Talking about home testing for HIV

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What is the antigen?

What is the antigen used in the Biosure test? Is it a whole HIV virus – i.e. could you catch HIV from the test itself?

6 Responses

Gary Carpenter, BioSure (UK) Limited
 Work on 09th July 2019

Hi James Thanks for getting in touch with BioSure. To put your mind at ease, there are indeed antigens which are immobilised onto the test in order to detect antibodies to HIV. However, these antigens are man-made replicas of only small parts of proteins that are made by the HIV virus, the antigens are not the virus as a whole. So you cannot be infected by the test. I hope that this helps. Kind regards Gary

 Used on 08th July 2019

Hi, when you say synthetic peptides that are representative of HIV surface proteins and that it is not the whole virus, could you please explain this further in simpler terms, I understand that for antibodies to be detected they need to bind to an antigen which I believe is in the test strip of the biosure hiv self test device. There is absolutely no way you can catch HIV from the test, the antigens in the test strip or buffer solution once combined with the sample and strip?

 Used on 08th February 2019

Many thanks for your reply. I was definitely being very neurotic! :)

Gary Carpenter, BioSure (UK) Limited
 Work on 22nd January 2019

Hi Jim Thanks for getting in contact. To clarify, the antibody detection is based on synthetic peptides that are representative of HIV surface proteins. The antigen used is not the whole virus. The device contains no viable animal material. I hope that this helps to clear up your query. Kind regards, Gary Carpenter BioSure (UK) Limited

 Used on 21st January 2019

Sorry for being so neurotic. To detect the antibody though you would need some sort of antigen for the antibody to bind to. I was wondering what that antigen was, and if it was in fact a whole HIV virus, or just a viral protein / part of a viral protein.

Francesca Bard, BioSure (UK) LTD
 Work on 18th January 2019

Hi Jim, I would like to start by saying the BioSURE HIV Self Test cannot give you HIV. Our HIV test looks for antibodies to the virus rather than the virus itself, this means our test does not detect antigens. I hope this helps but please contact me if you require more information. Kindest regards Francesca Bard, BioSure (UK) Ltd

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