Dr. Tan and Partners is one of the few approved Anonymous HIV Testing Centres in Singapore. A detailed write up on our service is available here.

Other STD services: Early STD Screening, Rapid Hepatitis B Blood Test, Swab for Gonorrhea and many more... contact us to make an appointment now!

HIV RNA / DNA PCR Test – Nucleic Acid Amplification Testing (NAAT)

HIV RNA / DNA PCR Test

a.k.a Nucleic Acid Amplification Testing (NAAT)

The HIV RNA test has revolutionized HIV screening especially for people at high risk.

The test directly measures the amount of HIV virus in a person’s blood.

This same test is also used to monitor how a person with HIV is responding to treatment. When used this way, it is called a Viral Load test.

The HIV RNA test is deemed to be 100% conclusive if done after 10 to 12 days from the date of exposure.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are some theories that say this test becomes less accurate from about 3 months post exposure. This is because at 3 months post exposure, the body would have made antibodies to fight the HIV virus. Therefore, the amount of virus in the blood may drop below the detection limit of the RNA test.

Acute HIV infection is very challenging to identify because its symptoms are not specific and antibody tests often are either still negative or indeterminate. However, this is also the time when an infected person is most contagious due to a high viral load. Detection of acute HIV infection not only enables us to counsel the patient on taking active steps to reduce transmission, it also enables us to better identify potentially infected partners as the time span we need to focus on is still relatively short.

Currently the vast majority of HIV tests are conducted using antibody tests. These include rapid tests such as Oraquick™ (Rockeby) and Determine™ (Abbott) and also conventional blood ELISA tests.

The limitation of antibody tests is the window period. Antibody tests may not be able to pick up HIV infections for up to 3 months after an individual is infected. This is far from ideal because this is exactly the period that a person is most infectious with the highest viral load. Acute HIV infection contributes disproportionately to HIV transmission due to its high viral load and negative antibody tests.

NAAT tests for HIV require only 10 days post exposure to be accurate. It is the only option for detecting HIV infection before seroconversion.

Click here for HIV Testing FAQ

Benefits of NAAT include:

  1. Earlier identification of infected persons leading to reduced transmission risks
  2. Facilitate partner identification, counseling and testing
  3. Early diagnosis leads to early initiation of follow up and treatment leading to better prognosis

However, NAAT increases the cost and turnover time for HIV testing.

A screening program for Acute HIV Infection using pooled NAAT was successfully conducted by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene1. Specimens from all patients whose rapid HIV antibody test was negative were tested by polymerase chain reaction in pools of 512 specimens. If the pool was positive, component specimens were tested to identify which specimen(s) contained HIV RNA. The report findings confirmed that pooled NAAT can increase Acute HIV Infection diagnoses among high risk STD patients. It can also be used to identify areas or populations in which HIV infection is spreading.

At our clinic the HIV RNA Test costs $600 excluding consultation charges and GST.

Our usual consultation charge is $35 making the total bill $679 ($600 + $35 + 7% GST).

The usual turnaround time is 2 weeks.

However, the Lab can conduct an expedited test for a surcharge of $100 ($107 with GST).

If you wish to have a HIV RNA test done, please come down to our clinic.

There is no preparation like fasting necessary.

Click here to see the full range of our HIV/STD Services

All Our Doctors are Fully Certified and Trained to conduct specialised STD and HIV Testing.

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Need more advice?

Come down to Our Clinics for a discussion with Our Doctors, or call our clinics for more information:

1.) Robertson Walk (+65 6238 7810)

2.) Bencoolen Street (+65 6884 4119)

3.) Novena Medical Centre (+65 6397 2095)

4.) Scotts Medical Centre (+65 6694 2348)

5.) Somerset – Orchard Building (+65 6262 0762)

6.) Katong – East Coast Road (+65 6635 2551)

Where to find us – here

Click Here for Contact Details, Address and Opening Times.

Selected clinics are open on Saturday and Sunday.

