The multiplex test is a blood test, and is sometimes also referred to as a ‘PCR’ test (polymerase chain reaction), or NAAT (Nucleic Acid Amplification), which works by analysing DNA to detect tiny amounts of viral genetic material. It is the test that can be taken soonest after exposure to the HIV virus (a minimum of 10 days).
You will need to come in so that we can take a blood sample. Trace amounts of DNA from the sample are then amplified and compared to the virus’ own unique DNA sequence.
The test is highly sensitive and highly accurate, and your results will be available within a week.
The test can be taken 10 days or more following exposure to the virus. Ensure that you arrive for your test well-hydrated, to make the process easier.During the test
The Multiplex test is a simple blood test. A needle is inserted into a vein, usually on the inner arm near the elbow, and a small amount of blood is drawn. You may feel a pricking or scratching sensation.
There are several options available how to receive the results: the doctor can give you a call, we can email you the results or you can contact the clinic at the time of your convenience.
The Multiplex PCR test detects the presence of genetic HIV material, rather than antibodies. Multiplex testing locates the DNA copy of the HIV virus itself. This is usually present sooner than the antibodies that the body produces in response to an infection.
Recent research suggests that the Multiplex test is 98% accurate if taken 10 days after exposure.
Multiplex testing is done using a blood sample, so the test procedure is no different to other sexual health blood screenings. The blood test is quick and relatively painless; you may feel a slight scratch or pricking feeling when the needle is inserted.