There are several methods used to check whether a person is HIV positive or not. They can provide accurate information about the severity of the disease in an individual, and tell how the HIV antibodies are reacting to the virus. Some of them utilize modern equipment and tools that utilize some of the latest technology. Others lean more toward the unconventional ways.

HIV screening tests and diagnostic procedures are for the purpose of monitoring the activities of the HIV antibodies in the patient's body. They have been proven to provide a successful and precise diagnosis for several years. However, there will be times when the traditional ways will show some inadequacies necessitating the need to call upon the least popular methods.

The following are just a few of the standard HIV diagnostic methods medical professionals still use:

ELISA is the most widely accepted method and most patronized among them. It requires a patient’s blood sample which will be tested for traces of HIV antibodies. It is conducted alongside a confirmatory procedure known as the Western Blot. Both these methods require state-of-the-art technology and are much more expensive.

If the Western Blot test fails to detect the presence of the antibodies, scientists can try another confirmatory procedure called the Radioimmunoprecipitation Assay. It uses a sophisticated diagnostic tool that will look for the antibodies missed by the Western Blot test. It will, however, cost the patient more and take much longer to provide results. Only expert lab technicians are allowed to conduct the test.

For those that are on a tight budget, the Rapid Latex Agglutination Assay is an alternative that is not as complicated and expensive as the previous methods. It is suitable for developing countries that need an efficient HIV screening technique minus the sky-high costs.

There are also home HIV screening tests available for those that value their privacy. In the United Kingdom, the use of home screening tests was introduced six years ago. In this case, a patient is asked to send over to the laboratory a sample of his or her saliva. While the process is less tedious, they say that saliva is not a very reliable specimen to detect the HIV antibodies. They still believe that blood samples are way better for this job.

It is really expensive to undergo all these tests. This is the reason why it is better to prevent HIV infection than to look for ways to cure it. Always remember to use protection when having sex, and try to live a kind of lifestyle that will not put you at risk of these kinds of diseases.