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Interesting news from my GUM Clinic

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No, not my results, I am sure you've all got better things to think about than that :cool:.

Whilst I was there for my regular check-up yesterday, the nurse mentioned that they use a new HIV test that shows the result as early as a month after potential infection. I am sure most of you know that the old tests could only show results three months afterwards. Science marches ever onwards eh ?

At least if anyone has a "condom accident" (that's what the GUM nurse called it :D), then the wait for an all-clear is much shorter than it used to be.

I have no idea if this service is offered by all GUM clinics though. Mine is a straightforward NHS one, so I assume they either do already or will soon.

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There are already Private clinics who supposedly offer a HIV test that can pick up the virus within 24 hours. I've asked at my NHS (no private provision for miles here!) GUM clinic about this. They say the shorter than 3 months tests are not as accurate - however it sounds as if this is a new development but I would like to see some figures first of all and I wouldn't be surprised if they advise a 3 monthly one as well.

Thanks for the info NW.

:cool:

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Many experts believe the modern tests we have will pick up the vast majority of infections after 6 weeks anyway, the 3 months rule is just to make sure any outliers are accounted for.

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Many experts believe the modern tests we have will pick up the vast majority of infections after 6 weeks anyway, the 3 months rule is just to make sure any outliers are accounted for.

Yep, I can see that, but the reason for my post is that the GUM nurse went out of her way to point out that the three month rule no longer applied to the test she was recommending/using. I have no idea what the scientific and medical names for the new test are, but for an NHS Clinic to start trusting test results one month after exposure instead of three is a major change of policy - at least at my GUM clinic. At all of my previous visits, they have been at pains to point out the three month rule.

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I'm sure a certain expert in this area will be along soon but I was under the impression the HIV test detects antibodies to the virus (not the virus itself), and as such such antibodies SOMETIMES don't show up for best part of 3 months. Hence the rule - all other infections are detected much more rapidly.

So sounds like either the test has changed or been improved, or that they have found that antibodies can be found after only 1 month.

Interesting.

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No, not my results, I am sure you've all got better things to think about than that :cool:.

Whilst I was there for my regular check-up yesterday, the nurse mentioned that they use a new HIV test that shows the result as early as a month after potential infection. I am sure most of you know that the old tests could only show results three months afterwards. Science marches ever onwards eh ?

At least if anyone has a "condom accident" (that's what the GUM nurse called it :D), then the wait for an all-clear is much shorter than it used to be.

I have no idea if this service is offered by all GUM clinics though. Mine is a straightforward NHS one, so I assume they either do already or will soon.

yeah that's been around for ages if you were willing to pay for it - it's called the HIV duo test. Some clinics may do it now for free but it's not as accurate as waiting 3 months and not recommended for high risk groups i.e they still say wait 3 months.

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No, not my results, I am sure you've all got better things to think about than that :D.

Whilst I was there for my regular check-up yesterday, the nurse mentioned that they use a new HIV test that shows the result as early as a month after potential infection. I am sure most of you know that the old tests could only show results three months afterwards. Science marches ever onwards eh ?

At least if anyone has a "condom accident" (that's what the GUM nurse called it :)), then the wait for an all-clear is much shorter than it used to be.

I have no idea if this service is offered by all GUM clinics though. Mine is a straightforward NHS one, so I assume they either do already or will soon.

i had a check 18 months ago the nurse told me they can tell 99% first time if you get it and you need to go back just to make sure

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As someone with a specialist interest in HIV, I thought I ought to just clarify the situation for anyone interested ... but I am just echoing what's been said previously and is available on websites.

UK guidelines (2008) recommend use of "4th generation assays" for initial investigation: this tests for both antibody and p24 antigen. This has very good sensitivity and specificity by 1 month after infection. This is the DUO test.

Positive results still need confirmation with separate assays.

In the US, a company called Abbott has sought FDA approval for use of their 4th generation assay earlier this year.

...Technically testing for the HIV RNA could pick up infection as early as 9 days after infection. Commercial kits are available. But such tests are expensive and have other technical issues. As such, as a first line investigation, they are recommended only for blood transfusion screening and testing infants etc.

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Thanks Zed, an informative and useful input :(.

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No, not my results, I am sure you've all got better things to think about than that ;).

Whilst I was there for my regular check-up yesterday, the nurse mentioned that they use a new HIV test that shows the result as early as a month after potential infection. I am sure most of you know that the old tests could only show results three months afterwards. Science marches ever onwards eh ?

At least if anyone has a "condom accident" (that's what the GUM nurse called it :)), then the wait for an all-clear is much shorter than it used to be.

I have no idea if this service is offered by all GUM clinics though. Mine is a straightforward NHS one, so I assume they either do already or will soon.

Just saw on the BBC Local News that in Harrow there is a pilot scheme offering a 60 second HIV test and result service.:)

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Is that 60 seconds after exposure?

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Is that 60 seconds after exposure?

It just said people could walk-in off the street and have a test done with results in 60 seconds telling them whether they are HIV positive or not.;)

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As someone with a specialist interest in HIV, I thought I ought to just clarify the situation for anyone interested ... but I am just echoing what's been said previously and is available on websites.

UK guidelines (2008) recommend use of "4th generation assays" for initial investigation: this tests for both antibody and p24 antigen. This has very good sensitivity and specificity by 1 month after infection. This is the DUO test.

Positive results still need confirmation with separate assays.

In the US, a company called Abbott has sought FDA approval for use of their 4th generation assay earlier this year.

...Technically testing for the HIV RNA could pick up infection as early as 9 days after infection. Commercial kits are available. But such tests are expensive and have other technical issues. As such, as a first line investigation, they are recommended only for blood transfusion screening and testing infants etc.

Absolutely...... & just to expand:

p24 antigen is a protein component of the virus and RNA is the virus's genetic material..... The amounts of these in the blood increase after infection and should reach detectable levels in 10-28 days.

RNA and the protein 'antigen'can be detected earlier than the antibody, which the body makes in response to the infection. Antibody becomes detectable 2-3 months after infection

Testing guidelines are on http://www.bashh.org/guidelines, first link under the subhead 'HIV'. These note the 4th generation DUO test (i.e. seeking both antigen & antibody as already recommended for use in the UK. FDA registration would only be an issue in the USA, not the EU/UK.

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In year 12 at school in Nottingham there is a research project for the kids to have chlamidya {?} tests, then have them marked thus :-

Max 10/10 if it matches the diagram on the back of the bike shed & a point deducted for every fib . . .

Ain't DNA profiling & a sense of humour in the path labs a wonderful thing.

Cheers, BB xxx

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