The HIV Test report includes one of three possible outcomes: reactive, negative, or indeterminate.
If you receive a reactive or indeterminate result from an HIV test, a member of our physician network will contact you to review your results and to go over your next steps.
What does a negative result mean?
A negative result means that there is no laboratory evidence of HIV infection. This means that you most likely do not have HIV.
If you have been recently exposed to HIV, it may be too early to tell if you are infected. The 4th generation HIV test used by DNA Access can usually detect an HIV infection within 18 to 45 days, or sometimes as early as two weeks. Repeat testing after the window period is recommended to rule out HIV infection.
Alternatively, if you have recently had a high-risk exposure or if you are currently experiencing symptoms of HIV infection, you may want to contact your primary health care provider to request a nucleic acid test for HIV. The nucleic acid test is very expensive and not normally used for HIV screening, but it can detect HIV in the blood within 10 to 33 days.
To protect yourself from future exposure to HIV, it is important to correctly use condoms, avoid alcohol and drugs before and during sex to reduce the likelihood of risky behavior, and never share needles and other injectable drug equipment.
If you are at continued risk of HIV exposure (e.g., a sexual partner who is HIV-positive), you may wish to contact your primary health care provider about pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) medication.
What does an indeterminate result mean?
An indeterminate result means that the test result does not clearly indicate negative or reactive. There are several possible reasons for an indeterminate result, including a recent HIV infection, prior or current infection with other viruses, an autoimmune disease (e.g. lupus or diabetes), or sample contamination. A repeat test using either the same test method or an alternative method is recommended to accurately determine your HIV status.
What does a reactive result mean?
A reactive test result means that it is highly likely that you are infected with HIV. This may be known as a “preliminary positive” result. Although this 4th generation HIV test is very accurate, additional confirmatory tests are still required to confirm an HIV diagnosis. A member of our physician network will discuss with you what the next steps are.
It is important to remember that nowadays, medications can effectively control HIV, allowing HIV-positive individuals to live long, healthy lives and prevent transmission to others. There are also extensive support networks available for both medical care and emotional support.