Current diagnosis of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection relies on the detection of anti-HIV antibodies by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Recently, kits detecting both p24 antigenemia and anti-HIV/anti-HIV2 antibodies have been developed. Thus, it is necessary to compare those kits developed as such. The aim of this study was to evaluate the diagnostic efficiency of a simultaneous detection test of p24 antigen and anti-HIV1/2 antibodies in a low prevalence area. Eight hundred and four randomly selected sera proven negative for HIV infection and 110 sera from 54 patients diagnosed as HIV infected, obtained between 1999 and 2000, were used for this study. One commercial lot of panels composed of consecutive sera obtained from known HIV-infected patient was included. Anti-HIV1/2 antibodies were detected by two different commercial ELISA kits, one from Korean and the other from German manufacturer. P24 antigen test was performed by ELISA. The simultaneous HIV antigen and antibody detection test was carried out. In the meantime, HIV RNA PCR and anti-HIV and anti-HIV2 western blot assays were also performed to confirm the test results in cases the test results didn't agree. The simultaneous detection kit showed 100% sensitivity and 99.6% specificity. Furthermore, the test displayed the possibility of earlier diagnosis than conventional anti-HIV1/2 ELISA with the results obtained from a group of consecutive panel sera infected with HIV. From these results, we concluded that the simultaneous HIV antigen and antibody detection test can be applied as a substitute clinical screening test in the place of conventional anti-HIV1/2 ELISA, and there is the probable benefit of early diagnosis.
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