Doctor’s Schedule here

Email: [email protected]


All prices quoted below excludes prevailing GST

Our Andrology and Infection Centre at Novena Medical Center is open.Call us at 63972095 now to book your appointment.Feel free to email your queries, feedback and suggestions on what other topics you want to see in the comments section below.If you have any questions, visit our free online forum on sexual health, HIV and STDs.1. CDC. MMWR, November 27, 2009/58(46);1296-1299

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.

Find the profiles of our panel of doctors.

Consultation $20.00-80.00
Rapid test only $20.00
(not inclusive of test)
8am – 5pm $60.00
5pm – 9pm $80.00
STD screening
Standard HIV, Syphilis, Hepatitis B/C, Herpes Simplex Virus Type I and II $ 200.00
Male
Urethritis
Urine – Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea PCR, Monilia, Trichomonas, NSU, Mycoplasma, Ureaplasma, Urine Culture, Candida $ 280.00
Female
Urethritis and Vaginitis
Vaginal Swab – Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea PCR, Monilia, Trichomonas PCR, Gardnerella PCR, Candida PCR, Group B StrepNSU, Mycoplasma, Ureaplasma, Direct Microscopy, Candida, Vaginal swab culture $ 345.00
Comprehensive (Male) Blood – Syphilis, Hepatitis B/C, Herpes Simplex Virus Type I and IIUrine – Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea PCR, Monilia, Trichomonas, NSU, Mycoplasma, Ureaplasma, Urine Culture, Candida $ 390.00
Comprehensive (Female) Blood – Syphilis, Hepatitis B/C, Herpes Simplex Virus Type I and IIVaginal Swab – Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea PCR, Monilia, Trichomonas PCR, Gardnerella PCR, Candida PCR, Group B StrepNSU, Mycoplasma, Ureaplasma, Direct Microscopy, Candida, Vaginal swab culture $ 525.00
Individual STD Tests
Determine Syphilis test Rapid Syphilis Test $ 50.00
Determine Hepatitis B Test Rapid Hepatitis B Test $ 50.00
Herpes Simplex Virus PCR Herpes Simplex Virus Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) Test $ 190.00
Chlamydia and Gonoccocal PCR Chlamydia and Gonorrhea
Herpes Simplex Virus Type I IgG Antibody Herpes Type 1 $ 40.00
Herpes Simplex Virus Type II IgG Antibody Herpes Type 2 $ 40.00
Non-Specific Urethritis (NSU) Culture Mycoplasma, Ureaplasma $ 118.00
HIV test
HIV RNA/DNA Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) Test $600
Add $100 for expedited results
Rapid Fingerprick Blood HIV-1/2 P24 Antigen/Antibody Combo (HIV Duo Test) (4th generation!) $ 150.00
Rapid Oral Saliva HIV-1/2 Antibody Test (Oraquick) $ 50.00
Rapid Fingerprick Blood HIV-1/2 Antibody Test (Determine) $ 50.00
PEP $2000 – $2200

312 Comments

  1. Dr.
    I feel depressed I have taken duo test at 67 day after pep it is non reactive. I am wait for 2 week . I am feared because I take pep at 96 hours after insertive anal exposure with hiv + . In this time you really help me. Thanks a lot from my heart.
    1. How chance to convert it please reply
    Please sir reply and help me

  2. Hai sir I had sex with sex worker with 3 condom but I don’t no it’s break or not . Then I taken rna pcr quqntitative test in 17days and 25 days combo hiv test 3rd gen another any test required I feel lot of leg irritation plzzzz suggest me

    • Your tests are essentially conclusive but for official clearance you would be advised a 4th generation combo test at 28 days post-exposure.

      • Thanks doctor today is my 30 day can I go for Weston blood test method plz suggest regard this test accuracy

      • Sorry doctor I again distrib u my rna pcr plasma test they shown for hiv 1 only any possible for hiv2 or Weston blood test is conclude both if a taken 30 th day

  3. Age:40, Gender: Male

    Hi,
    I had unprotected test 5weeks ago with sex worker , I mat doctor after and he suggested gualtive pcr hiv1 and p24 combo and hc and hb
    also all three result came bake negative.

    my question is after 5 week is both test are cinfrimativ not becuase my doctor said you dont requiredw more test now

    but from 8week I am geeting some pimple on my arms and face is this is related to early hiv symptoms.

