HIV ELISA/Western blot is a set of blood tests used to diagnose chronic infection with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
A blood sample is needed. For information on how this is done, see: Venipuncture.
No preparation is necessary.
When the needle is inserted to draw blood, some people feel moderate pain, while others feel only a prick or stinging sensation. Afterward, there may be some throbbing.
Testing for HIV infection is done for many reasons, including:
Dewar R, Goldstein D, Maldarelli F. Diagnosis of human immunodeficiency virus infection. In: Mandell GL, Bennett GE, Dolin R, eds. Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 7th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Elsevier Churchill Livingstone; 2009:chap 119.
Sax PE, Walker BD. Immunopathogenesis of human immunodeficiency infection. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 408.
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