Diagnosis of HIV infection in adults and children older than 18 months can be made serologically by detection of antibodies to HIV using rapid tests or ELISA. To confirm a diagnosis of HIV infection, two tests are used in serial testing and a second test should only be done after the first test is positive or inconclusive, as per the national algorithm (Figure 1). Only HIV rapid and ELISA test kits in the national algorithms are to be use in Tanzania.
Figure 1: HIV Diagnosis Serological Testing Algorithm for Adults and Children over 18 Months
In areas where it is available, ELISA tests can be done instead of rapid tests.
Send specimen to the laboratory whenever rapid test results are discrepant.
All children, regardless of exposure to HIV infection and of HIV status should be followed up according to the current national IMCI and/or WHO guidelines for management of children. See chapter 6.4.3, which states that children should followed up monthly in the first year of life, and 3 monthly thereafter till the age of 5 years.