    Thanks,

    • Your HIV test is conclusive. Rarely hepatitis B and C may take up to 3 months window period. They have nothing to do with your pimples.

  4. hallelujah

    HIV NEGATIVE! PRAISE JESUS!

    IM NEVER HAVING SEX AGAIN!

  5. Hi Doc,

    I had unprotected oral with a lady and protected sex with possibility that condom broke (low). She is of unknown status.
    Had my PCR at 8 days (and 7 hours) which was negative.
    Following some worrisome possible ARS symptoms (neck lymph nodes) i had today (DAY 14) some general blood test including CRP which were all fine (blood counts, white cells etc) which i believe and hope that means im not dealing with acute infection.
    How accurate is the PCR in 8 days? Thanks

    • The PCR at day 8 is a decent indication, but you would need a repeat test at 28 days for conclusive results (with a 4th gen antigen/antibody combo test).

      • Thank you Dr for your response.
        I will do so.
        The good general blood screening plus a low CRP isn’t a good indication that i’m currently not dealing with an acute infection?

        • CRP has no real bearing on acute HIV infection.

          • OK thanks – Final question. Have you ever heard from your lab or from literature any Negative PCR HIV test at 7 or 8 days which eventually turned positive without any other risk factor?

  6. Hi doc, you said the HIV RNA test results are essentially conclusive for 10-14 days after exposure (though not used for diagnosis), except in few circumstances. So what are some of the circumstances?

  7. Is the hiv RNA PCR test results conclusive? Or still need to do the 28 day test? To what percentage is the RNA test conclusive?

    • The RNA test is not strictly recommended as a screening or diagnostic test for HIV. However, it is essentially conclusive from 10-14 days except in very few circumstances. I would still recommend a 4th gen combo test at 28 days for truly conclusive results.

  8. Sir please give reply of my question.
    U give the answers of all person question
    Please I have a swallon lymph node in my armpit. My test details I already sent to u .
    Today I go to my doctor he advise me for advance testing. Cost of testing is RS. 27000 in Indian currency . I have no money to pay. Your one word is my decision. I don’t believe my doctor so I stop my doctor I saw my lab report of Dr. Lal path lab India’s most reputed lab. He does not believe. Testing in his lab is good I asked about his test his answer is it included cd4 count and many hiv test .

    Sir please reply

  9. Doctor today I take duo test at 3 month after exposure and 8 week 1day after pep I feel a swallon lymph node in my armpit. my index value is 0.19 non reactive last Wednesday when I take duo test index Vale is 0.15 my index value increase
    1. My test are conclusive if not after how much time it conclusive .
    1. If this swallow lymph node is due to hiv test then test show up
    2. I read dr.tan say that after 3 month exposure in pep case it is enough if modern based hiv testing done . Tell which test I taken I taken duo test 4 generation .
    Dr. Please give answer to my question because my Dr. Is unable to give answer she is a infection doctor not hiv specialist

    Thanks very much .
    Dr. U do really a very great job
    Please help me

  10. Hi
    Doctor after insertive anal exposure with hiv+ msm I get pep around 88 hours. After completed pep I take duo test and pcr rna at 4 week after pep they both are negative. After this I take duo test and pcr rna at 7 week 3 day after pep and 12 week after pep they both are negative index value 0.15 I feel red spot below my armpit and and one swallow lymph node in my armpit.
    Help me sir can my test conclusive or after how much time my test conclusive I really thankful to u if reply please

    • Your test is conclusive, you do not have HIV. You do not need to re-test. Move on with your life.

