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Video of Alere Determine HIV test – Positive Test

Most people whom I test for HIV are fortunately negative.

However, I get frequently asked what a positive test looks like.

This is the reason I uploaded this video. It shows the Alere Determine HIV test in action detecting the presence of HIV antibodies in blood.

From the timeline, it also illustrates how fast the Determine test is. Although we always wait for the official 20 minutes for the test to complete, from this video you can see that by 1 minute into the test, we can easily tell if a person is positive for HIV.

  •  9 seconds – blood applied
  • 24 seconds – chase buffer applied
  • 58 seconds – faint line appearing in patient window
  • 1 minute 30 seconds – line is obvious and unmistakable
  • 4 minutes – faint line appearing in control window
  • 5 minutes – both lines are obvious and unmistakable

Click on the link below to watch the video:

If your test looks like this, please see Our Doctors as soon as you can.

Remember, this is a screening test and can have false negative results.

You need another test to confirm if you are really infected with HIV or not.


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About Dr. Tan
Dr. Tan graduated from the National University of Singapore in 2001. His residency was in the two largest public hospitals in Singapore; Tan Tock Seng Hospital and Singapore General Hospital.

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  1. Hi doctor, I went to a local clinic in SG that offers the rapid duo test. After 20 minutes doctor called me in and said my results is negative but I realised there were no control lines. He then said oh sorry forgot to add chase buffer, then he proceed to add and called me again after 5 minutes and said it’s ok. I left feeling uneasy and called him and he reassured me he left the test after some time and no additional lines appeared except the control. Can I trust this?

    • While I believe the result would still be valid and trust that it would be read properly by the doctor, if you are still having concerns you may visit us for a consultation and repeat testing if needed.

  2. Hii dr. i need a urgent help please help me my right side lower parts are paining means when i touch it pains, not too much but a medium pain, i think it might be apendix i was gonna be going to a hospital for ultrasound but in my state we have our main festival yesterday and today so no dr. is available today ,
    My question is can i drink beer today as its our festival?
    Or will it brust my appendix please help

    • Dr. Julian Ng


      Please see a doctor about your symptoms especially if it is becoming worse.

  3. I’m a medical laboratory scientist. I tested positive for HIV with alere determine strip 3 consecutive times in 3 weeks. But each time, the first response and Oraquick results were positive, please what does this mean? I was suffering from acute malaria when I did the first tests.

    • Dr. Julian Ng


      You will need to do confirmatory HIV test given that the HIV rapid tests you did is positive. Please visit a doctor for further evaluation. If you like, you may visit us at: http://www.drtanandpartners.com/where-to-find-us/

    • I’m a medical laboratory scientist. I tested positive for HIV with alere determine strip 3 consecutive times in 3 weeks. But each time, the first response and Oraquick results were all negative, please what does this mean? I was suffering from acute malaria when I did the first tests.

      • Dr. Julian Ng


        Because you were tested positive for HIV rapid test, you will need to undergo confirmatory testing in order to determine if these were false positive results or whether if you are truly infected with HIV. Please visit your doctor for further evaluation.

  4. Can someone who tested postive for throat swap but no Pathogens cause false Alere determine hiv test ? I mean the HIV test is Negative but the doctor said they are lines on the bottom and top of the strip.

    • I cannot interpret what your doctor meant by that. It is pretty straightforward to read the test results. If you are concerned, please visit us for a proper consult and evaluation.

  5. Hi Doctor,

    If a person did two times HIV test personally with the kit( Unigold), and both show result-positive (HIV1). Is it likely the person already 100% confirmed infected.

    • Dr. Julian Ng


      All positive results from rapid test kits will need to be confirmed with laboratory testing. Please visit your doctor for further evaluation.

  6. I fallen sick after 4 weeks of uniprotected sex; fever 2 days, muscular pain and body pain, night sweeting pharingitis..maculo papula eruption on the neck headache dry cough..i did a rapid test hiv without buffer my self at 5 weeks my hiv test was negative..because i was feeling bad i was prescribed anti malaria on a test malaria negative.. then i repeat the test without around 6 week it was positive i was very scared and repeat an other one at 6 week and half without buffer again it become negative and i did an other one at the same time negative also..can you please doctor give me advice. Thanks

    • I do not understand – the test cannot be run without buffer solution (the blood will not travel down the test strip). Please see a doctor for proper assessment.

  7. hello,thank you for your great work. pls is it possible to test for HIV with only serum and no chase buffer on rapid test? if possible, then what is the possible percentage of accuracy of the test result?

    thanks for your informed opinion.

