Rapid tests for HIV

About HIV

Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) is caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). By killing or damaging cells of the body's immune system, HIV progressively destroys the body's ability to fight infections and certain cancers. HIV is spread through sexual contact, contact with infected blood, or through transmission from infected mothers to their infants.
Rapid diagnostic tests are available for detection of the two types of HIV—HIV-1, HIV-2, or both. Earlier in the pandemic, HIV-2 had certain regional prevalence but over time, HIV-2 isolates have made their way across the globe. Therefore, tests that can detect both types of virus are now commonly applied in HIV testing centers.

Links to more information

  • EngenderHealth's HIV/AIDS Minicourse
    This course is designed for reproductive health and other health care providers, staff, planners, and managers in resource-poor settings who would like to improve their knowledge of HIV/AIDS.
  • HIV Insite
    A comprehensive website run by the University of California San Francisco dedicated to HIV/AIDS treatment, knowledge, and policy information.