The type of HIV test we use
At NZAF, we use a device known as the Trinity Uni-Gold Rapid HIV test.
The benefit of this rapid test is that an accurate result is confirmed in just ten minutes instead of the five to seven days it might take for a result from a standard blood test through your GP or local sexual health clinic. The rapid test is carried out a little differently at NZAF from a test used in the laboratory and does not require laboratory training or equipment. The test result and our process is confidential.
The Trinity Uni-Gold Rapid HIV test that we use detects the HIV antibody (Ab), which are proteins produced by a person's body to fight the HIV infection.
Every HIV test has a 'window period' - this is the time from when you first become infected with HIV to when the test can detect the antibodies. In most cases, the test we use will be able to pick up a positive result approximately four weeks after exposure to HIV. However, it can vary from person to person. For some people, it may take longer for the infection to be detected after potential exposure. So if you think you've been exposed to HIV (for example, through unprotected anal sex) we will always recommend a re-test at three months after the exposure.
Testing early if a person may be exposed to HIV is important because research has shown that being diagnosed early and starting HIV treatment as soon as possible has positive outcomes on the person's overall health. Also, through being diagnosed and being on treatment, a person's viral load (which is the amount of HIV in a person's blood), becoming undetectable, the likelihood of passing HIV on to sexual partners is greatly reduced.