HIV Non-reactive: Meaning of HIV Test Results

Learn From Doctor Team
Learn From Doctor Team is made up of well-qualified doctors of different fields with brilliant academic results and professional careers. The article is written and reviewed by doctors of this specialty.

HIV Non-reactive Overview

HIV non-reactive(Non-reactive HIV) result indicates that there are no HIV antibodies are detected in your blood(body). This means you do not have HIV, you are healthy and free from AIDS.

Make sure that you tested your blood for HIV at least after a month of potential HIV exposure.

HIV antibodies can take up to a month to reach the level that can be detected by laboratory investigations.

If you get a non-reactive HIV result after one month of potential HIV exposure, then we recommend you take another test after another month. If the 2nd test report shows HIV non-reactive result then you do not have HIV.

HIV non-reactive virus image
HIV non-reactive

All about Rapid HIV Test

  • Rapid HIV tests can provide results within 15 minutes or as soon as the next day.
  • The word “rapid” refers to the time it takes to get results, not the time between exposure and testing.
  • The result can take some time if the sample is being sent to another specialized laboratory.
  • Blood tests done in a moment On a measuring strip, poke a pin-prick of blood. You will get the results while you wait because this test takes about 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Oral samples, rather than blood, are used in certain rapid tests. Although they are sometimes referred to as saliva tests, this is a bit misleading. Oral samples, rather than saliva, extract cells from the gums’ surface. Antibodies to HIV are found in these cells.
  • When samples are sent to a lab, you have the choice of picking up the results in person or having them mailed to you. You can choose what you want. Some clinics send the results over the phone.

A positive rapid test result must always be verified by a separate laboratory test.


Interpretation of Rapid HIV Test

In the same way, as a pregnancy test shows two lines if positive and one line if negative, rapid blood tests show two parallel lines if positive and one line if negative.

Laboratory test results are differentiated into negative, positive, or indeterminate.

  • If you are not infected by the Human Immunodeficiency Virus(HIV) then you are HIV negative and the test results show negative or non-reactive.
  • A positive or reactive test result suggests that you are HIV positive and infected with the virus(HIV).
  • Indeterminate suggests that the test outcome was uncertain and that it should be repeated to be sure.
HIV Non-reactive
Non-reactive HIV


Reactive HIV rapid test
Reactive HIV rapid test


Invalid HIV Rapid Test
Invalid HIV Rapid Test

Read Incurable STDs

HIV Testing Is Important

If you have the Human Immunodeficiency Virus(HIV), finding out as soon as possible allows you to begin treatment right away, allowing you to feel better and live a long, healthy life. You should also take precautions to avoid spreading HIV to others.

Pregnant women should get screened because early treatment guarantees that the infection will not be passed on to the infant.


Who should take the HIV Test

Everyone in the USA between the age of 13-64 should test HIV at least once in a lifetime.

If you are in a potential risk zone or at higher risk of being infected by HIV then you should test HIV once every year;


People are at risk and need to test HIV every year are following

  • People who have several sexual partners
  • Performed sexual intercourse with somebody who is infected by HIV or at a potential risk zone.
  • Someone whose sexual history is unknown or doubtful
  • Drugs were injected using a needle, syringe, or other devices that had previously been used by someone else.
  • Tested positive for TB, Herpes, Syphilis or/and any STDs
  • Performed sexual intercourse with somebody who has STDs.
HIV Transmission Infographics-Non-reactive HIV
HIV Transmission Infographics

Available HIV Testing Types

Antibody Screening Test

These tests look for protein(antibody) generated by your body within two to eight weeks of being infected with HIV. These tests are also known as immunoassays or ELISA tests. They’re usually very right.

These blood and oral fluid tests will give you results in as little as 15 minutes, but they can give you false negatives sometimes even though you’re infected. Test again after a month to make sure the result.


Antibody and Antigen Combined Screening Test

These blood tests are recommended by the CDC. They can detect HIV more quickly than antibody tests. They look for HIV antigen, which is a virus protein called p24 that appears 2 to 4 weeks after infection. Antibodies to HIV are also tested.

These types of HIV tests can provide the result as soon as 15 minutes.

NAT-Nucleic Acid Test

An RNA test is another name for this. It looks for the virus itself and can detect HIV about ten days after exposure. Since it is costly, it is rarely the first choice. However, if you’re at high risk and are having flu-like symptoms, your doctor may suggest it.


HIV in-home test kits

In the USA, you can get kits to test your blood or oral fluids. You can get them from a local store or order them online. Choose one that has been approved by the FDA.

In contrast to in-person lab tests, home tests are somewhat less sensitive.

Detailed Explanation of HIV Test Results

Positive HIV test results

A positive test result suggests that you have HIV(Human Immunodeficiency Virus) in your body. If you had a rapid test, check it with a normal lab test. More comprehensive blood testing will help validate your diagnosis.

More detailed laboratory tests are;

  • Indirect immunofluorescence assay or Western blot
  • Differentiation of HIV-1 and HIV-2 antibodies

A positive HIV test does not necessarily indicate that you have AIDS, the most serious type of the disease. Antiretroviral therapy (ART) will prevent you from developing AIDS, so talk to your doctor about starting it right away (ART). These medications reduce the amount of virus in your body to the point that a test can’t detect it. They also protect the immune system, stopping HIV infection from spreading to AIDS.

HIV Test Results-Non-reactive HIV
HIV Test Results-Non-reactive HIV

Negative HIV test results

If your test is negative, you should take precautions to avoid contracting HIV. Pre-exposure prophylaxis (pre-exposure medicine) and safe sex are two of them (PrEP).

Even if your test comes back negative, your partner could still be tainted. Discuss having checked for them.

Some tests can take up to 6 months to produce enough antibodies to yield a positive result. If your test result is negative and it’s been 3 months or less since you could have been contaminated, get another test after 6 months to be accurate.

HIV Symptoms Infographics
HIV Symptoms Infographics

Few Last Words

HIV non-reactive(Non-reactive HIV) means you are not infected by HIV. Still, maintain safe sex and pre-exposure prophylaxis to maintain optimum health and prevent HIV.


Last Updated on February 23, 2022 by Learn From Doctor Team

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