Art and Science of Laboratory Medicine

Art and Science of Laboratory Medicine

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

CDC New HIV Testing Algorithm

In June 2014, CDC recommended a new approach for HIV testing in laboratories, which capitalizes on the latest technology to improve the diagnosis of acute infection. The recommendations feature a new testing algorithm that allows the diagnosis of acute HIV infection as much as 3-4 weeks earlier than the previous testing approach.

The new algorithm begins with a combination immunoassay that detects HIV-1 and HIV-2 antibodies and HIV-1 p24 antigen. This test is more sensitive in diagnosing early infection because it detects the HIV-1 p24 antigen, which appears before antibodies develop.

Specimens reactive on the screening fourth-generation assay are tested with a supplemental assay that differentiates HIV-1 and HIV-2 antibodies. Specimens that are reactive on the initial fourth-generation assay but nonreactive or indeterminate on the antibody differentiation assay are then tested for HIV-1 RNA to differentiate acute HIV infection from a false-positive screening result.

Read more:
New HIV Testing Algorithm

CDC Recommendations
Laboratory Testing for the Diagnosis of HIV Infection - Updated Recommendations

 Source: CDC

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