Rapid Oral HIV Test (cont.)
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What Is the Cost of the Rapid HIV Test?
The cost for the rapid HIV test, whether it uses oral fluid or a finger-stick blood sample is about $8 per test for public health officials and $8-$60 for other organizations. Most insurance plans now cover HIV testing.
There are several rapid tests available which can be done on either whole blood from a vein (venipuncture) or finger stick, or oral fluids collected on a special swab. Many of these tests also can detect HIV-2, which is a different virus than HIV-1.
HIV-1 is the retrovirus that typically causes AIDS and is the HIV type most prevalent in most of the world, including the United States. If a person has antibodies to HIV-1, it means that he or she is infected with the HIV-1 virus that causes AIDS.
HIV-2 is a virus found primarily in western, sub-Saharan Africa. HIV-2 is rare in other parts of the world, but it has been reported sporadically in many locations. It is believed to be spread by the same methods of transmission as HIV-1. If a person has antibodies to HIV-2, it means that he or she is infected with the HIV-2 virus.
Testing for both HIV-1 and HIV-2 is important, particularly in people who may have acquired their infection in West Africa or from someone who may have links to that area. Much of the HIV testing currently done in the United States, including the rapid oral test, detects both HIV-1 and HIV-2 (for example, the test used by the American Red Cross to screen blood donations).
Available rapid tests include the following:
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/21/2016
Steven Fine, MD, PhD
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Over the past25 years sincethe first cases of what we now recognize as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection were identified in 1981, the number of children infected with HIV has increased dramatically in developing countries because ofthe number of HIV-infected women of childbearing age has risen.