HIV is one of biggest problems that we face today. As of it, HIV still does not have any cure, which makes it a very difficult situation for us to handle. As we see all around us, the world is filled with undetected cases of HIV infections. This is a potential danger. People most often, unknowingly infect others, who in turn pass the virus to someone else. This way, the cycle continues.
Along with the rising number of HIV cases in recent times, the need for HIV testing has raised manifolds. With a large number of deaths occurring due to HIV/AIDS, concrete steps became the need of the hour.
A number of steps were taken in this regard. For example a number of free HIV testing centers were set up in many places. This was an important step in this direction. However a lot was still needed as most people are scared to go to a clinic for HIV tests. This further worsened the condition.
There are a number of tests which are conducted to check whether a person is HIV positive or not. The most common amongst these tests is the blood test. In a blood test, detection of a number of substances in the blood are detected, such as HIV antibodies, as well as HIV proteins; which shows whether a person is infected with HIV or not and if yes, then to what extent. It may be interesting to note that, blood tests can be classified under a number of categories.
As it is, the following are some of the blood tests, which are most commonly used:
1. ElisaThis is the most common type of test, which is conducted and as it is, this is the first test to be conducted on the blood of the patient. This test is done to detect the presence of antibodies in the blood.
2. Western BlotIn case if the results from Elisa are negative, then the testing procedure stops. However, if results show presence of HIV antibodies, then the blood samples are send for a Western Blot test, for reconfirmation. In a Western Blot test, detection of the presence of HIV protein is carried out.
3. HIV PCRThis is another test which is carried out to reconfirm the results of the above two tests. These tests are conducted to detect the presence of contaminated DNA and RNA in the blood. The presence of theses corrupted DNA and RNA indicates the presence of HIV.
Blood testing is by far one of the moist reliable sources of HIV testing. It is one of the most common tests and is highly specific.