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Video of Alere Determine HIV test – Positive Test

Most people whom I test for HIV are fortunately negative.

However, I get frequently asked what a positive test looks like.

This is the reason I uploaded this video. It shows the Alere Determine HIV test in action detecting the presence of HIV antibodies in blood.

From the timeline, it also illustrates how fast the Determine test is. Although we always wait for the official 20 minutes for the test to complete, from this video you can see that by 1 minute into the test, we can easily tell if a person is positive for HIV.

  •  9 seconds – blood applied
  • 24 seconds – chase buffer applied
  • 58 seconds – faint line appearing in patient window
  • 1 minute 30 seconds – line is obvious and unmistakable
  • 4 minutes – faint line appearing in control window
  • 5 minutes – both lines are obvious and unmistakable

Click on the link below to watch the video:


If your test looks like this, please see Our Doctors as soon as you can.

Remember, this is a screening test and can have false negative results.

You need another test to confirm if you are really infected with HIV or not.



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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. I had a test using alere determine. It showed a line, no color just a line. But the chemist guy told me am positive. I thought it was suppose to show pink or red for one can be told he is positive. I wasn’t convinced so I had another using unigold which came out negative. Pls doc what have u to say about this?!

    • Dear Dokki

      If you are concerned with the test that was concluded by your chemist , I would suggest that you talk to your doctor for HIV testing so that he would be able to choose the right HIV test and interpret the result for you . Do note that the testing window period for different types of hiv tests may vary

  2. i had unprotected sex with one of my course mate at school, after three weeks i run the test which the result was negative . the following the i had a protected sex but before we start the girls tried to forcefully play with my dick which i refused to agree…. she tried the same thing again but i didn’t give her a chance…. after three weeks with this last exposure i had a test at lab.. with the result was negative also i still undergo for another test after two weeks the guy use determine and uni gold but unfortunately the result was positive both the two .. i doubt it because i was not satisfied with him and he didn’t use buffer.. after three days of pain and regret.. i had another test with different lab and the guy use alere determine with buffer after 30 mint he called me and gave me the result.. luckily the result was negative.. i doubt it to the extent that the guy showed me the strip with i discovered there is faint line with colour at all… not grey not red it was just the sign of line… and he said it was negative. .. my question here is that which result would consider to be reliable ?
    your urgent respond would really be helpful as i couldn’t sleep all this while.. feeling like i was not the person i was yesterday.. feeling like to commit suicide ….

    • This is not a question that this platform can or should deal with. You have conflicting HIV test results. Therefore, you must see a HIV specialist to sort it out. You basically need to know if you are infected with HIV or not. You will likely need more advanced testing like RNA PCR tests.

  3. tested positive to hiv using rdk but later tested nagative on 3 subceguent test

  4. Limerick

    Dear Doctor, I think the folks leaving comments here have missed the most important question: what is the source of this video? If it’s from you, is it usual practice to experiment with a ‘live’ positive blood sample? Hope to have some clarity from you or your partners.

    Thank you

  5. Hi doc.. Sorry am writing u again… Please can you be specific about the blood to be used without buffer because in an instinct using only blood on the strip can bring false positives results rather than the negative results.. For instance when blood flows directly to the line in The patient window.

    • All I am going to say about this is that the test should always be conducted according to the manufacturer’s instructions. If you are not sure on how to run the test, please see a medical professional who can help you.

  6. Hello doc.. I took HIV test with alere and uni-gold test strip with only blood without the buffer the test came positive,so I decided to go for more test with alere and uni-gold several times with the buffer but all the test was negative..please which results is to be considered.. Thanks

  7. Hello doc.. Thanks for your time.. I ran a test with alere and uni gold with blood without adding buffer and the result came out positive but after that I took many other test adding chase buffer and all was negative.. Pls which result should be considered..looking forward for ur answer.. Thanks

  8. Pliz doctor..suppose i had sex with an i fected person today…in how many hours should i go fo an HIV test for better results

  9. Pliz doctor..whatif i dont use a chase buffer instead i use water…can it work out for me??

  10. Pls is it wrong to use d unigold chase buffer on the determine test strip…re all buffers d same cos i used the unigold buffer and d control line was really dark red while the patent line was visible but like a marking nt really colored…do I do a repeat test?

    • First of all, you should not be conducting these tests yourself. You should be letting a trained professional do the test for you. Secondly, you should always conduct the test according to the manufacturer’s instructions. We cannot comment on the accuracy of the test if you are not conducting it properly and according to manufacturer’s instructions.

  11. I took one of these test alog side a oraquick test and the clinic councilor determine both as negative, both test had one dark read line. But when I looked closer to the Alere test there was like this microscopic faint shadow, or grey line. I heard that is was just an evaporation line but it literally looks like a grey very faint pencil line… Do these test have built in evaporation lines or something? I was still told I was negative because it was not pink nor red.

    • Help please ??!

    • Is it possible that I could get a response because I’m very worried and confused about grey line

      • This is actually very common. I personally see it a lot. If you strain your eyes hard enough, you will see a faint “line” at the patient test window. That line is the antigen/antibody trap. It is where the active part of the test is. The test is only considered positive if there is the presence of the target antibody or antigen to trigger off a calorimetric reaction that will turn the line red. Your clinic councilor is obviously experienced enough to tell this apart from a positive test.

        • That’s exactly what happened to me… I saw that line but the chemist man concluded I was positive. When I used unigold it came out negative. The last time I had unprotected sex was in 2015…

          • I had a test at a nearby chemist… The man used alere determine hiv kit and it showed a shadow line on the patient window… No color attached to it. Just a shadow line… He said I was positive. I went back and asked to be tested using unigold and it came out negative. What’s ya stake on that doc…

          • Dear Solo
            If you are concerned with the test that was concluded by your chemist , I would suggest that you talk to your doctor for HIV testing so that he would be able to choose the right HIV test and interpret the result for you . Do note that the testing window period for different types of hiv tests may vary

  12. cherry good

    Do I take PEP or not? I had sex with a guy two days ago.I took his blood for test.A faint line appeared on d patients area on determine kit showing positive on determine and On Unigold and Stat Pak, his sample was negative. Is he HIV positive?

    • Whether or not you have to take PEP is a decision that you have to make with a doctor after a formal consultation about your risks. We cannot give such advice over the internet. But I do urge you to see your doctor asap.

  13. Can one get HIV from Alere chase buffer? Incase it pours on an open wound?

    • No you cannot. The chase buffer does not contain any live HIV virus.

      • Sir can alert buffer contain dead hiv virus or antibodies ??

          • Do alere chase buffer which is used in hiv 1 & 2 trueline rapid test contains any hiv antigens or antibodies??Do hiv antigens or antibodies used in manufacturing of chase buffer solution?? I m asking this because my son licked chase buffer with his tongue and drink 6-7 drops of buffer while it was kept…

          • pls Doctor, I need ur advice on my health issue, am having a burning sensation in my mouth, white coat on my lips, general body weakness after eating bread or any sugar content, movement round my body and ache at times, abdominal bloating, sensations in my throat, am realy worried about all these and has run HIV text four times and urine culture but all was negative. pls what can be causing all these symptoms. pls reply through mail. thanks

          • I think you should see a doctor to get a proper assessment. Your symptoms are very non-specific. You may require some other forms of testing.

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