  8. I had protected sex with a guy I don’t his status but we used a condom on October 6 2017….on October 21 my boyfriend and I did not use a condom. I went got tested on November 30 which was 55 days from the guy with the condom and 40 days with my bf….they used a 4th generation combo I had to wait over the weekend for my results when I got it back Tuesday they was non reactive for everything (I got tested for all diseases) except Herpes which I’ve been having since 2009 the only thing I was told was my thyroid levels was low!After I got sore throat which went away and proceeded to post nasal drip and it seems like it doesn’t want to go away I have aches from here to there!I took a oraquick at home test December 21 it was negative!!I took another oraquick test December 28 it was negative…On the 29 of December I took a Alere Determine Combo rapid test for ag and ab negative.Should I retest or my results are conclusive!It is winter time right now in Louisiana .

  9. Hi doc can a 10 year old boy get hiv by taking anal gay sex?? Help

  10. hello,i did sd bioline hiv antibody test and was negative.
    i didnt have capillary pipette so i just put(dropped) blood directly into the test from my finger.But i am thinking that blood could clot if i dont use anticoagulant contained tube or something similar and the result would be inaccurate.What is your opinion?thank you.

  11. Hello doctor
    I had a low risk exposure in January
    I had an accident with HIV positive 7years old baby,we were laughing when She hit her head with my teeth which I use water to rinse my mouth.Though I didn’t know the baby was HIV positive then.I find out later that she was positive and since the ave bn confused about my status.I took an HIV test with a determine kit with whole blood,just two drops of my blood without chase buffer and it came negative only the control line is visible with red colour.

    • You need to use chase buffer for the test to be done properly. Please do it through a proper healthcare professional. That being said, your exposure risk is essentially zero.

      • Thank u doctor. May be I’m killing myself with anxiety.’cos since the day i heard that the baby is HIV positive I’ve bn having burning sensation. I’ve bn imaging a lot of things.

  12. Hi doctor can i get the hiv infection (not symptoms) after 1years of unprotected sex?
    And i had joined gym 3 months ago and now iam night sweating is it due to workout or hiv? Please help

    • We do not make diagnosis of HIV on symptoms, or exclude from lack thereof. If you have any potential exposures or symptoms of concern, the only way to know would be to test.

  13. Hello

    I am a 19 year old male and I recently did a blood test for HIV because I was involved in a risky sexual behavior about 3 months (91 days or 13 weeks precisely) prior to my testing.
    The result came back reactive for Determine HIV 1/2 twice. So my doctor had sent it for confirmation. The result showed nonreactive in Uni-Gold Recombigen HIV and also it showed nonreactive for Biolyticallnsti.

    I am really confused about my status. I really hope if you can advice something to me.


    • Also, I have had recent vaccination against Hepatitis B. Can this affect my results?

    • By definition then you do not have HIV. Was it sent for Western Blot testing? – this is the confirmatory test. It is possible you have antibodies that cross-react to appear positive on the Determine test = false positive. Please discuss your results with your doctor for clarification.

  14. Hi doctor, please i want your advice i wear a silver necklace from last 4 years and now it had suddenly turned into black from my sweat in the last few days, m i suffering from hiv??? Does hiv positve person can have this issue??
    Please help please….

  15. Hi dr. i had recently joined gym before 15 days and i was in medication of testicle pain and my dr. had given me neuropill 100mg for 30 days and now after 5th day of my gym i had taken alcohol(vodka) for three days straight and on second day of alocohol intake at morning i had masturbated twice a day and again on the third day i had masturbated once and after two days later my legs and hands are mild tingling and feeling cold, i had also tested for hiv and my result was negative .

    My question is dr. is the above problem i have mentioned is related to gym? Or for hiv? Or for the medication(neuropill 100mg)? Or for going gym and taking medication at the same time ?
    Or for alcohol and masturbation?

    It would be a great pleasure if you explain me and help me out please Sir,……

    God bless you and all of us..

    Thank you!!!

    • We cannot give medical advice or diagnosis over the internet. Please see us for a consult if you wish to get a proper evaluation.

  16. Hii dr. My left testicle is hanging downward than the right one (from my side my right hand side testicle is hanging downward and left is hanging lower) is it normal please help iam scared….

  17. Hii dr, can genital herpes make you blind? If yes! Can it make only one eye go blind,or make the vision of one eye low??

