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HIV CMIA Test Accuracy

Keywords: HIV CMIA, HIV CMIA Window Period, HIV CMIA Method, HIV CMIA Results, HIV CMIA Accuracy

To be able to understand the answer to this question, we first have to get some basics right.

The HIV CMIA test, HIV ELISA test, HIV ECLIA test are all different methods to detect HIV antibodies and/or antigens in the patient’s blood.

I previously wrote an article on the HIV ELISA and ECLIA test.

Let me rehash some points:

To know if a person is infected with HIV or not, we look for HIV antigens or antibodies in the patient’s blood.

Antigens are a part of the protein shell of the virus. This is found floating in the patient’s blood very soon after infection.

Antibodies are produced by the patient’s immune system in response to the HIV infection. It might take some time for the patient to produce enough antibodies to be detectable by tests. This is called the window period.

Antigens and antibodies are microscopic particles. We cannot see them with the naked eye or even with a light microscope.

So scientists have developed very smart ways to let us know if there are antigens and antibodies present or not.

Click on the picture for the latest information on the HIV testing Window Period

Click on the picture for the latest information on the HIV testing Window Period










One method is called ELISA which is short for Enzyme-Linked Immuno-Sorbant Assay.

This is a very elegant test. Basically there is a trap for the antibodies and antigen. If these are present, they get stuck in the trap. This then triggers off a reaction that causes the solution to change colour. The colour change is indication of a positive test.

Another method is called the ECLIA which is short for Electro-Chemiluminescence Immunoassay. In the same way, the system traps antigens and/or antibodies. The difference is instead of triggering off a chemical colour reaction, it lets off light which is captured by a sensor. So basically if it lights up, it means the test is positive.

The HIV CMIA test which is short for Chemiluminescence Microparticle Immunoassay. It is very similar to the ECLIA test because it also uses light to indicate the presence of antibodies and/or antigens.

All the above is obviously a massive over-simplification of a rather complex topic. For those interested in more detailed information, there is a great resource in a learning guide developed by Abbott. Click this link to see it: learning_immunoassay

Different companies making different machines have their own patented differences in these tests so they are not all identical. However, practically speaking, these tests in themselves are exceedingly accurate. The big diagnostic companies that develop these tests have validated their accuracies very diligently.

You would have realised by now that these are all just different detection techniques. They are but one piece of the puzzle of HIV test accuracy.

These are basically tools at the doctor’s disposal. But if the tool is used wrongly, it is useless.

For the test to be accurate, we must do the right test at the right time. Doctors need to know at what point in time to use which tool to detect what.

So in summary, the HIV CMIA test is very accurate in detecting HIV antibodies and HIV antigens. There is no reason to doubt their accuracy.

However, to know if the patient is infected with HIV or not, the doctor has to know when to order the CMIA and decide if the CMIA will test for antibodies or antigens or both.

If you have any questions, visit our free online forum on sexual health, HIV and STDs.

If you had a high risk exposure to HIV within the past 72 hours, you can take medicines to reduce your risk of actually contracting HIV. Find out more on HIV PEP Treatment.

If not read more about HIV symptoms.

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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. had my cmia hiv1/2 and p24 after 43 days of exposure. index value 0.09. how good indicator is it?

  2. Ricky234

    Help needed!!!!!, I feel I am sero converting at day 45.swollen lypmh nodes under neck and high fever.I have tested hiv combo with p24 on day 28 and 40 after exposure both tested non- reactive. Can the 4th generation test detect hiv virus if I haven’t sero converted??
    Looking for a reply please doctor?

    • Yes, your tests are conclusive and therefore there is no reason for your symptoms to be due to HIV. Please see a doctor for a proper assessment. Many other conditions cause fever and swollen lymph nodes.

  3. Had unprotected vaginal sex, high risk exposure.. I did cmia combo test on day 50, 7 weeks after exposure.. results non reactive.0.16!!
    Sir are these test conclusive do I need more test?

  4. Had a high risk exposure, unprotected vaginal sex..tested for cmia combo test after 50 approx 7 weeks, is this test conclusive?

  5. Sir, I have done four tests CMIA method, index value .16,.09,.09 & .05, what does this index value say?

    Is it okay (the last test was done after a year ) ?

  6. CMIA result

    Hello Doctor,

    I received the 3rd month post exposure result of my hiv test using CMIA fourth gen. It turned out non reactive.

    My question is, I was handed two papers that both indicate 0.14 for the result and 1 for the cut-off value, is it normal to have the same result value for both ag and ab? There were no indications which pertains to ag and which to ab on the two papers and both papers are exactly the same.


