Rapid HIV PCR Test (Next Day Result)
Ever since HIV was first identified in the 1980s, testing of individuals who may be exposed to the virus was the only way to know whether one has been infected. There is no specific symptom that would be able to identify if an individual is infected or not.
Over the last 4 decades or so, improvements have been made to the tests (both to diagnose HIV and for monitoring of treatment) used to identify an infected individual. In particular, the ability of the PCR test to detect levels of the HIV virus in the blood has improved to the point of detecting 50 virus particles or less in 1ml of blood. In addition, the time taken for the test to generate the result has decreased from weeks to now within a day.
At DTAP clinics, we are proud to announce that we can provide to our patients the ability to detect the levels of HIV virus from the blood by the next working day.
Other Rapid STD Tests with Next Day Result in our clinics:
Who should undergo the Rapid HIV PCR Test?
- Individuals who have already been diagnosed with HIV and on treatment – MONITORING PURPOSE
- Individuals who may have a risky exposure in the 10-14 days – this is because even with the latest generation of HIV antigen/ antibody test, the window period performing such a test is at least 2-4 weeks after exposure. Therefore individuals who fall between the window period of 10-14 days will not be suitable to undergo the HIV antigen/ antibody test to determine if they may have been exposed to HIV.
In the event that the Rapid HIV PCR test detects HIV virus, a confirmatory test will need to be performed according to SIngapore’s MOH guidelines on HIV diagnosis.
Early HIV Detection is important
Studies have shown good evidence that the earlier we can diagnose HIV the earlier we can start an individual on the appropriate HIV treatment. This is important as the earlier we start an individual living with HIV on treatment, the faster the levels of the virus can be brought under control and to the point where it becomes undetectable by the test. This means that the individual would have better long-term outcomes in terms of quality and quantity of life as the immune system would be able to recover faster and also is less likely to be severely affected by the virus.
How Does Rapid HIV PCR Test work?
3 mls of blood is all that is needed. Your doctor will draw the blood and send the blood to the laboratory who will run the Rapid HIV PCR test. The test will be able to detect the presence of HIV virus even if there are as low as 50 copies of the virus RNA in 1 ml of blood. It can detect such low levels of virus because it is able to multiply the number of the virus RNA during the test thus increasing the sensitivity of the test to be able to detect low levels of the virus.
How Does Rapid HIV PCR test Differ/ Compare to Other HIV Tests?
Everything that needs to run the test is contained in a single cartridge and all that is needed is the blood from the patient. This means that there is less chance that contamination can occur. This also means that it is less likely that other patient’s blood will become mixed in as each cartridge is sealed and can only take one patient’s blood sample.
In addition, due to the improvement in the efficiency of the test to multiply the number of virus RNA, the time required to generate a result is shortened to 1 working day.
Do I need to prepare anything before doing the Rapid HIV PCR test?
There is no need to fast or do any preparation before the test.
Which clinics this test will be available at?
All DTAP clinics will be able to offer the test to patients.
At DTAP clinics, we are committed to providing good evidence-based medical advice and management to our patients. As such all our doctors participate in Singapore HIV Congress to continually update our medical knowledge on the latest development in the field of HIV and its treatment.