An ELISA test is one that determines the number of antibodies in the blood. This is a blood test that is commonly done in order to see if there is an infectious disease in the system. HIV is commonly diagnosed using this test as well as Lyme disease, rotavirus and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. In the event that there are antibodies in the blood, it could mean that you have had the disease in the past as it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have the disease at the present time. If there are antibodies, then further testing will be done to determine if you currently have the disease so that medications can be administered.
The test itself is rather simple. A doctor might order the test if you have any symptoms of having a disease. ELISA kits are in the doctor’s office and hospitals. They can also be found in laboratories. A consent form will be given before the test is administered. A sample of the blood is taken. The nurse will place a type of tourniquet on the arm in order to get the veins to stand up so that the nurse can find an area to place the needle. Once a vein is found, a needle with a tube attached is used to draw a small sample. The sample is sent to a lab to look for the antibodies.
The results of the test usually don’t take long to come back. Once you have the results, you and your doctor can determine the best course of action if you have any kind of disease. If you have been exposed to one of the diseases listed for an ELISA test, then it’s best to get the blood work done to either confirm or rule out the diagnosis. Women who are pregnant are often asked to be tested for HIV.