Frequently Asked Questions about HIV Testing
What is AIDS?
AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficency Syndrome) is a disease
that limits the body's ability to fight infection. A person with AIDS has a very weak immune system, turning normally mild or rare diseases
into potentially fatal conditions
What is HIV?
HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is the virus that
How can you tell if someone is infected with
Only with a blood test. A person can be HIV infected
for many years while looking and feeling healthy, with no signs at all
of being sick.
What are the symptoms of the HIV virus?
HIV infection most often has no symptoms. Flu-like
symptoms often occur four to twelve weeks after infection when seroconversion
generally takes place. Symptoms are variable, but include swollen glands
in the neck and armpits, fatigue, fever, thrush, night sweats, weight
loss, gynocologic disorders (in women) including yeast infections and
PID. For more detailed information, go to,
How is the HIV virus spread?
HIV is transmitted through contact with the blood,
semen, vaginal secretions or breast milk of an HIV infected person.
How can I be exposed to HIV?
The most common way to become exposed is by having
unprotected sex with someone who is infected or by sharing a needle or
syringe with someone who is infected. Sex without a condom. HIV is found
in semen, vaginal fluids and blood. HIV can enter the body through any
type of sexual intercourse, including vaginal, anal and oral sex.
Can you get AIDS through oral sex?
Yes, you can become infected with the HIV virus through
oral sex. Anytime blood is able to transfer from an infected person to
another person, the likelihood of spreading the decease increases. The
mouth has many blood vessels and pores, and it bleeds regularly. Sometimes
it is caused from flossing or even biting into an apple. Because of the
mouth's sporadic bleeding tendencies, the sexual risks involved are similar,
but not nearly as risky, to those of the vagina. There is a higher likelihood
of a blood temperature variation from the mouth compared to the vagina,
since the vagina is designed to maintain a constant temperature in order
to allow sperm to survive. The mouth by comparison, usually has a continuous
flow of fresh air, which will help to prevent the transfer of the HIV virus. However there is still a risk, and oral sex or even heavy french
kissing can transfer the HIV viruses.
What about doing drugs?
Injecting drugs using a needle that has been used
by someone else is risky because it can contain infected blood from that
What are the ways to prevent or reduce
exposure to HIV infection?
The best way to reduce risk is to always use a latex
condom correctly for all sexual intercourse. If you are using injectable
drugs, always use a sterile needle and never use somebody else's equipment.
Does Seville Marketing manufacture the
Discreet AIDS - HIV testing kit, or are you just a distributor of the product from
some other pharmaceutical company?
Seville Marketing is the creator and manufacturer of Discreet.
Can Discreet detect the newer strains of
the HIV virus?
We have just introduced our new three-line Discreet AIDS -
test to some of our wholesale customers within South America. This is
the third generation of the original Discreet AIDS - HIV test. Besides testing
for antibodies of HIV1 and HIV2, this new test has an additional line
that tests specifically for antibodies of HIV-O. Although there are less
than 1,000 known cases of HIV-O and the majority of those infected by
this latest strain of the HIV virus are situated within Africa, we believe
that it is important to keep pace with the latest developments in HIV
How does Discreet work?
Discreet is able to detect antibodies of the HIV virus.
The CDC considers HIV antibody testing extremely accurate. They also state
that a repeatedly reactive screening test should be followed by a "confirmatory"
test before a person is declared seropositive. Discreet is an HIV viral
screening test that simultaneously detects HIV-1, HIV-2, and HIV-O antibodies.
Over the past couple of years, Discreet’s accuracy, ease of use, and flexibility
have made it a very popular and sensible alternative for AIDS/HIV testing
within a wide range of different applications in various countries around
the world. The test utilizes synthetic and recombinant peptides that represent
the envelop glycoproteins of HIV-1, HIV-2, and HIV-O virus immobilized
on a membrane and enclosed on a dipstick. The membrane has a proprietary
blend of peptides for the detection of HIV-1, HIV-2, and HIV-O antibodies
present in plasma, serum, or whole blood. These peptides are 100% non-infectious
and highly specific in HIV antibody detection. Discreet is a sensitive
immunoassay and is now able of test for the type-O strain as well as types
1 & 2 of human immuno-deficient viruses, collectively designated as
HIV (AIDS). The virus is mostly transmitted by sexual contact, exposure
to blood or certain blood products, and from infected mothers passing
the virus to her fetus or child through childbirth or breast-feeding.
All three strains of the HIV virus are similar in their morphology, cell
tropism, interaction with CD4 cellular receptors, overall genetic structure
and their ability to cause AIDS. A test is considered positive, when tests
based on such procedures as the enzyme linked Immunosorbent assay (ELISA),
indirect immunofluorescence assay (IFA), and immunoblots Western Blot
are considered reactive. A positive test indicates exposure and outside
of the perinatal and neonatal periods, is presumed to indicate infection
by the HIV virus.