    Iam a 23 year old male

    Help please

    • Both HSV-1 and can cause corneal infections if there is direct contact/infection. If you are concerned, please get assessed by a doctor.

  18. Nompilo

    Dr I also see a faint line is this normal ? I’m worried and my husband and I have been negative March and May and have not been exposed

    • The Alere Determine test kit is not designed for home use. I cannot interpret your test for you. Please see a doctor for a proper HIV test.

  19. Hello dr.. i recntly got an acne like bump in my left inner thigh near my left hand side testicle… is it hernia??

  20. Jordon

    Hii dr i think i got tesricle torsion how can i untwist my spermatic cord of the testicle manually at home please help me….

    • Testicular torsion is a medical emergency – you should see a doctor for evaluation as soon as possible.

  21. gooday,am a health worker,i tested for hiv using alere determine with whole blood without buffer and a white faint line appear,i repeated with another whole blood the same faint line appear,i later use thesame serum for the blood for the test and it came out negative,i confirm with another serum or plasma it also came out negative,after 10weeks of exposure ,please what is the result,is it because the whole blood is too thick or what?

    • It is probably just the antibody trap/well you are seeing. If there isn’t a RED line over the patient section then it is non-reactive. You do not have to worry.

  22. Hii doc my right testicle is paining after masturbation what can i do to stop the pain naturally???
    Please help iam too shy to visit a doc for these concerns..

    • If you do not visit a doctor, then we do not know what could be causing your symptoms. If we do not know what is causing your symptoms, we cannot advise on treatment. Please visit a doctor.

  23. Hii doc i wanted to ask you that i had recently brought a hiv home blood test kit approved by the FDA, the instruction told me to give two drops of blood and two drops of assay diluents in the test cassette but by mistake i had droped three drops of assay diluents and two drops of blood and after 25 minutes the result was hiv negative ,

    My question is will it affect in the result that i had droped three drops instead of two drops???
    And how many drops does the diluents contain??

    Please help…….

    • It does not make a difference to your result. However, we cannot verify the accuracy of home testing kits. If you are confident of the FDA approval then it should be fine.

  24. Hellosad

    Hii Sir i have tested my hiv status by a home testing kit and i have checked my result after 23 minutes which is to be checked within 20 minutes, i was 3 minutes late and the result was negative , was that the appropiate result?
    Is it possible that the result would have changed positive to negative after 3 minutes???

    Please sir help me in the name of god iam very scared….

    • The result should not change. However, we are not able to vouch for the reliability of home testing kits as their production and manufacturing may not be regulated by any licensed health authority.

      • Hellosad

        Thank you very much sir 🙂 ,
        But its not possible right to change the result within minutes???

  25. Hi dr. I tested my self using rapid testing at first 20 minutes only the line C has a line but after 40 to 1 hour the line T also have a line is this a positivr test dr? Thankyou

    • We really cannot comment on the veracity of home test kits. Please consult a doctor if you wish to repeat your test.

  26. Thanks for your reply, but the question am trying to ask are
    1. can an expired unigold buffer with alere rapid test strip give a false result? (The lab technician claims it doesn’t matter)

    2. can light intake of alcohol cause a pep treatment (efavirenz and livudine) to fail?

    3. Does a faint line count as positive?

    Thanks for your understanding and help.

    • 1. I do not know – I do not use Unigold buffers and I do not use expired buffers;
      2. Alcohol should not affect PEP treatment, unless it is taken in very large quantities and causes liver impairment;
      3. I cannot interpret the “faintness” of a line without seeing it

  27. what test do i need to carry out at one month after exposure?

  28. p’se doctor i need your advice. i had sex with a man two weeks ago.is it possible for HIV to appear positive using a unigold strip after a month of infection.

    • The Unigold rapid test only checks for HIV antibody and not antigen. So you would not have a conclusive result at 1 month post-exposure. You would need to wait 3 months if you are using the Unigold test.

  29. Rebecca

    Hello doc…I have been worried for the past six months. I did HIV test without any known exposure using whole blood and a white line appeared on the patient widow, the lab scientist conducted 2 confirmatory test which was both negative n I was told that am negative. I conducted another test that same day using plasma on the same alere determine that gave that white line and it came out negative. After six months I did another using plasma although I added much and a similar white line came out and I have been worried since den. Please what does it mean

    • I am not sure which white line you are referring to, as our test lines show up in red. In any case, your doctors/labs have told you it is negative, so why are you worried?

