Friday, February 8, 2013

So How Exactly Does Aids Test Vary From General Bloodstream Chemistry Tests

Laboratories perform different kinds of tests

An HIV test involves testing for either the virus or antibodies against it. Testing for chemicals (like enzymes or electrolytes) in the blood and testing for HIV are different in several ways. The theory, or principle, behind the two tests is different. While one searches for evidence of the virus, the other looks for the chemicals themselves.


Immunoassays involve the use of antibodies to detect something. The antibodies are used as "sniffing dogs" that seek out a particle and alert you to its presence. Immunoassays that test for HIV and immunoassays that test for blood chemicals only differ in the specific antibodies used.

Enzymatic Reactions

Enzymatic reactions involve the use of enzymes to detect the presence of specific chemicals in blood. The enzymes react with chemicals and cause a change in color, which indicates the presence and concentration of the chemical. These tests are not useful for detecting HIV since the virus does not react with enzymes.

Turbidometric Tests

Turbidometric tests measure the turbidity of a sample to determine the concentration of the analyte in it. The more turbid the sample, the more of the analyte dissolved in it. This test works best to detect large molecules that make the sample turbid. As a result, it does not work to detect HIV.

Molecular Diagnostics

A molecular diagnostic blood test detects the genetic material of an infectious agent. So these tests are perfect to detect HIV in the blood. On the other hand, chemicals in the blood do not contain DNA or RNA, so molecular diagnostics are not useful for blood chemistry tests.

Home and Lab Tests

Several tests for HIV are available for home use. These tests are less accurate than those performed at a clinical laboratory. If you are worried about being infected with HIV, consult a health care provider for testing options.

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