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Rapid HIV Testing now available – results available in 20 minutes.
To perform this test the doctor or nurse will need to collect a small amount of blood. The rapid test is a screening test only. As it is not a confirmatory diagnostic test, a blood sample is always sent to the lab to confirm a positive or negative result.
The advantage of a Rapid HIV test or a serum/blood sample (which is part of a standard STI screen) is that your result is available in 20 minutes.
An HIV test relies upon the detection or absence of HIV Antibodies in the blood to give a reactive or non-reactive result.
The timeframe between when you are exposed to HIV to the time you test positive for HIV antibodies can be up to 3 months. This period of time is called a “window period” for HIV testing.
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 reactive 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 10 days.
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.