Antibody Tests (ELISA, Western Blot)
Antibody tests are the most commonly performed. Usually an ELISA test is performed, and then repeated if positive. Following that, for positive ELISAs only, a Western Blot (WB) is performed. ELISA is not a Yes/No test, it is only a continuum of color change that is interpreted in this way because of an arbitrary cutoff point. Western Blot has the purported HIV proteins separated on a strip, with various methods used for interpretation (varying from country to country, and from organization to organization). Both types of tests measure antibodies, which in many diseases are considered a sign of immunity (particularly in the absence of symptoms). Why are antibody tests considered a sign of fatal disease in HIV/AIDS? Why are two of the same type of test used to validate each other?
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