      • Rebecca

        Hello doc..thanks for your time, I finally did test again after months of fear and trauma and the result came back NEGATIVE and am so happy..you guys should help me thank God. Thanks for ur time once again

  30. pls doctor I got exposed and was placed on pep treatment after 56hrs exposure for 30days, after which I took a test alere rapid test with a unigold buffer, but I had one solid red line and a faint line on the patient section. does that mean that the pep treatment failed to work? I also took light alcohol twice during the treatment but did not fail to take my drugs, my doctor said it could affect the treatment, could that be the reason for the failure? also the unigold buffer as I found out was a month expired, could it affect the outcome of the result too, i ask this because the lab technician said it doesn’t matter? I just need an expert opinion from you sir. thank you

    • I cannot interpret your test results without seeing them. If you are concerned, you would need a confirmatory Western Blot blood test. There is always a small possibility of false positive results.

  31. Greegky

    Hi Doc, I had an unprotected anal sex before a year, now checked for hiv by using rapid test in a clinical lab, the result came negative (only C line mark visible) within 5 minutes, although the lab technician waited for another 7 minutes to confirm the negative result, the total time taken was around only 12 minutes after dropping my blood in the test kit. My question is, totally 12 minutes only taken for the rapid test, please let me know whether it is conclusive or not

  32. I have done alere determine twice at 16th and 28th day. Both showing negative, but I am still worrying. Do you have any advice of the test is credible or not?

    • If this is the combo Ag/Ab test then it is conclusive. However, you will need to check with the doctor who performed the tests for you.

      • Yes, it is alere determine ag ab combo test. Moreover I was having unprotected oral sex and protected virginal intercourse. Is it safe?

        • Just done the third rapid test, it has been over 4months since my unprotected exposure. The result is also negative, am i fine now?

  33. Hi doctor if i only apply the chase buffer without any blood, would the control line still appear?
    I’m curious because i did a test on myself but i felt like i put too little blood and the test showed as negative but im wondering if it is the chase buffer that activated the control line but not my blood

    • drtan

      You must always conduct the test according to the manufacturer’s instructions for accurate results. If you are unsure of how to conduct the test, see a professional.

  34. I had a test using alere determine. It showed a line, no color just a line. But the chemist guy told me am positive. I thought it was suppose to show pink or red for one can be told he is positive. I wasn’t convinced so I had another using unigold which came out negative. Pls doc what have u to say about this?!

    • Dear Dokki

      If you are concerned with the test that was concluded by your chemist , I would suggest that you talk to your doctor for HIV testing so that he would be able to choose the right HIV test and interpret the result for you . Do note that the testing window period for different types of hiv tests may vary

      • Dokki

        It’s 4 months today after my last test. I just went for another using both alere determine and unigold. They both came out non reactive. Tnx to dr. Tan. Have asked other lab attendants to refer to u for details on how a true positive on determine hiv kit looks like and not subject themselves to considering faint line without colour(pink/red) as positive. Am a classical example.

        • drtan

          Thank you for sharing. I am very happy you are well and this ordeal is over for you.

  35. i had unprotected sex with one of my course mate at school, after three weeks i run the test which the result was negative . the following the i had a protected sex but before we start the girls tried to forcefully play with my dick which i refused to agree…. she tried the same thing again but i didn’t give her a chance…. after three weeks with this last exposure i had a test at lab.. with the result was negative also i still undergo for another test after two weeks the guy use determine and uni gold but unfortunately the result was positive both the two .. i doubt it because i was not satisfied with him and he didn’t use buffer.. after three days of pain and regret.. i had another test with different lab and the guy use alere determine with buffer after 30 mint he called me and gave me the result.. luckily the result was negative.. i doubt it to the extent that the guy showed me the strip with i discovered there is faint line with colour at all… not grey not red it was just the sign of line… and he said it was negative. .. my question here is that which result would consider to be reliable ?
    your urgent respond would really be helpful as i couldn’t sleep all this while.. feeling like i was not the person i was yesterday.. feeling like to commit suicide ….

    • This is not a question that this platform can or should deal with. You have conflicting HIV test results. Therefore, you must see a HIV specialist to sort it out. You basically need to know if you are infected with HIV or not. You will likely need more advanced testing like RNA PCR tests.

  36. tested positive to hiv using rdk but later tested nagative on 3 subceguent test

  37. Limerick

    Dear Doctor, I think the folks leaving comments here have missed the most important question: what is the source of this video? If it’s from you, is it usual practice to experiment with a ‘live’ positive blood sample? Hope to have some clarity from you or your partners.

