to confirm the initial diagnosis of the rapid test. It will be sent away to the National Virus Reference Laboratory and the results will take approximately one week.
Should the confirmation test also give a positive result you will need to be referred to a specialist in HIV medicine.
Rapid HIV testing is not appropriate for everyone – therefore we will take the time to discuss all the relevant information with you when you attend for consultation.