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Frequently Asked Questions about HIV Testing and AIDS

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 causes AIDS.

How can you tell if someone is infected with HIV?

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, Symptoms of HIV.

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 person.

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 - HIV 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 technology.

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 test?

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 recommended.

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 be unnecessary.

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 basis. 

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 month.

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 people.

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.

 

 

 

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