HIV RNA Test: Best Chance for Early HIV Detection

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HIV RNA Test: Best Chance for Early HIV Detection

Able to detect a new HIV infection without the presence of antibodies (body's proteins produced in order to combat infections) in the body’s blood, the new HIV RNA test is the best, most accurate early HIV detection test available on the market today.
HIV RNA Test: Best Chance for Early HIV Detection

Con­tract­ing HIV can be dev­as­tat­ing to indi­vid­u­als, fam­i­lies, and even bear a ter­ri­ble impact on the lives this hor­ri­ble dis­or­der effects. On the oth­er hand, ear­ly detec­tion can be extreme­ly ben­e­fi­cial, open­ing untold win­dows into treat­ment and ulti­mate­ly pre­ven­tion of the long term con­di­tion, AIDS.

In fact, the ear­li­er a vic­tim real­izes what he has, the bet­ter that person’s chances and med­ical treat­ment avail­able! HIV doesn’t need to be the life alter­ing, fear­ful con­di­tion many peo­ple think. Are you look­ing for one of the fastest, most reli­able ear­ly detec­tion tests for HIV?

What is the HIV RNA Test?

The HIV RNA test is the best option avail­able for ear­ly detec­tion. Researchers claim tests are 99% effec­tive, so there is no need to wor­ry about the find­ings! HIV tests usu­al­ly mea­sure the lev­els of the anti­bod­ies that fight HIV, com­pared to RNA-based tests, detect­ing the virus itself in the bloodstream.

In oth­er words, the HIV RNA test detects the virus as soon as it is detectable in the blood­stream, before anti­bod­ies begin to devel­op. It actu­al­ly takes your body up to 3 months to pro­duce a detectable lev­el of anti­bod­ies in reac­tion to the virus!

Able to detect a new HIV infec­tion with­out the pres­ence of anti­bod­ies (body’s pro­teins pro­duced in order to com­bat infec­tions) in the body’s blood, the new HIV RNA test is the best, most accu­rate ear­ly HIV detec­tion test avail­able on the mar­ket today.

  • RNA Tests are most­ly used to mon­i­tor the pro­gres­sion of dis­ease in an HIV-infect­ed person. 
  • The tests are used to diag­nose pri­ma­ry (recent) infec­tion also. 
  • The test­ing win­dow is very short. 
  • False pos­i­tives are unfor­tu­nate­ly com­mon in HIV RNA Tests. 
  • HIV RNA Tests are used to screen blood dona­tions commonly.

To deter­mine whether or not a per­son is infect­ed with HIV, RNA lev­els are mea­sured in the blood­stream. In an infect­ed per­son, RNA lev­els get very high dur­ing pri­ma­ry infec­tion, usu­al­ly above 100,000 copies/​ml (vs. a norm like 5,000). To be spe­cif­ic, the p24 anti­gen is detectable even before anti­bod­ies are made by the body’s immune sys­tem, mean­ing the virus hasn’t yet begun to impact a person’s health at this stage. 

  • False pos­i­tives are com­mon. But there is absolute­ly no need to wor­ry! They are eas­i­ly iden­ti­fied. A reac­tive test with a low viral load (see above) will be re-test­ed and confirmed. 

How Accu­rate is the HIV RNA Test?

Experts claim the HIV RNA test is 99% accu­rate, avail­able 9 – 11 days after expo­sure but not reli­able before this point. False pos­i­tives do occur, but are easy to spot. Regard­less of the result, fol­low up tests are avail­able to con­firm. In the end, the HIV RNA test is extreme­ly accu­rate in com­par­i­son to oth­er options!

  • The HIV RNA test is 90% accu­rate at 10 to 12 days after expo­sure, and 99% accu­rate at 12 weeks after. 
  • Though the test is very accu­rate, false pos­i­tives do occur. If this hap­pens, in the unlike­ly, extreme­ly rare case doc­tors aren’t sim­ply able to see a false pos­i­tive for what it is, there is almost 0% chance a sec­ond test will yield the same false results. 

Who Can Be Test­ed with the HIV RNA Test?

Any­one hav­ing known to, or believed to have been exposed to the HIV virus through unpro­tect­ed sex, con­tact with infect­ed blood, an infect­ed moth­er preg­nant or car­ing for her new­born child, or any­one who has shared dirty (non-ster­ile) nee­dles are among those who can ben­e­fit from ear­ly test­ing and detection.

