• Diagnosis of AIDS

    The doctor will ask about your symptoms, medical history, and risk factors, and do a physical exam. If you have risk factors for HIV or the doctor suspects you may be infected, a test can be ordered.
    HIV tests include:
    • Blood tests to detect different forms of the HIV virus, like HIV-1 and HIV-2 (less common in the US)—For the rapid tests, the results can be ready within a half hour.
    • Other antibody tests (eg, Western blot , indirect immunoflurescence assay, HIV-1 RNA assay)—These tests may be used to confirm a diagnosis.
    The antibodies that the body makes to fight the HIV virus can be detected in the blood within three months after the person is infected.


    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Quality Assurance Guidelines for Testing Using the OraQuick Rapid HIV-1 Antibody Test. Atlanta, GA: US Department of Health and Human Services; 2003.

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Sexually Transmitted Diseases Treatment Guidelines, 2010. MMWR. 2010;59(No. RR-12):1-110.

    HIV/AIDS. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/ . Updated September 2008. Accessed September 25, 2008.

    HIV/AIDS. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases website. Available at: http://www3.niaid.nih.gov/ . Accessed September 25, 2008.

    Noble J, Greene HL. Textbook of Primary Care Medicine . 3rd ed. St. Louis, MO: Mosby, Inc; 2000.

    Revision Information

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