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Q. Is performing ELISA test difficult?

Answered by
Dr. Atishay Bukharia
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Jun 03, 2016 and last reviewed on: Apr 06, 2020

Hi doctor,

Before 16 years, I had two high risk exposure with sex workers and the risk was condom break in both situations. After three months from my last exposure I did ELISA test for HIV 1 and 2. It came back negative. Again, I did the same mistake after one year, condom break with a sex worker. Then after five years I did HIV test ELISA 1 and 2 and it came back negative. I was about to get married that time. I did not believe the results because my brain keeps telling me maybe the last laboratory did not do a good job or maybe the one who is working in the laboratory did not know how to perform the test. They convinced me it as negative and I do not have the virus. I did my best to believe it and move on in my life. I got married and when my wife got pregnant, she did the HIV test in her first and third trimester during her pregnancy and it came back negative. My questions are, is preforming ELISA test hard or easy? I do not know what ELISA generation it was. Should I believe and trust the laboratory? Is it possible that it has been more than 13 years from my first high risk exposure and I am still in a good health? Can my wife get HIV from me? Please explain.

Dr. Atishay Bukharia

Cosmetology Dermatology HIV/AIDS Specialist Venereology


Welcome to

  • ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay) is very easy to perform and has a sensitivity of around 99%, that means out of 100 HIV positive persons it will come positive in 99 of them. 1 person may come negative despite of him being HIV positive. So, at first instance, negative ELISA means no HIV.
  • But, for a high risk exposure guidelines state that at least two negative tests from different laboratory should be considered negative.
  • If all your tests are negative, then you are not having HIV.
  • Yes, it is possible, because chances of acquiring HIV after vaginal sex in females are 1 in 1000 that is after full blown vaginal sex with HIV positive male, the women will acquire HIV only in one such instance.
  • So, in the same way the chances of your acquiring HIV after vaginal sex with a sex worker is 0.05 %  that is 1 in 2000. So, you may not have acquired HIV even if they were positive.

For further information consult an HIV AIDS specialist online -->

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