HIV P24 Ag/Ab Test, Duo Test, Combo Test at our Clinic
I have been getting a lot of question with regards to the Duo test or Combo test as it is also known as.
Let’s first get some basics right:
Duo Test = Combo Test = P24 Ag/Ab test
All these terms refer to the same thing. Basically it is a test that simultaneously tests for the HIV P24 Antigen and the HIV antibody.HIV Prevention within 72 hours of exposure (PEP) – Click Here
The HIV P24 antigen is a small piece of protein that is found on the capsule of the HIV virus. When a person is infected with HIV, these bits of protein can be found floating in the blood. The HIV P24 test is a test that detects these bits of protein. This test was first developed as a HIV screening test but rapidly ran out of favor due to the development of more advanced NAAT tests. (For more details on NAAT testing please read: http://www.drtanandpartners.com/nucleic-acid-amplification-testing-naat/)The window period for P24 testing is also very small. This test alone is only accurate for between 3 and 6 weeks post exposure. So it is a test with very limited applications unless combined with the HIV antibody test. The presence of P24 Antigens in the blood indicates a recent HIV infection.Click here for details on getting the Combo test at our Clinics
We all already know that the HIV antibody test becomes quite reliable at 4 weeks and as good as conclusive at 6 weeks. Although most health authorities still recommend a 3 months window period. So putting these 2 tests together gives you a very powerful tool to diagnose HIV infection in as little as 3 weeks. Personally I prefer to conduct the Combo test at 4 weeks because I believe that is when the level of P24 antigen peaks in the blood giving us maximum accuracy.
In our clinic, we use the SD Bioline Rapid HIV Combo Test 2.0. It is a rapid test that takes only 20 minutes for us to get results. We are also approved to conduct this test as part of the Anonymous HIV testing Program.
The test is conducted very much like the HIV antibody test. All we need is blood from a finger prick. (For more details on Anonymous HIV Testing at our clinic please read: http://www.drtanandpartners.com/anonymous-hiv-testing-at-our-clinic/)
Multicentre clinical trials have shown 100% sensitivity and more than 99% specificity.
This kit has been registered with Singapore’s Health Science Authority (HSA).
So the Combo Test has many advantages including:
1. Earlier detection of HIV infection.
2. Rapid (20 minutes)
The only problem is that it costs more. At our clinic is costs $200 ($214 with GST).
Click here for HIV Testing FAQ
If you have any questions, visit our free online forum on sexual health, HIV and STDs.Click here for Info on STD Symptoms in Men Click here for Info on STD Symptoms in Women Click here to see the full range of our HIV/STD Services
If you need a HIV test visit Our Clinics anytime during our opening hours. You do not need an appointment.
Find out more about Anonymous HIV testing at our clinics.
Can’t wait for 3 months to find out? Find out more about Anonymous Rapid HIV Combo test at our clinics.
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.Click Here for Contact Details, Address and Opening Times.
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.