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Antibody; HIV-1

CPT4 code

Name of the Procedure:

Antibody; HIV-1
Common names: HIV Antibody Test, HIV-1 Test, HIV Enzyme Immunoassay (EIA)


The Antibody; HIV-1 test is a blood test used to determine if a person has been infected with HIV-1, the virus that causes AIDS. It detects the presence of antibodies produced by the immune system in response to the virus.


This test is used to diagnose HIV-1 infection.

  • It helps to identify individuals who are infected with HIV-1 so they can receive appropriate medical treatment and counseling.
  • Early diagnosis can improve health outcomes and prevent the spread of the virus.


  • Individuals with symptoms of HIV infection (e.g., fever, weight loss, swollen lymph nodes).
  • People with high-risk behaviors (e.g., unprotected sex, intravenous drug use).
  • Pregnant women as part of routine prenatal screening.
  • Patients with tuberculosis or other opportunistic infections.
  • Healthcare workers with potential occupational exposure.


  • No specific preparation is needed.
  • Inform the healthcare provider about any medications or underlying health conditions.
  • Some may need to avoid eating or drinking for a short period before the test if combined with other tests.

Procedure Description

  1. A healthcare professional collects a blood sample, typically from a vein in the arm.
  2. The blood sample is sent to a laboratory where it is tested for HIV-1 antibodies using methods such as enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) or rapid tests.
  3. If the initial test is positive, a confirmatory test (like Western blot or an indirect immunofluorescence assay) is done to confirm the diagnosis.


The blood draw itself usually takes less than 5 minutes. Test results may be available within a few days to a week for standard tests or within minutes for rapid tests.


The blood sample can be collected in various settings including:

  • Hospitals
  • Outpatient clinics
  • Health departments
  • Specialized HIV testing centers


  • Phlebotomist or nurse for blood sample collection.
  • Laboratory technician for analyzing the blood sample.
  • Healthcare provider to discuss the results.

Risks and Complications

  • Minor pain or bruising at the needle site.
  • Rarely, there might be slight dizziness or fainting during the blood draw.


  • Early detection of HIV-1 infection can lead to timely treatment and better health outcomes.
  • Helps in reducing the spread of the virus to others.
  • Peace of mind if the test result is negative.


  • No recovery time needed; normal activities can be resumed immediately.
  • Follow-up appointments may be necessary based on test results.
  • Counseling and additional tests may be required if the result is positive.


  • Home HIV testing kits are available that allow individuals to collect a sample in the privacy of their home.
    • Pros: Convenience, privacy.
    • Cons: May require confirmatory testing in a clinical setting.
  • HIV RNA tests detect the virus directly and can identify infection earlier than antibody tests.
    • Pros: Earlier detection.
    • Cons: More expensive, not widely available for initial testing.

Patient Experience

  • The blood draw is typically quick and causes minimal discomfort.
  • Rapid tests provide immediate results, which can cause anxiety while waiting.
  • Positive results may lead to initial emotional stress but result in a care plan for managing health.
  • Comprehensive counseling and support services are often provided to help patients understand and adjust to the diagnosis.

Pain management is minimal as the blood draw is a mild procedure, with comfort measures provided if needed.

Medical Policies and Guidelines for Antibody; HIV-1

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