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Why is a blood test better than a saliva test for HIV?

HIV tests that rely on saliva can’t detect HIV until someone has been infected for 3 months or more — that’s how long it takes for enough virus to build up in the body to be detected in saliva. However, blood spot tests like the one included in the Nurx Home Test Kits typically can detect HIV within 3 to 4 weeks of infection. Another type of HIV test called a viral load blood test can be used as early as 3 days after infection, but these tests must be ordered by a medical provider and require a full blood draw versus a finger prick.

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