Definition of HIV test
HIV test: A test for the human immunodeficiency virus, the cause of AIDS. HIV tests are designed to detect antibodies to the HIV virus or the HIV virus itself.
The antibody tests are:
The premiere test that can identifies the genetic material, the RNA, of the HIV virus is called PCR (the polymerase chain reaction). PCR can detect an early HIV infection before antibodies are evident and determine whether a baby born to an HIV-positive mother will have HIV. A test similar to PCR testing, called the branched DNA test, also detects the RNA of HIV.
Last Editorial Review: 6/14/2012
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