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Evaluation of serological assays for the diagnosis of HIV infection in adults


Serological tests based on the enzyme immunoassay (EIA) are the primary tool for the diagnosis of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in adults and have rapidly evolved to quicker, affordable and more accurate test formats to detect early HIV infection. Second-and third-generation HIV rapid tests detect the immunoglobulin G (IgG) and immunoglobulin M (IgM) antibodies to the HIV and are used at the point of care and in HIV self-testing. The tests are affordable and accessible in state and private diagnostic laboratories. The present-day fourth- and fifth-generation EIAs can detect both p24 antigen and IgG and IgM HIV antibodies and thereby diagnose early HIV infection at approximately 2 weeks. The fourth-and fifth-generation EIAs also report sensitivity and specificity of more than 99%. The correct interpretation of HIV diagnosis of false-positive and false-negative EIA test results requires collaborative scrutiny of patient factors and laboratory test methodologies.

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eISSN: 2078-6204
print ISSN: 2078-6190