How does the new Discreet test for HIV1,
HIV2, and HIV-O antibodies?
The new third generation, three line Discreet now uses double
antigen recombinant proteins, which dramatically improve sensitivity and
specificity. This assay is a chromatographic lateral flow immunoassay,
containing filter membrane coated with HIV-1 and HIV-2 specific. antigens
and colored gold colloidal reagents labeled with HIV-1, HIV-2, and HIV-O
specific antigens There are three regions on the membrane of the control
window. The first region is the “C” line. A light pinkish-red or burgundy
colored band in this control region of the test should always appear,
regardless of the presence of HIV-1, HIV-2, and/or HIV-O antibodies. It
serves as an internal qualitative control for the test’s system. T region
or test area has two testing lines. The first line under the “T” region
of the membrane is situated slightly closer to the “C” region and searches
for HIV-O antibodies. The second line under the “T” region of the membrane
is slightly closer to the Sample Well “S” and looks for HIV-1 and HIV-2
antibodies. One and possibly two pinkish-red or burgundy color bands will
develop quickly if antibodies of HIV-1, HIV-2, and/or HIV-O are present
in the blood specimen. If antibodies to HIV-1, HIV-2, and/or HIV-O are
not present, then no lines will develop in the “T” area of the test region.
How soon do these antibodies show up In most infected people, Discreet
will be able to pick up the antibodies in the blood within TWENTY-EIGHT
days of being exposed to the disease.
How long should I wait before taking your
Discreet is an HIV antibody test. It has been known to detect
HIV antibodies in as little as seven days, but its 99.4% accuracy is based
on the time period after 28 days from the time of possible exposure. This
time period is known as the Seroconversion stage and it represents the
time period when the antibodies of the HIV virus are the most easily detectable.
Because of the various metabolisms of different people, in some cases
the HIV virus can become undetectable and almost dormant like for extended
periods of time. It is for this reason that the confirmatory testing is
How accurate is the Discreet HIV testing kit?
If testing procedures are followed accurately and the test
is taken at least twenty-eight days after exposure to the HIV virus, the
test results are 99.4% accurate. Over the past two years we've had three
independent studies done on Discreet and our 99.4% accuracy rate is based
upon these studies. We are currently having a new study done on our third
generation three line Discreet AIDS - HIV test kit.
I’ve heard that HIV antibody testing sometimes
doesn’t work on people who have AIDS, is this true?
Over a prolonged period of time, as the body's immune system
becomes increasingly compromised, the body will produce less and less
antibodies and eventually reach a stage where neither Discreet, the ELISA,
or the Western Blot would be capable of detecting them. This usually occurs
during the late stages of AIDS. The current definition of someone in late
stage AIDS is when their CD4 count dips below 200. Of course by this time
the diagnosis of AIDS has been well established and antibody testing would
You claim that Discreet is 99.4% accurate after 28 days. I’ve been told that I should wait six months from the time of possible exposure before taking an
AIDS/HIV test. Could you please clear this up for me?
Discreet has actually been known to detect the HIV1, HIV2,
and HIV-O antibodies in as little as seven days. However it is not until
the 28 day to three-month period that the HIV antibodies become the most
easily detectable. Discreet is 99.4% accurate during this period, also
known as the Seroconversion stage. The CDC recommends that a second confirmatory
test be taken six months after possible exposure because there is the
slight possibility of the HIV antibodies remaining dormant and undetectable
for a prolonged period of time. Because of the life threatening nature
of the HIV virus, the 0.6% possibility that the HIV virus is undetectable
by Discreet, the ELISA, or the Western Blot AIDS/HIV tests during this
time period should not to be taken lightly. If you are sexually active
or if your lifestyle puts you in a higher risk category for possible exposure
to the AIDS/HIV virus, then you should be taking the test on a more regular
I took your test and although I could see
the line appear under the, “C”, the entire test area went pink. Does this
mean that the test didn’t work?
If someone has a thicker blood consistency than usual or
if more blood is added to the test cassette than is necessary, the test
area of the cassette can sometimes become over-saturated with blood and
turn pink or even red. However, if the control line still appears during
the first 15 minutes, then the results of the test are still considered
to be accurate. If no line under the, “C” is visible, then you should
contact us to review the results.
What should I do if the test is POSITIVE?
It is of the utmost importance to your life that you seek
out a doctor qualified to treat this disease. Your doctor will guide you
to counseling, support groups and assistance services specifically for
people that are HIV positive. You should also discuss the necessary changes
to your life-style so as to not further endanger yourself and others.
Your life is not over. You can live a longer, more fruitful life if you
seek and receive treatment early in the disease process. Early treatment
can mean a longer, better quality life.
What if the test is NEGATIVE?
