Q and A

Question

How accurate are finger-prick tests?

I had unprotected sex with an escort for no longer then 20 seconds then came to my senses and used a condom I have since been for a HIV antibody finger prick test 37 days after possible exposure which was negative and was wondering how accurate this test would be?

Answer

Thank you for your question.

Finger prick tests are more than 99% accurate but this would depend on the type of test you used and what it is testing for. The OraQuick test, for example, is an antibody only test.

Test accuracy is also related to the window period. This is the time between exposure and the time at which point the test would be expected to detect a reaction.

For antibody tests the window is usually quoted as being a minimum of six weeks after exposure. Because 5% of people may take up to three months to develop antibodies, most guidelines recommend a confirmatory test after three months.

A negative test result at 37 days is good news but UK guidelines would still recommend confirming this at 90 days.

For more information on HIV testing please follow this link


Information on this website is provided by treatment advocates and offered as a guide only. Decisions about your treatment should always be taken in consultation with your doctor.

2 comments

  1. I think it would be more helpful for you to have these discussion with an HIV organisation in Indonesia and contacting the excellent Spirita organsiation would be able to talk with the experience and advice you are looking for. http://spiritia.or.id/

  2. Hello,

    I am from Indonesia. I am really interested in the finger prick test and would like to know more. We have an anonymous, online VCT service which has been running for over 3 years now but often we cannot deliver our services as many of our members live outside the areas where we have a co-operation agreement with laboratories. The finger prick test seems to offer a solution, but I need to know more about the mechanism involved. Is it possible, for example, for the members to send back to us their blood samples so we can analyze them and then reveal the results to them after they have gone through our online post-test counseling session. We don’t want our members to find out on their own, as we have to make sure that those with a positive result understand the implications and go through the care, support and treatment protocol. Indonesia is a big country, it may need a couple of days for the samples to get back to us if they are taken in a distant location.

    I look forward to hearing from you soon.

    Regards,
    Alita

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