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ELISA-A blood test for AIDS

Enzyme-linked immune sorbent assay (ELISA) is a type of test that is used to detect antibodies or infectious agents in a blood sample.

When it's done:

The test is often performed to see if the person is exposed to viruses or other substances that may cause infection. ELISA is most commonly used to diagnose chronic infections with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

This test is done for many reasons:

  • In the high-risk group (commercial sex workers, injection drug users and their sexual partners, etc.), to prevent spread of HIV infection
  • To screen people with long-standing or recurring infections
  • To screen for current or past infections
  • Pregnant women, as a preventive measure from passing the HIV virus to the baby
  • To screen blood, blood products and organ donors to prevent the spread of HIV infection

When to Avoid:

The ELISA test should NOT be performed in the following conditions:

  • If the patient is taking medicines that may interfere with the test
  • If the patient is suffering from bleeding disorders
  • If the patient had trouble giving blood in the past
  • In case of allergic reactions, consult the doctor before the test is performed

How to prepare:

There is no special preparation for the test. However, the blood is drawn from a vein and the sample is sent to the laboratory.


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