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Can rapid screening test for HIV be considered reliable?

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Infectious Diseases Specialist
Practicing since : 2002
Answered : 871 Questions
Hello Doctor, I had a protected sexual exposure with a female of unknown HIV status 24 march 2013, have several HIV tests, total of 7. All test results are NON-Reactive. Out of 7 tests, 4 were done by Lal Path labs. From date of exposure 4.5 months Rapid screening test using flow through immuno filtration HIV 1/2 antibodies, Non Reactive, After 6 months had 2 more tests, one Flow through immuno filtration and second is CMIA HIV 1/2 antibodies + P24 Antigen again NON REACTIVE Last one after 8 months , Flow through immuno Filtration HIV 1/2 antibodies, which again is Non Reactive. Now my stupid worries. Was searching the internet found some consumer court complaints against lal path labs , including fake test reports. Then yesterday saw on news that court fined 4lakhs to lal path labs for wrong hiv test carried on army officer. OMG, after seeing this the paranoid in me again started wondering what if all tests done through lal path labs were not real. Doc, is that my anxiety only or something else, do i really need to worry? In all these months i though lal path labs is reputed lab and one can trust them, but now its like confused and again scared.
Posted Sun, 16 Mar 2014 in Infections
Answered by Dr. Roopa Hiremath 2 hours later
Brief Answer: HIV testing Detailed Answer: Hi, Welcome to health care magic. I understand your concern that HIV results might be manipulated. Any lab as such would be very careful while reporting HIV results as many legal, moral and psychosocial issues are involved. I doubt that a reputed lab would go such manipulative levels. Negative publicity is always there about all labs on the net. If correct procedure was followed while collection and results given with correct interpretation, there is less likely chance of fake reporting. I suggest you quit worrying unnecessarily. Thanks.
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Follow-up: Can rapid screening test for HIV be considered reliable? 2 days later
Thank you Doc, Do you think my irrational fears are making me worry about this, since i had protected encounter and these test certainly prove there is nothing to worry about. Trusting the results is seems questionable, maybe i am confused. I need reassurance of some kind, really have no idea what to do.
Answered by Dr. Roopa Hiremath 31 hours later
Brief Answer: HIV testing Detailed Answer: Hi, Welcome back. I understand that doubts crop up when negative news about a particular lab crop up. But all the details regarding that particular case need to be analyzed before deciding on the authenticity of the lab. There are many accreditation organizations which are independent bodies which govern the different procedures and quality control in a private lab. You can always check for an authentication certificate of the lab which should be displayed and accordingly, all procedures are explained to the patient before doing any test. I suggest you do not worry unnecessarily about any fake reporting. Thanks.
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