There are several different ways to test for HIV. The most common test for HIV is called an HIV antibody test. Antibodies are the body’s response to an infection. Antibodies normally begin to appear in your blood a few weeks after you become infected with HIV. The HIV antibody test detects the presence of antibodies to HIV in the blood or saliva. It is easier and cheaper to detect antibodies to HIV than it is to look for the virus itself. This test can be conducted at our laboratory with results in 4 – 6 hours (£95) or via an instant finger-prick test (£60).
If your exposure is recent, there are other ways to detect the HIV virus itself. The most accurate available is Multiplex Testing, which we are pleased to offer to our patients. The cost of testing for HIV and hepatitis is £265 and results are available in 7 days. Research suggests that multiplex testing is 98% accurate after just 10 days of infection. This makes this test unique in both its accuracy and the speed with which it can be used to check for these illnesses. Although you still need to do an HIV antibody test after a window period as a precaution, Multiplex testing is currently the most accurate early detector of HIV and hepatitis B and C available today.
Should I get tested for HIV?
When it comes to HIV it is much better to know. It is unlikely you will be HIV positive – the vast majority of people we have tested in the last 5 years have had a negative result. But it is important to be tested, not only for your peace of mind but if you are positive for HIV, you increase your chances of a healthy long life the sooner you are diagnosed and the sooner you can start treatment. You also then prevent infecting other people.
If you would like to test for HIV or just meet with our doctors to discuss your concerns, please contact us below