Talking about home testing for HIV

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Sticky Antibodies

I recently saw a post on this site about how ‘sticky antibodies’ can potentially cause false negative results. I have taken 3 tests (all negative) outside of the window period (about 9 months to 1 year). Can I please get some clarification of what this might mean and whether or not it could have been a cause for 3 false negatives. Could I be rest assured that my results are accurate?

2 Responses

 Used on 14th September 2020

Hello The post from Gary (below) seems to suggest that sticky antibodies do have a role in false negatives or am I reading this wrong? Hi BigQ I hope that I can help to clarify. There are a number of reasons why someone might get a false negative test result. The BioSURE HIV Self Test detects a person's antibodies rather than the virus itself. One of the most likely causes of a false negative is that the person has produced a low level of antibodies when tested. This itself can be caused by a number of things: taking PEP or PrEP can delay antibody creation or the person maybe in the early stages of antibody creation, for example. Another possible cause is the "stickiness" of a person's antibodies. Whilst all antibodies are similar the antibodies produced slightly different between people. Rapid tests are generally just not as accurate as large, laboratory instruments. Unfortunately few diagnostics are perfect. The BioSURE HIV Self Test has been developed and tested to ensure that it is very accurate. I hope that this helps to answer your question. Kind regards Gary Carpenter BioSure (UK) Limited

Becky, BioSure UK Ltd
 Work on 09th September 2020

Hi Anonymous01, 'Sticky antibodies' is a term that is sometimes used when talking about the conjugation of Protein A and the IgG antibodies. Essentially, false positives results may occur when an antibody binds to Protein A where it's not supposed to. This is due to the affinity of the binding. False negative results do not occur due to 'sticky antibodies'. If you have received 3 negative results all well outside of the window period then you can rely heavily on these results. False negative results occur most often when users are testing inside of the window period. I hope this information helps, if you have any other questions please feel free to leave them below. Kindest regards, Becky

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