Advances in HIV Diagnosis

Tests used for the diagnosis of HIV infection in a particular person needs a high degree of both sensitivity and specificity. In the United States, diagnosis is achieved using an algorithm combining two tests for HIV antibodies. If antibodies are detected by an initial test based on the ELISA method, then another test using the Western blot procedure determines the size of the antigens in the test kit binding to the antibodies. Improved methods of HIV testing could identify those who have recently acquired HIV infection and are at very critical stage of infectivity.