Laboratory Test for HIV Infection

It necessary to conduct a laboratory test for HIV.

Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) should done for the following reasons;

1. To diagnose and Monitor patients.

2. To screen Donated blood and blood products for the infection.

3. To acertain the prevalence of the infection in the community.

4. Screening of Pregnant women, ANC.

HIV can persist in a patients who have developed antibody to the Virus.

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Because of these reasons, Serological test should be adopted for HIV screening.

HIV Virus isolation from cell culture always prove difficult, and often not available.

ELISA or agglutination test are often used for screening patients and blood Donors. Other specific method such as Western blot should be used to Comfirm positive screening tests.

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Western Blot Assay

Western blot assays determine the presences of antibody to each of the several viral antigens including the core protein.

The presence of antibody in the serums only means that the patient has been infected with HIV, but that isn’t justify that the patient is suffering from Aids. HIV antibody positive individuals are infectious and are capable of transmitting the Virus to others. Those at risk include blood product recipients, sexual partners and fostues of Pregnant Women. HIV antigens has prognostic value and help in determining the stage of the disease. For example, antibody appears as HIV enters into a latent phase, and the antibody disappear as antigen reappears and viral replication begins.

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