  • Poten­tial Expo­sure to HIV-1 in the past 12 weeks 
  • Indi­vid­u­als who have received reac­tive (pos­i­tive) results on an HIV anti­body test 
  • Neg­a­tive or inde­ter­mi­nate results received from sup­ple­men­tal testing 
  • Infants born to infect­ed mothers

Cost of HIV RNA Testing

When it comes to top of the line med­ical care, most peo­ple are con­cerned with finan­cial cost and whether or not their insur­ance can help make that cost eas­i­er on them. Before any­thing else, under­stand that no mat­ter how much you might think HIV test­ing like the HIV RNA test costs or how expen­sive it is, the cost or good med­ical treat­ment is vast­ly cheap­er the ear­li­er a per­son real­izes he or she is infect­ed. In oth­er words, ulti­mate treat­ment is both cheap­er and more effec­tive the ear­li­er a per­son can get it.

Cost will dif­fer depend­ing on the med­ical facil­i­ty used and insur­ance pol­i­cy a per­son has, but flat pric­ing aver­ages around $150- $175. Though this form of test­ing is slight­ly more expen­sive than many oth­ers, the increase in cost is eas­i­ly out­weighed by the treat­ment ben­e­fits ear­ly detec­tion offers. 

Why Should You Choose the HIV RNA Test ASAP?

Because both HIV and ulti­mate­ly AIDS can bear such a dev­as­tat­ing impact on human lives, it’s extreme­ly impor­tant vic­tims real­ize they are car­ri­ers as soon as pos­si­ble! Not only can this knowl­edge both pre­vent know­ing­ly trans­mit­ting the dis­ease to oth­ers, it can help slow the spread of this con­di­tion and vast­ly improve treat­ment options.

  • About 37 mil­lion peo­ple are liv­ing with HIV/AIDS across the globe. 
  • In 2013, about 50,000 peo­ple were diag­nosed with HIV in the US
  • Accord­ing to sci­en­tists, every one out of eight peo­ple infect­ed with HIV or AIDS aren’t aware. 
  • Get­ting test­ed is the only way to be sure, and the HIV RNA test is your fastest option! 
  • Dis­cov­er­ing infec­tion quick­ly means ear­ly access to treat­ment, and bet­ter health chances.

When can you get tested? 

HIV RNA tests will be accu­rate after 9 – 11 days of expo­sure to the virus!

What does RNA stand for?

RNA stands for ribonu­cle­ic acid’, a genet­ic mes­sen­ger present in all the body’s cells that car­ries instruc­tions meant to con­trol the syn­the­sis of pro­teins from DNA. Such as this case, RNA can also be the genet­ic mate­r­i­al mak­ing up the HIV virus and some oth­er viruses.

What is HIV?

HIV stands for Human Immun­od­e­fi­cien­cy Virus’, which basi­cal­ly attacks a person’s immune sys­tem. The virus is unique in the way that it low­ers the body’s abil­i­ty to defend against oth­er invaders, virus­es, bac­te­ria, etc. 

  • HIV is trans­mit­ted by infect­ed blood, breast milk or sex­u­al flu­ids. There is no doc­u­ment­ed case of HIV being trans­mit­ted by tears or saliva!

All virus­es need to infect liv­ing cells in order to repro­duce. HIV takes over the T Cells’ respon­si­ble for defend­ing the body, basi­cal­ly turn­ing the cell into a virus fac­to­ry. The infect­ed cells then begin to pro­duce thou­sands of copies of the virus, which in turn begin invad­ing oth­er T cells and repeat­ing the entire process. Not only do infect­ed cells cease to work prop­er­ly, they die early. 

Com­mon Symp­toms of HIV:

  • Sore throat
  • Fever induc­ing headache 
  • Chills
  • Night­ly sweats 
  • Joint pain
  • Diar­rhea
  • Swollen lymph nodes 
  • Rash present
  • Mus­cle aches and pains 
  • Ulcers on/​around gen­i­tals or in the mouth

Chron­ic symp­toms of HIV:

  • Fever
  • Swollen lymph nodes 
  • Con­tin­u­ous fatigue 
  • Diar­rhea
  • Cough­ing
  • Con­tin­ued weight loss 
  • Short­ness of breath 

How is HIV Transmitted?

  • Via unpro­tect­ed sex
  • Shar­ing nee­dles or syringes
  • Shar­ing oth­er equip­ment used to pre­pare drugs 
  • Moth­er to child via birth, breast­feed­ing, pregnancy

Less Com­mon or Rare:

  • Oral sex
  • Blood Trans­fu­sion
  • Organ/​tissue transplants
  • Eat­ing food pre-chewed from infect­ed victim 
  • Bit­ten by infect­ed individual
  • Bro­ken skin con­tact with infect­ed individual 
  • Open mouth kiss­ing; con­tact with bleed­ing gums

HIV can live in a used nee­dle up to 42 days.

What is AIDS?