  7. Hi doctor,
    I have a few queries regarding the HIV CMIA test. I have taken 3 tests till now, the last one 4 months after exposure. The result was non reactive with an index of 0.24 . However I did read at a few places that the test is unable to detect the rare strains of Hiv like N, P, and CRFs as well. I’m wondering whether it’s a correct result as it is possible to get infected by a rare strain too. Should more specific tests be needed for detecting these ? I constantly feel like I’m dizzy and in a drugged state and my symptoms have now persisted since more than 3 months now and I don’t feel like they are going to go away. I was also diagnosed with vitamin b12 deficiency and after subsequent medication my b12 levels have gone beyond 2000 but I don’t see the residual symptoms go away. Need your help.

  8. Dear sir,
    Before 1 year i have a sex with a girl and condom was stucked inside her vagina after 6 month i was doing a hiv 1 and 2 cmia test the result was non reactive with score of 0.15. Before two days i am doing the same test in Metropolis lab the result is non reactive with the score of 0.14

    Please help me this test is enough i am not infected with hiv i am so scared pls help me sir….

  9. Dear doc,

    I took a combo test(CMIA) at Dr. Lal path labs in delhi. It’s a highly reputed lab. The test was taken at 21, 26 and 37 days after possible exposure, with non reactive each time at 0.11, 0.12 and 0.1 respectively (MSM, condom broke, receptive partner).
    You think the results are conclusive?

  10. I bought a beer from beer shop.i had opened it myself.beer was tastless.my query is ,is it possible that shopkeeper opened it before and if he did this,and dranked it,can I will be infected with HIV?

  11. Doctor i test after 22 Days and 38 days after exposure with non reactive result. My question Conclusive or not? Or i need test after 3 month? Thx doctor

  12. gedhang

    Ok dr. If i repeat at 2 month with cmia method is the result can conclusive?

  13. gedhang

    Hello dr. I have done hiv test method cmia hiv at 1 week and 3 weeks after expose. All test negative.
    My question:
    1. Is conclusive 100%?
    2. Should i retest back?

  14. Sir …. i did CMIA test at Lala path lab at 47 ,100 ,120 days post my exposure…. Result is Non Reactive….

    I also make RT- RNA PCR Quantitative at Lal Path Lab result is Target not detected.

    Further tests are required or not….. if required then which test and when…??

  15. Hello doctor i did hiv 1/2 p24 antigen combo cmia 4th generation test at 40 days and 78 days all were non reactive is it conclusive or i need to retest at three months????

  16. Hello doctor i had a 4th generation test at 40 days and 78 this test is 4th generation combo cmia .is it accurate or i need to test at 90 days again

  17. Hai Doctor,
    I had sex with unknown girl on 24th June 2017. I did HIV Ag/Ab screening CMIA test on 12 July 2017 (on 17-18 day after exposure) and result is non-reactive. My question is:

    1. Is the test I did is called combo test?

    2.i want to know what is the accuracy ( maybe in percentage %) of negative results after 17-18 after I did sex with unknown girl?

    3.Based on your experience doctor what is the chances in % to remain negative in future?

    Please reply Doctor. I can’t concentrate on my studies due to stress I did big stupid mistake.. Thank you

    • Yes, this is a combo test. Your test is a good indication, but we cannot give a specific percentage of accuracy after 17-18 days. Different test manufacturers will provide different sensitivity numbers. If you are concerned, just repeat your test at 28 days or more.

  18. Hello dr. I have don hiv test from dr.lalpathlab method cmia hiv 1/2 & p24 at 1,3,6 and 8 months after expose. All test negative.
    My question:
    1. Is conclusive 100%?
    2. Should i retest back?
    I am still worry about my hiv status should i go for another test pls . Help me

  19. Hi from the diagram u provided if the testing occur after 48 days is it not accurate? Or if the test were done after 48 days basically all generation test will pickup the reaction? Is that what it means?

  20. Hello dr. I have don hiv test method cmia at 1,3,6 and 7 months after expose. All test negative.
    My question:
    1. Is conclusive 100%?
    2. Should i retest back?
    Sory my english not good, hope you understand.

  21. sir Plz help me I beg u…. I had protected sex with a girl whome HIV status I m not awear……I m not sUre whether condom got broked or not…. I have done cmia 4th gen test which can negative….do I go for futher test coz I feel all time my stmoch is full….no mood to eat each time

    • I cannot verify the accuracy of your HIV test. Please see the doctor who did the test for you.


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