Should the test be negative it is extremely important that
you read and understand the following: There is a period of time (TWENTY-EIGHT
DAYS prior to the test) that the AIDS virus is invisible to not only Discreet,
but to the ELISA and Western Blot HIV antibody tests as well. It is extremely
important that a second confirmatory test be administered in one month
to eliminate the chance that the first test was administered during a
time when the virus did not cause enough antibodies to be present. Individuals
(homosexual or heterosexual) living a promiscuous life-style (having sexual
relations with more than one person) or using intravenous drugs (injecting
drugs with needles) should be checked FREQUENTLY. If you and your partner
live in a monogamous life-style this second test should suffice: Providing
that BOTH partners remain TRULY monogamous. Should you have any doubt
repeat the test FREQUENTLY. If you believe that you may have been exposed
to the AIDS virus after the first test you must begin the sequence again.
Take the test and if it’s negative then follow with another test in one
I noticed that 8 minutes after taking the
test, a second line appeared. Does this mean that I have AIDS?
Once the Control line has appeared the test is complete.
If there was one line under the "C" region then your test result is
negative. ALL lines appearing after the Control line has appeared should
be disregarded. If someone has added more blood or solution to the test
cassette than is necessary, the Test area of the cassette can sometimes
become over-saturated causing the appearance of the Test line(s) after the
test is complete. If you were to test positive, the test line would have
appeared before the control line. If you are uncertain, please contact us
and we’ll be glad to help you clarify the results.
Does this test work the same way as the Home
Access kit that I've seen on the Internet?
No. Discreet is not a collection device. The Home Access
kit has you send in your blood sample to their labs, where the results
are then determined and documented. By using the Discreet AIDS/HIV blood
test, you get your results immediately and with complete privacy. Nobody
but you will know the results.
I hate needles. How do I take a blood sample?
Does it hurt?
Some people are terrified of having to poke their finger
to give a blood sample. Each Discreet test kit comes with a Unistick 2
finger puncturing device. Because of its unique jagged edge design, the
needle does not have to puncture as deeply as the lancet needles commonly
used by most hospitals. We've had many people say that they’ve hardly
even felt it and that their finger doesn’t ache afterward, unlike when
they go to their doctors. The cost for one of these devices is roughly
50 times more expensive than the most commonly used lancet needle, so
you probably won't be seeing them in the hospitals in the very near future.
Even if a saliva test were less accurate
than a blood test, wouldn’t it be less painful than taking a blood sample?
By including the finest finger-puncturing device available,
with every Discreet AIDS/HIV test kit, we have made the exercise of obtaining
a blood sample as pain free as possible. If the saliva test were to be
used on a massive scale, the saliva test’s inaccuracy if compared against
Discreet’s 99.4% accuracy could actually accelerate the spread of the
AIDS/HIV epidemic, by creating a false confidence among sexually active
Since both Discreet and the ELISA test both
test for HIV antibodies, what is the biggest difference between them?
Discreet is very similar to the ELISA test which is currently
being used in most hospitals. Although both the ELISA and Discreet are HIV
antibody tests, the ELISA test is designed for bulk hospital testing
and is capable of analyzing up to two hundred blood samples at a time,
where as Discreet is more effective for individual HIV blood testing.
Is Discreet FDA approved?
Discreet is not FDA approved. Unfortunately, the FDA does
not approve tests or drugs based strictly on their performance and at
this time will not approve any AIDS/HIV test where the results can be
kept completely private. Although Discreet is not approved by the FDA,
it has been tested and approved in several countries within South America
as well as a few countries in Asia and Africa.
I don’t have a credit card. Is there any
other way for me to buy Discreet?
Unfortunately, Discreet is not available in any stores
within North America. However, you can still order a Discreet AIDS/HIV
test by sending a money order in American funds to the following address:
Seville Marketing Ltd.
P.O. Box #16047 - 3017 Mountain Highway
North Vancouver, B.C.
Canada V7J 3S9
Can I purchase Discreet in person within
the United States?
At this time, Discreet is not sold over the counter in the
United States and is only available through the Internet.
What will the charge say on my credit card?
Your credit card statement will say, "Seville Marketing via Internet
Secure". It will not mention the name, Discreet, or mention that it is
an AIDS/HIV test.
I’ve taken one of your tests, but I’m still
uncertain about my results. Is there any way that I can contact you?
If you have a question regarding your results, you can e-mail
us with your concerns. Somebody from our Customer Services department
will call you back. Please be sure to provide us with your sales order
number, your phone number, and the time of day that would be the most
convenient for us to call. In order to maintain the privacy of our customers,
we do not leave messages on answering machines unless we are instructed
to do so.
If I order a Discreet test kit, how is it
mailed? Can somebody tell that it’s an AIDS test kit?
In order to protect the privacy of our customers, we ship
out all Discreet test kit(s) without any logos or other forms of identification
on its exterior packaging.
Do you give discounts on large volume orders?
Yes. Special discount pricing is available upon request.
Please e-mail us with your requirements.