With­out treat­ment, an HIV infect­ed patient will even­tu­al­ly progress to devel­op­ing AIDS (Acquired Immune Defi­cien­cy Syn­drome) over approx­i­mate­ly the course of 10 years (esti­ma­tion). In layman’s terms, AIDS is a dis­ease caus­ing a severe dete­ri­o­ra­tion of a person’s cel­lu­lar immu­ni­ty, great­ly low­er­ing his or her abil­i­ty to fight off infec­tion and disease.

  • The CDC esti­mates about 1.3 mil­lion peo­ple are liv­ing with AIDS in the USA, approx­i­mate­ly 15% of them not know­ing it!

In the end, it isn’t the virus itself that kills a per­son. It is the destruc­tion of their immune sys­tem. At this stage, a minor com­mon cold could be lethal to some­one infect­ed with AIDS.

Symp­toms of AIDS

  • Con­tin­ued weight loss 
  • Skin rash­es or/​and bumps 
  • Headaches
  • Cough­ing
  • Chron­ic diarrhea 
  • Short­ness of breath 
  • Severe chills
  • Con­tin­u­ous fever high­er than 100 Fahren­heit for weeks 
  • Fre­quent Lethar­gy or Fatigue 
  • White spots or/​and abnor­mal lesions on the tongue and inside the mouth 
  • Dis­tort­ed or blurred vision 

Impor­tant, Com­mon Questions

Will HIV always lead to AIDS in every sin­gle case?

HIV infec­tion can even­tu­al­ly lead to AIDS, but with treat­ment it doesn’t always have to. Being diag­nosed with HIV isn’t near­ly as dire today as it was a decade ago, and patients often con­tin­ue to live per­fect­ly nor­mal lives with prop­er med­ical treatment. 

With the com­bi­na­tion of pow­er­ful antivi­ral ther­a­py tech­niques, or ART, and today’s vast advances in med­ical under­stand­ing, it’s eas­i­ly pos­si­ble for infect­ed men and women to live long and hap­py lives. 

As long as some­one choos­es to make the best health deci­sions pos­si­ble, remains in con­stant com­mu­ni­ca­tion with their doc­tor, and sticks to their strict treat­ment reg­i­men, pro­gres­sion to the final stage of HIV infec­tion- AIDS — can be sig­nif­i­cant­ly delayed. 

Does every­one who con­tracts AIDS even­tu­al­ly die from AIDS

Although it isn’t ful­ly under­stood why or how, there have been two known cas­es of humans who have been cured of the AIDS virus (depend­ing on the source). Remem­ber, there have been count­less mil­lions of report­ed AIDS relat­ed cas­es, not includ­ing those that go unre­port­ed, mak­ing the like­li­hood a vic­tim will be cured all but non-existent. 

Remark­able Case of Survival

One well known case involved a 45 year old man suf­fer­ing from AIDS, who also devel­oped Leukemia (can­cer). Upon being diag­nosed with can­cer, this per­son under­went a bone mar­row trans­plant. His doc­tor searched for a donor with a rare genet­ic resis­tance to HIV

The com­bi­na­tion of the trans­plant received from this resis­tant donor with the rare muta­tion, on top of both pow­er­ful radi­a­tion and chemother­a­py treat­ment allowed this per­son to remain unde­tectable for the AIDS virus even five years later. 

Will every HIV patient even­tu­al­ly get AIDS?


With today’s med­ical advances and under­stand­ing, most HIV infect­ed patients won’t devel­op AIDS as long as they strict­ly main­tain their anti­retro­vi­ral ther­a­py. Though this is true in most cas­es, there are times when AIDS is inevitable and can’t be prevented. 

Regard­less the per­son or case, how­ev­er, chances are always with­out a doubt improved with good med­ical care and ear­ly detection.

Can I get HIV from an infect­ed person’s sali­va (kiss­ing)?

Believe it or not, there has been no known case of a per­son con­tract­ing HIV infec­tion from anoth­er sick person’s sali­va. The virus can be spread through con­tact with sores on the mouth or bleed­ing gums, so activ­i­ties like kiss­ing are still very dangerous.

How long can I live with HIV?

First, under­stand that it isn’t actu­al­ly HIV or even AIDS that will cause the death of a per­son. Deaths ulti­mate­ly result from their body’s inabil­i­ty to fight off infec­tion from for­eign invaders (exam­ple: com­mon cold, flu) due to their dimin­ished immune sys­tems and the dam­age the virus does to those immune systems.

The ear­li­er an HIV infect­ed patient is able to get med­ical care, the bet­ter the chances are for a long, healthy life. Even back in 2011, sev­en years ago, the total aver­age life expectan­cy of a per­son with HIV was esti­mat­ed to be an unbe­liev­able 70 years!

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