Surveillance of Use of HIV Combined Ag/Ab Assay in Taiwan

Cheng-Feng Kao1、Jyh-Yuan Yang1、Chin-Hui Yang2、Be-Chih Chen1、Chuan-Liang Kao3

2012 Vol.28 NO.24

Correspondence Author: Chuan-Liang Kao


The Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is a type of Retrovirus which can induce the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, also referred to as AIDS. Currently, medical testing facilities in Taiwan mainly use the Enzyme Immunoassay (EIA) as the test reagent for detecting HIV infections and the Particle Agglutination (PA) for detecting HIV antibodies in determining whether an individual is infected with HIV. The newest generation of HIV antigen/antibodies combined reagents can simultaneously detect not only HIV antibodies but also the p24 HIV antigen, and in doing so they help reduce the HIV testing window period. According to questionnaire data compiled by the Taiwan Society of Laboratory Medicine (commissioned by this Center), the number of facilities using the HIV Ag/Ab combined reagent was 49 in 2009 and increased to 91 in 2010; by 2011, the numbers of facilities using this reagent had reached 130. This reflects the increasing importance placed on HIV detection by medical testing facilities in Taiwan. The continuous improvement in testing efficiency shortens the HIV testing window period, leads to earlier detection of HIV, and aids in preventing further spread of the virus. However, the sensitivity is not as high as NAT and thus has its limitations when detecting acute HIV infections