Which tests are used in the initial diagnosis of HIV infection?

Updated: Mar 05, 2020
  • Author: Delia M Rivera, MD; Chief Editor: Russell W Steele, MD  more...
  • Print

Detection of antibody to HIV is the usual first step in diagnosing HIV infection. In adults and older children, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and Western blotting are used to initially detect HIV-specific antibodies. However, because maternal antibodies are present in neonatal blood, these tests are not used for diagnosis in patients younger than 2 years. A nucleic acid PCR assay is the standard detection method in infants and young children.

Did this answer your question?
Additional feedback? (Optional)
Thank you for your feedback!