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Hb He Hi

HIV Testing In Kenya

The Red Ribbon symbol the fight against HIVAIDS

The Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is a virus that causes AIDS( Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome). HIV infection is quite widespread in Kenya, with a national prevalence of 4.1% among adults.

HIV testing is based on the guidelines issued by NASCOP.


 HIV testing encompasses several different tests and testing modalities. The commonest and first to be used detect the presence of antibodies against HIV (indirect evidence of the body’s exposure to HIV ). There are other tests that detect the presence of components of the virus( proteins or DNA).


The HIV test is used to diagnose HIV infection. The Human Immunodeficiency Virus is a type of retrovirus that decimates the body’s defenses, and when low enough, leads to the development of Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS). Before the advent of antiretroviral therapies, HIV/AIDS is uniformly fatal.

Test Type

  1. Antibody Test
    These tests detect the presence of antibodies against the HIV virus. These are rapid tests and are the initial screening tests. Examples include Determine HIV1/2 test.

Test Category

Point of Care Testing /Home Testing / Rapid Diagnostic Test.

Test Principle

Detection of antibodies against HIV virus in the blood.


  • Whole blood for healthcare settings
  • Saliva for home testing.

Test Preparation / Instructions

  • Adequate counseling
  • Confirm test kits integrity and expiry Dates

Test Procedure

  • Sterilise finger tip with alcohol swab
  • Prick the finger tip 
  • Apply one drop of blood into the test cassette well.
  • Add one drop of supplied buffer.
  • Wait for 5 min and read results


A red line forms for the control and another if test is positive

Note: Positive result must be confirmed with another different test.

Reference Range

  • Reported as either Positive or Negative