      • Sorry sir I take duo test and pcr rna 7 week 3 day after pep and 12 week after exposure .my test are conclusive tell me sir. Help me sir I wait ur reply

  11. HI, Doctor
    after insertive anal exposure with HIV+ i taken Pep around 92 Hours. After this I taken duo test and RNA HIV 1 both are negative at 11 week exposure. I again take duo test at 12 week after exposure and 7 week after PEP duo test negative.
    comment sir can it is conclusive or i need wait 5 week.
    Give your doctor opinion here is available 4 the generation duo test only what can i do i feel little red in my neck and one in my armpit.
    sir give your opinion after how much time after my test conclusive there is only 8 day left for exposure

    • I believe your tests are conclusive and you do not have HIV.

      • hi doctor
        Thanks for your opinion
        i feel one red spot in foot also. sir after how much time my test conclusive officially.
        please comment sir i wait your reply
        Thanks
        I am really very scared

      • Hi doctor today I feel a pain in armpit and feel a swallon node in armpit .what can I do tell me can I start seroconverted. I have taken duo test and pcr rna last Wednesday in which index value is 0.15 and pcr target not detected.
        Please give me advice every minute kill me can I need take more test
        Help me begging to you please give me right advice what can I do
        This test taken me after 12 week after exposure to hiv + msm sex may maximum 2 minute iam a insertive and 7 week 3 day after pep

        • I have told you multiple times – your tests are conclusive, you do not have HIV. Stop spamming the comments and move on with your life.

  12. sandeep

    I am contniously loos weight I am scared

  13. sandeep

    Hi doctor
    I take duo test at 11 week 4 day after exposure and 47 day after pep i take pcr rna test and duo test index value 0.09 and pcr target not detected after exposure. I also take pep at 96 hours after insertive exposure with hiv positive male I comment already and u give answer also but I see one red spot below my armpit and red tiny spot in my neck. Tomorrow is my 12 week after exposure . If I take test tomorrow it may be conclusive
    please comment sir. Help me I really thankful to IAM in India due to that reason I am not come in u r clinic

  14. Hello Dr,

    Is a negative result of HIV RNA Qualitative test after 9.5 days (9 days and 16 hours) a good encouraging indication?

  15. depreseed

    Sir after insertive anal exposure with hiv + person I take pep around 95 hours on 30 day after completed pep I see a red spot below my armpit on same day I take duo test and pcr rna they both are negative . After 2 day I see 2 more spot on same side of back doctor say it’s related to hiv lesion .
    What can I do please comment I wait you advice can take again duo test or wait and what’s my status in your opinion
    No fever no swallow lymph node

  16. niranjan

    hi doctor,

    my friend have a Unprotected sex with a unknown girl, from the second day he had lymph beside his ears, then he consult with me, i said its normal since he had over drinks two days before. then for the next two weeks he had some pink rashes on backside and Small dot like rashes on his sorrounding layer of penis, then after 26 days from exposure since i am a doctor we took a Anti HIV Elisa, Syphilis, STD test for him,The result is negative. but still he is worrying a lot because of these symptoms, So Please Advice on this, Kindly reply sir

    • If he has symptoms of concern, he should see a doctor who can assess him properly. It could be simple balanitis, or it could be anything else. His HIV and syphilis testing is not yet conclusive as it is still within the window period.

  17. sandeep

    I read in ur page pcr 100% conclusive after 10-12 days. I also taken pcr for hiv 1 and Elisa test at 17 day after pep. But my doctor say always it’s good indicator but not conclusive. You wait 3 months. Tomorrow is 28 the day after pep . I decided to go for Elisa test 4 generation .
    Please help me

  18. sandeep

    Dear dr. There is no method to get conclusive result before 3 month
    I beg to u please comment
    If I come in your clinic can u give me conclusive result
    I begging please comments
    Because every day kill me 🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏

    • You are welcome to come by our clinics for testing. But it really is not necessary. Your 4th generation test is essentially conclusive at 28 days, even with PEP. A repeat test at 3 months is just for precaution, but there have been no cases of negative test post-PEP at 28 days turning positive later.

