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Underwent ELISA test for HIV 1 and 2. What does the value indicate?

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Hi Doctor, I am a 24 Year Male and underwent ELISA test for HIV 1 & 2 recently. The report showed the value as 0.32. There were three sets of values given in the same sheet saying that [ 1.0 - Reactive] Do these 3 values refer the standard values to check my result (0.32) against or does these values say that my blood was non-reactive for < 0.7, and was reactive for > 1.0??? Also, since my value says that its 0.32, do I have any future risk? Or Should the value read 0? What does that 0.32 indicate?
Posted Mon, 13 May 2013 in Sexual Problems
Answered by Dr. Jonas Sundarakumar 1 hour later
Hello and welcome to Healthcare Magic. Thanks for your query.

HIV-ELISA test results can be given in a qualitative form or a quantitative form. In the qualitative form, the result of the sample is given as positive or negative, and this cut-off value for a positive result is determined by the analyst. Some labs, however, give out results a quantitative form where the sample values are menioned directly in numbers (corresponding to the titre dilution) and the standard or cut-off values are given for comparison. Now, each lab may have variations in it's standard / reference values and that is why they are mentioned next to the sample value.

In order to make things clear to you, can you scan and upload the test report or can you type in the exact details of the test report as it is.

Wish you all the best.

Dr. Jonas Sundarakumar
Consultant Psychiatrist & Sexologist
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Underwent ELISA test for HIV 1 and 2. What does the value indicate? 10 hours later
Hi Doctor, I have attached my report. Please let me know if you have any difficulties in opening the attachment. Also, my test value shows that its 0.32 and its not exactly 0. So what does this 0.32 mean? That my blood contains 0.32 of what? Should I be worried? Kindly request your clarification.
Answered by Dr. Jonas Sundarakumar 3 hours later
Hello again,

Firstly, your test report is cleary NEGATIVE and you don't have to worry at all.

Secondly, for every test, there are cut-off values which decide what is normal and what is abnormal, or what is positive and what is negative. These cut-off values are standard, but there can be minor variations from lab to lab (due to the minor differences in caliberation of the equipment).

In your test, the cut-off value for a "positive" result is 1.0.

But like I had mentioned earlier, in order to account for the minor variations in the standard values, a result between 0.8 and 0.9 is considered "equivocal", which means "doubtful".

However, a result less than 0.7 is considered as "negative".

The value of 0.32 does not refer to the level of HIV antibody in your blood, but it refers to the "optical density" of the sample which is measured by the machine. So, here the cut-off for the optical density is 1.0 - which means that if the optical density of the sample is more than 1.0, then it means that there are HIV antibodies which are reacting to the antigen. Any substance will have some optical density, so the value of the test sample cannot be zero. What needs to be seen if it is above a cut-off value which will indicate "reactivity" or "positivity".

So, once again, be assured that your HIV ELISA test is surely NEGATIVE and the value of 0.32 does not mean that there is any future risk.

Dr. Jonas Sundarakumar
Consultant Psychiatrist & Sexologist
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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