The biochemical technique, ELISA (enzyme linked immunoaabsorbant assay) is one of the major tests used to detect HIV. This test is also termed as enzyme immunoassay and uses antibodies for the detection of a specific antigen. Additionally, it can be conducted in reverse and uses antigen to detect the antibody. Another use of ELISA is in pregnancy test wherein the amount of HCG is detected in urine sample.
Though there are a variety of different tests conducted to determine HIV and the time taken to produce the results vary. Some take a few minutes and can be done on an individual basis while others require sterile clinic environs to get the right results.
Viral coding tests and ELISA test gives the person a chance to get the test completed by giving sample of urine or saliva in place of blood sample. As this is non-invasive diagnostic test, given the situation of testing for HIV, no needles are needed. It works for those that have a phobia of needles. Additionally, as HIV spreads through used needles, many doctors recommend saliva or urine samples for testing.
The procedure for ELISA HIV test starts with a sample of blood or any other type and then diluted. It is then placed on a microwell plate that has been coated with a layer of antibody. After a short period of incubation and then rinsed with the results that the antigen within the sample adheres to the antibody that was present on the plate. Another antibody is added to the surface of the plate which will detect the original antibody and left to incubate. The second antibody has been attached to an enzyme and this enzyme changes the color of the substance so that it is easily detected by spectrophotometer.
If you are wondering how long does an ELISA HIV test take, it can only be said that the time taken to get the results of ELISA tests differ. It can take a few hours to even a few days depending upon the specific clinic or hospital it has been done and if the sample has been sent to another location to be tested. There are numerous other tests for detecting HIV that can give result within 30 minutes to a few hours but as there is an incubation time in ELISA, it usually takes a week to produce results.
If an individual is looking for quick results for HIV tests, ELISA and Western Blot are not the right tests. But if accurate testing is the need of the day, there are not many tests as accurate as ELISA when it comes to diagnosing and testing for HIV anywhere in the world. However, the tests need to be done as per the requirements without contamination of samples for the best results.