    Thank you

  38. Hi doc.. Sorry am writing u again… Please can you be specific about the blood to be used without buffer because in an instinct using only blood on the strip can bring false positives results rather than the negative results.. For instance when blood flows directly to the line in The patient window.

    • All I am going to say about this is that the test should always be conducted according to the manufacturer’s instructions. If you are not sure on how to run the test, please see a medical professional who can help you.

      • Thanks Dr.. This site is really helpful.. You ppl are doing great work..

  39. Hello doc.. I took HIV test with alere and uni-gold test strip with only blood without the buffer the test came positive,so I decided to go for more test with alere and uni-gold several times with the buffer but all the test was negative..please which results is to be considered.. Thanks

  40. Hello doc.. Thanks for your time.. I ran a test with alere and uni gold with blood without adding buffer and the result came out positive but after that I took many other test adding chase buffer and all was negative.. Pls which result should be considered..looking forward for ur answer.. Thanks

  41. Pliz doctor..suppose i had sex with an i fected person today…in how many hours should i go fo an HIV test for better results

  42. Pliz doctor..whatif i dont use a chase buffer instead i use water…can it work out for me??

  43. Pls is it wrong to use d unigold chase buffer on the determine test strip…re all buffers d same cos i used the unigold buffer and d control line was really dark red while the patent line was visible but like a marking nt really colored…do I do a repeat test?

    • First of all, you should not be conducting these tests yourself. You should be letting a trained professional do the test for you. Secondly, you should always conduct the test according to the manufacturer’s instructions. We cannot comment on the accuracy of the test if you are not conducting it properly and according to manufacturer’s instructions.

  44. I took one of these test alog side a oraquick test and the clinic councilor determine both as negative, both test had one dark read line. But when I looked closer to the Alere test there was like this microscopic faint shadow, or grey line. I heard that is was just an evaporation line but it literally looks like a grey very faint pencil line… Do these test have built in evaporation lines or something? I was still told I was negative because it was not pink nor red.

    • Help please ??!

    • Is it possible that I could get a response because I’m very worried and confused about grey line

      • This is actually very common. I personally see it a lot. If you strain your eyes hard enough, you will see a faint “line” at the patient test window. That line is the antigen/antibody trap. It is where the active part of the test is. The test is only considered positive if there is the presence of the target antibody or antigen to trigger off a calorimetric reaction that will turn the line red. Your clinic councilor is obviously experienced enough to tell this apart from a positive test.

        • That’s exactly what happened to me… I saw that line but the chemist man concluded I was positive. When I used unigold it came out negative. The last time I had unprotected sex was in 2015…

          • I had a test at a nearby chemist… The man used alere determine hiv kit and it showed a shadow line on the patient window… No color attached to it. Just a shadow line… He said I was positive. I went back and asked to be tested using unigold and it came out negative. What’s ya stake on that doc…

          • Dear Solo
            If you are concerned with the test that was concluded by your chemist , I would suggest that you talk to your doctor for HIV testing so that he would be able to choose the right HIV test and interpret the result for you . Do note that the testing window period for different types of hiv tests may vary

  45. cherry good

    Do I take PEP or not? I had sex with a guy two days ago.I took his blood for test.A faint line appeared on d patients area on determine kit showing positive on determine and On Unigold and Stat Pak, his sample was negative. Is he HIV positive?

    • Whether or not you have to take PEP is a decision that you have to make with a doctor after a formal consultation about your risks. We cannot give such advice over the internet. But I do urge you to see your doctor asap.

  46. Can one get HIV from Alere chase buffer? Incase it pours on an open wound?

    • No you cannot. The chase buffer does not contain any live HIV virus.

      • Sir can alert buffer contain dead hiv virus or antibodies ??

        • No.

          • Do alere chase buffer which is used in hiv 1 & 2 trueline rapid test contains any hiv antigens or antibodies??Do hiv antigens or antibodies used in manufacturing of chase buffer solution?? I m asking this because my son licked chase buffer with his tongue and drink 6-7 drops of buffer while it was kept…

          • pls Doctor, I need ur advice on my health issue, am having a burning sensation in my mouth, white coat on my lips, general body weakness after eating bread or any sugar content, movement round my body and ache at times, abdominal bloating, sensations in my throat, am realy worried about all these and has run HIV text four times and urine culture but all was negative. pls what can be causing all these symptoms. pls reply through mail. thanks

          • I think you should see a doctor to get a proper assessment. Your symptoms are very non-specific. You may require some other forms of testing.


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