Information about different HIV testing technologies, including their accuracy in the context of recent infection. Antibody/antigen laboratory tests are extremely accurate, while point-of-care (rapid) tests, self-testing and self-sampling services are more convenient for many people.

Types of HIV tests: latest news

Types of HIV tests resources

  • Acute and primary HIV infection

    Early HIV infection may cause flu-like symptoms. Some tests are better able to detect HIV after a recent infection than others. HIV multiplies quickly during the early phase and weakens...

    From: Factsheets

    Information level Level 2
  • Testing

    HIV testing in the UK is free, voluntary and confidential. You can be tested at an NHS sexual health clinic, a GP surgery or a...

    From: The basics

    Information level Level 1
  • HIV testing

    HIV tests are available in lots of healthcare settings. Home HIV testing is also available.Laboratory tests are the most accurate but rapid tests can be...

    From: Factsheets

    Information level Level 2
  • HIV testing technologies

    This briefing paper, produced by NAM for HIV Prevention England, provides an overview of HIV diagnostic tests for people planning, commissioning or providing HIV prevention...

    From: HIV prevention briefing papers

  • Types of test

    A number of different testing techniques are available and will be used in different circumstances. As well as laboratory-based third and fourth generation tests, there...

    From: HIV transmission & testing

    Information level Level 4
  • Understanding test results

    Technical reports on the accuracy of different tests (described in a later section) analyse tests in terms of their ‘sensitivity’, ‘specificity’ and ability to detect...

    From: HIV transmission & testing

    Information level Level 4
  • What tests look for

    The most widely known tests detect HIV antibodies. However detection of p24 antigen is now an important part of HIV-testing strategies....

    From: HIV transmission & testing

    Information level Level 4
  • HIV testing

    Current approaches to HIV testing are to make it a normal rather than exceptional medical event, for it to be offered in a wide range...

    From: HIV transmission & testing

    Information level Level 4

Types of HIV tests features

Types of HIV tests in your own words

  • Seroconversion

    I was given my diagnosis over the telephone after spending four days in hospital with meningitis. I now realise it wasn’t meningitis, it was an...

    From: In your own words

Types of HIV tests news from aidsmap

More news

Types of HIV tests news selected from other sources

  • INSTI HIV Self Test Earns WHO Prequalification Status for Home Testing

    bioLytical Laboratories, a world leader in rapid infectious disease tests, is pleased to announce that its INSTI® HIV Self Test has been Prequalified by the World Health Organization (WHO). INSTI, the world’s fastest home test providing results in 1-minute, becomes the first and only blood-based HIV self-test to be WHO Prequalified.

    29 November 2018 | bioLytical Laboratories press release
  • Portable Device Provides Low-Cost Solution to HIV Detection

    Researchers from the Brigham and Women's Hospital have designed a portable diagnostic tool to detect and monitor the HIV virus. Using a cellphone and the power of nanotechnology, the device could help with the early detection of the virus in resource-limited environments.

    14 November 2018 | Interesting Engineering
  • Trying to prevent and diagnose HIV at the same time – a Catch-22?

    The doctors were puzzled by the fact that it wasn’t quite HIV. If it became HIV they could treat it. If it didn’t become HIV and went away they could discharge him. But this just being short of HIV all the time confused them.

    11 November 2018 | Daily Maverick
  • Focus on HIV-2 Infection: A Clinician Roundtable

    Infectious Disease Advisor interviewed the following experts to discuss the challenges and clinical implications pertaining to HIV-2.

    04 September 2018 | Infectious Disease Advisor
  • Catch device lets users in developing countries test themselves for HIV at home

    British product designer Hans Ramzan has created a pocket-sized device that enables people to test themselves for HIV from the comfort of their own home. The self-testing mechanism, called Catch, was designed to be low cost and easy to use in order to encourage people in developing countries with limited access to healthcare to check themselves at home.

    28 August 2018 | Dezeen
  • At AIDS 2018, a strong push for HIV self-testing. But is everyone on board?

    HIV self-testing received an additional boost at the 22nd International AIDS Conference held last week in Amsterdam. Unitaid, one of its champions, announced two new projects promoting self-testing to a wider population in sub-Saharan Africa.

    03 August 2018 | Devex
  • Rwanda to allow pharmacies sell oral HIV self-testing kits

    Selected pharmacies in the Rwandan capital Kigali are in line to begin selling over-the- counter oral HIV self-testing kits, Rwanda’s New Times Daily has reported. The report added that the price of the kit had also been slashed by half as a result of a government-private sector partnership. It said over 20 pharmacies in Kigali were receiving training on how to administer the kits.

    01 June 2018 | Africanews
  • Early HIV diagnosis in infants works in Africa, but the technology must spread to save lives

    For infants born with HIV, a rapid introduction to necessary treatment is often the lifeline between whether a child will live or die. The recent introduction of a life-saving, point-of-care diagnostic technology in sub-Saharan Africa could become a global solution to preventing infant deaths from HIV.

    23 February 2018 | Devex
  • Multi-disease testing offers new ways to streamline disease management, Unitaid report says

    Innovators are responding to the world’s growing co-infection crisis by developing devices that can quickly, accurately diagnose multiple diseases at a time. Unitaid’s new landscape report, launched today, profiles more than 95 such devices, already on the market or in development, all of which address at least one of Unitaid’s key disease areas—HIV, hepatitis C (HCV), tuberculosis (TB) and malaria.

    02 February 2018 | Unitaid
  • A More Sensitive Saliva-Based HIV Test Is in the Works

    Preliminary experiments suggest that the investigatory saliva test can identify HIV earlier in the course of infection compared with currently available spit-based assays. However, this experimental test will not likely identify new HIV infections as early as a blood test can.

    25 January 2018 | Poz
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Our information levels explained

  • Short and simple introductions to key HIV topics, sometimes illustrated with pictures.
  • Expands on the previous level, but also written in easy-to-understand plain language.
  • More detailed information, likely to include medical and scientific language.
  • Detailed, comprehensive information, using medical and specialised language.
Community Consensus Statement on Access to HIV Treatment and its Use for Prevention

Together, we can make it happen

We can end HIV soon if people have equal access to HIV drugs as treatment and as PrEP, and have free choice over whether to take them.

Launched today, the Community Consensus Statement is a basic set of principles aimed at making sure that happens.

The Community Consensus Statement is a joint initiative of AVAC, EATG, MSMGF, GNP+, HIV i-Base, the International HIV/AIDS Alliance, ITPC and NAM/aidsmap
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This content was checked for accuracy at the time it was written. It may have been superseded by more recent developments. NAM recommends checking whether this is the most current information when making decisions that may affect your health.

NAM’s information is intended to support, rather than replace, consultation with a healthcare professional. Talk to your doctor or another member of your healthcare team for advice tailored to your situation.