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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Tests and Exams > HIV Western Blot
      Category : Health Centers > AIDS/HIV

HIV Western Blot

Alternate Names : Western Blot-HIV

Overview & Description | Preparation & Expectations | Results and Values

This is a test that detects the presence of antibodies, which are chemicals produced by the body to fight germs and other foreign substances. In particular, the test detects antibodies to the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) which causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, or AIDS.

How is the test performed?

A blood sample is needed to test for HIV antibodies. This is obtained by drawing blood from a vein in the forearm or the hand. To do this, the skin over the vein is cleaned with an antiseptic. Next, a strong rubber tube, or tourniquet, is wrapped around the upper arm. This enlarges the veins in the lower arm by restricting blood flow through them. A very thin needle is gently inserted into a vein and the tourniquet is removed. Blood flows from the vein through the needle and is collected in a syringe or vial. The sample collected is then sent to the lab to be analyzed. After the needle is withdrawn, the puncture site is covered for a short time to prevent bleeding.


   

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HIV Western Blot: Preparation & Expectations

Author: David T. Moran, MD
Reviewer: Sal Sandoval, MD
Date Reviewed: 09/11/01



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