      • sandeep

        But I am taking pep at 93 hours

      • sandeep54321

        sir,
        i get conclusive result 12 week or 90 day after exposure it confuse me please tell me
        please comment

        • 12 weeks is fine.

          • sandeep

            I am really very depressed at that time i see one red sport at 30 day after pep I taken duo test and pcr rna on same day. pcr rna report target not detecable and duo test also non reactive index value 0.1.after 3 day I feel 2 more spot doctor say it’s relate to hiv lesion..
            Sir please tell me something what can I do can I check again blood test or wait please give advice

          • It is not HIV. You do not have HIV. You do not need to repeat any further tests. Move on with your life and stop being paranoid.

          • sandeep

            Please reply

  19. Anthony

    Hi Dr Tan,

    I had unprotected (receptive, M2M) oral sex with some risk factors (ejaculations, potential gum scratches from brushing) and tested negative on the PCR RNA test 10 days after exposure. My clinic said that they generally recommend a DUO test as a follow-up 28 days after, however the nature of my exposure and the PCR RNA result almost warrant a negative.

    Would you recommend retesting?

    Thanks you so much for all this useful info on the site!

    • I would say your risk is close to zero. But if you are still concerned, we would recommend the 4th gen combo at 28 days post-exposure for conclusive results.

  20. sir,
    i take pep at 93 hours after anal exposure with hiv+ transgender. On the time of pep i take PCR RNA and elisa test index value 0.07 they both are negative. After completed pep i take pcr rna at 12 day and again I take PCR RNA for HIV 1 and elisa test 4 the generation test they both are negative and Index value 0.09.
    This tests are conclusive or i need a test at 28 day after completed PEP.
    please comment

    • Your tests are essentially conclusive. But post-PEP guidelines still recommend a final test at 3 months as a precaution. You can stop worrying and move on with your life.

      • sandep

        Thanks doctor
        sorry for mistaken in above i take PCR rna for HIV 1 first at 12 th day after completed PEP and second on at 17 day after completed PEP for HIV 1 only can i need to take PCR for HIV 2 also. Here is only PCR RNA for HIV 1 available.
        I really very Thankful to you.
        please reply

        • sandep

          sir how much time after after pep is good result of duo test and PCR RNA

      • sandep

        sir please reply for my next comment

      • sandeep

        Please comment sir there is no method to get conclusive result before 3 months I begging u if I come in your clinic you can give me conclusive result I am in India please help 🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏

        • sandeep

          sir today is my 30 day after completed PEP i take elisa test 4th generation my index value is 0.1. sir when i take elisa test on 17th day after PEP on that time my index value is 0.09.
          sir how much i safe .
          I feel today a small sport below my armpit i dont know how.
          please tell me this was symptoms or not.
          I again remember i take pep at 93 hours.
          my history is above

          sir, please reply i wait.
          thanks doctor

          • Your test is essentially conclusive, no HIV. Repeat a test at 3 months post-exposure as per guidelines. But relax, stop worrying and move on with your life.

  21. Hi Dr,

    I had a exposure with a female CSW on 1 July 17 11.30pm. I had unprotected insertive oral sex with the lady ( I’m male) and protected vaginal intercourse with the lady after. I’m worried sick now about HIV. When should i come in to do the HIV RNA test? Any other tests i should do as well? Also how bad are my chances if cintracting HIV?

    • Hi, I would say your overall risk is fairly low. Even unprotected vaginal intercourse with a known HIV positive female results in just 1:263 – 1:2500 transmissions. Oral sex does not confer any significant risk. If you wish to do an HIV RNA test the earliest it can detect is 10-12 days post-exposure. More common STDs that you may test for are those that cause urethritis, such as chlamydia and gonorrhea. You may visit any of our clinics for a consult and evaluation.

  22. sir,
    my another question is that i have taken hepatitus b and hepatitus c test at 50 day after exposure with transgender. sir please give advise i am safe or not my test result is negative. it may be conclusive if not then on which day i do test. please reply

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