What is HIV 1&2 - ELISA?
This test is done to confirm the HIV-1 and HIV-2 antibodies present in the blood. It also helps in differentiating HIV-1 and HIV-2 antibodies in specimens of serum which show reactive results with third and fourth-generation HIV serologic assays. This test is not a screening test to detect HIV infection.
Why is HIV 1 And 2 Antibody - ELISA done?
- To screen for and diagnose HIV infection
- If you are pregnant or planning to get pregnant
- If you are diagnosed with Hepatitis B, C, Tuberculosis, or any other sexually transmitted disease
- Annual screening is advised for those who are at high risk for HIV infection like having an HIV positive sex partner, multiple sexual partners, homosexual people, and sharing needles
- To differentiate HIV-1 and HIV-2 antibodies in specimens of serum that show reactive results with third and fourth generation HIV serologic assays
What does HIV 1 And 2 Antibody - ELISA Measure?
Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is caused by the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). HIV Virus is of two types: HIV-1 and HIV-2. HIV-1 is found in AIDS patients, AIDS-related complex patients, and those persons who are at high risk of getting affected by AIDS. HIV virus can be transmitted by sexual contact, exposure to blood or blood products of AIDS-infected patients, or transfer of infection from AIDS-infected mother to the fetus. Most of the cases of HIV-2 infected patients are seen in West Africa, and it is detected in patients who had sexual contact with people of that geographic region. These viruses have the same morphology, overall genomic structure, and ability to cause infection.
When the patient gets infected with the virus, the virus attacks the immune system called CD4 and combines with antibodies to use them for making a large number of copies inside the body of the patient by replication. During the first few weeks of infection, the amount of virus present and the level of p24 antigen in the blood becomes very high. After another 2-8 weeks, these increased levels start to fall as the body of the infected patient starts producing antibodies against the antigen of the virus. At this time, the HIV virus antibody can be detected in the patient’s blood via tests. The tests should be performed at this brief time because after some time both the levels of antigen and antibody in the blood falls. This will make the detection of virus infection difficult as the initial infection may have been resolved and you may not get a positive result against the infection.
The HIV antibody tests do not detect an HIV infection soon after exposure, before the development of antibodies. Most people produce detectable levels of antibodies 3 to 12 weeks after exposure. If someone is screened with an HIV antibody test too soon, the result may be negative despite the fact that the person is infected. For those who are at increased risk of HIV infection, it is important to get this screening test done frequently to check for possible exposure to the virus.
This test is done by the ELISA method which is also known as EIA for Enzyme Immunoassay. This test is done to analyze certain proteins which are produced by the body in response to HIV infection.
The blood sample is added to a cassette that contains the HIV antigen. If the patient’s blood contains HIV antibodies, they will bind with the antigen and there will be changes in the content of the cassette.