Antibodies and Antigen Test
Tests that look for both the antibodies and a part of the virus (antigen) are becoming more popular. They can detect HIV three weeks after exposure, but can test blood only.
What to Consider: These tests are not the go-to used at all testing sites. So, if you think that you’ve been recently exposed, let the test site know and request it.
Home Access HIV-1 Test System
The Home Access HIV-1 Test System is a quick and easy alternative to a testing center. You use the at-home collection kit to prick your finger for a blood sample. After sending it to a lab, you can get anonymous results as early as one day after.
What to Consider: At-home blood tests do not detect the virus as early as most blood tests that take samples from the vein, but results still come quicker than tests using oral samples.
RNA tests can detect HIV in 10 days because it tests for the actual virus and not the antibodies.
What to Consider: These tests are more expensive than antibody tests and aren’t usually used as screening tests. It is likely, however, that you take one as a follow-up to one of the less expensive tests.