Posted by: | 2019/09/11

HIV Home Tests

An adult female recently received a mixture of positive and negative results for home HIV tests, including tests on saliva and blood. The subsequent 4th generation Quest Diagnostics HIV lab test produced a nonreactive result. However, after the Quest test, she received positive HIV home results on blood tests. Risk factors are prior sexual relationships with bisexual males, including one IV drug user. The last risky exposure occurred over one year ago. Is she HIV negative based on the Quest test? Is she HIV positive? What is the explanation for the mixed results? Thank you for your response!

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberDoc
- 2019/09/12

The Quest lab test will be more accurate than the home test results. Because the risky exposure was more than a year ago, the Quest lab test should be sufficient. If she wants to be sure she can go for another lab blood test, to confirm. The explanation for the mixed results is that the home self-tests are more sensitive and less specific. So they may have false-positive results, meaning that they might test some people positive even if they are not HIV positive. This is why I will recommend confirming the negative diagnosis with a blood test, in her case. Good luck. 

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