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Laboratory Diagnosis of HIV Infection

Rapid HIV Antibody Tests: Clinical Applications

Slide 12

October 2009

Currently, the standard of practice in the United States with use of rapid HIV antibody tests involves using this assay for detecting HIV infection in source patients in the event of occupational exposure, such as needle stick injury or surgical knife accidental cut in the operating room, where we need to know if the source patient is HIV positive if the HIV-infection status is unknown, so that we could properly implement prophylaxis for the health care workers who are exposed.

The other major group where this rapid antibody test is very helpful is determining the HIV-serologic status of pregnant women who are actively in labor, but did not have prenatal HIV screening tests. Here in these individuals, who are infected but did not have adequate prenatal care, anti-HIV therapy can be implemented during labor to prevent transmission of HIV infection to the newborn during the birthing process.

Thirdly, high-risk individuals who present to the hospital emergency department with suggestion of infection, but with unknown HIV-serologic status, and here in these individuals, the association with HIV infection have important implications for management of the individuals.

Rapid HIV Antibody


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