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NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms

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NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms



HIV test  listen  (… test)

  A test to check for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. HIV is the virus that causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). The most common type of HIV test is called the HIV antibody test, which checks for antibodies against HIV in a sample of blood, urine, or fluid from the mouth. It can take from 2 weeks to 6 months after a person is infected with HIV before the antibodies are found with an HIV antibody test. Another type of HIV test checks for RNA or DNA from HIV in a sample of blood. This test can find HIV in a person’s blood about 9-11 days after the person is infected with the virus.