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Western Blot Test For HIV

  • Sample Type : Blood
  • Parameters : 1
  • Report Time : 24/48 Hrs
  • Home Collection: Yes
  • Fasting : Not Required
  • Age Group: All
OFFER PRICE:  ₹2820 ₹3500 30% off


hiv western blot
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The Western blot test separates the blood proteins and detects the specific proteins (called HIV antibodies) that indicate an HIV infection. It is typically used to confirm a positive HIV diagnosis. During the test, a small sample of blood is taken and it is used to detect HIV antibodies, not the HIV virus itself 1.

In a medical context, the Western Blot is commonly used as a confirmatory test after an initial screening test, such as an ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay), comes back positive for an infection. 

Learn everything about the Western blot test for HIV, before you book a lab test online. Understand the why, how, and what of this test.

What Does the Test Measure? 

The HIV Western blot test aims to confirm or contest a diagnosis of HIV or Lyme disease following an initial ELISA antibody test. As the ELISA test can occasionally yield false positives, a secondary test is essential for accurate diagnosis. Therefore, the Western blot test is employed as a follow-up, providing clarity and ensuring the reliability of the diagnosis.

Why Do Doctors Recommend the Western Blot Test? 

Doctors recommended the Western Blot test for the following reasons: 

  • The HIV Western blot test can spot proteins from the virus's core or envelope, along with enzymes produced by the virus itself.
  • Western blots are recommended only for individuals who may have been exposed to HIV.
  • Screening is a common procedure for most adults and is routinely performed during pregnancy2.

Comparison with Other HIV Testing Methods

Advantages and Limitations of Western Blotting over ELISA

Let us see the pros and cons of Western Blotting3 over ELISA4 in the following comparison


Western Blotting



Detects specific proteins based on size and antigen-antibody interactions.

Measures antigen-antibody binding using enzyme-linked detection.


1. Specificity: Identifies target proteins with high specificity.

1. High Sensitivity: Detects low antigen concentrations.

2. Quantitative: Provides semi-quantitative data.

2. Versatility: Used for various analytes (proteins, hormones, etc.).

3. Confirmation: Validates protein expression.

3. Automation: Easily adaptable to high-throughput assays.

4. Multiplexing: Can analyze multiple proteins simultaneously.

4. Cost-Effective: Requires minimal reagents and equipment.


1. Time-Consuming: Involves several steps (sample preparation, gel electrophoresis, transfer).

1. Limited Dynamic Range: May not detect extreme concentrations.

2. Labor-Intensive: Requires skilled personnel.

2. False Positives/Negatives: Cross-reactivity or interference.

3. Subjectivity: Interpretation of bands can vary. The detection signal may fade fast without extended substrates or dyes

3. Sample Matrix Effects: Interference from complex samples (serum, plasma).

4. Sensitivity: More sensitive to sample preparation, as impurities can cause interference, leading to increased background noise and detection challenges.

4. Specificity Challenges: Cross-reactivity with related antigens.

Distinction between Western Blot and Rapid Diagnostic Tests

Western Blot

Rapid Diagnostic Tests


It is a protein detective, finding and describing specific proteins hiding in a sample.

They are designed to spot specific proteins or antibodies swiftly, often right where you are receiving care.


First, proteins are separated, then transferred onto a membrane, and finally probed with special antibodies to identify them.

Uses specialized enzymes known as restriction endonucleases (RE) to cut target DNA and plasmids at specific locations.


Highly specific, revealing details about protein size, changes, and any other sneaky impurities

They're fast, reliable, cost-effective, and can be used by various healthcare providers.


Can be subjective and needs proper training to interpret accurately

Technical glitches or unclear results might lead to false alarms

The Usefulness of Western Blot in Different Stages of HIV Infection 

  • In early HIV infection, the Western blot test for HIV detects antibodies to key HIV proteins, aiding in diagnosis and management.
  • During chronic HIV infection, it confirms HIV antibodies and monitors immune response, assessing infection status.
  • In advanced HIV stages, it confirms antibodies presence, aiding diagnosis when initial tests are positive.

How To Prepare For Western Blot Test For HIV?

The steps below help you ensure that your Western Blot Test For HIV provides the most accurate information about your health.

  •  Medication guidelines: Tell your healthcare provider about all the drugs, supplements or herbal remedies you are taking, as some substances may affect test results. Follow any specific instructions regarding drug adjustment before testing.
  •  Contact to doctor: Share your entire medical history with existing conditions or symptoms to help explain test results.

What Happens During Western Blot Test For HIV?

A Western Blot Test For HIV only takes a few minutes.

  • As per the scheduled time of the blood test, a Lab Technician who usually takes blood samples will arrive.
  • A thin needle will be used to draw blood from your arm’s vein.
  • The needle might cause a mild pinch and some discomfort.
  • The lab technician then fills a collection tube with blood and then removes the needle from the skin.
  • They place a small bandage on the arm

Please note: There might be slight pain or bruising at the spot of insertion, but most of the symptoms go away quickly.

Should you book blood test online to check your health condition or go to the nearest clinic and get it done by a medical professional?  Let's Find Out

Can I Take a Western Blot Test For HIV At Home?

Yes, the Western Blot Test For HIV can be taken at home. HealthcareOnTime's at-home lab testing service, in association with thyrocare, provides a convenient and efficient way to get blood testing done from the comfort of your own home without the need for a doctor's visit or a trip to a lab. It's important to note that it's always a good idea to consult with an expert healthcare provider about any queries you may have about your test results.

How Much Does Western Blot Test Cost?

The Western Blot Test For HIV price varies significantly depending on many factors:

  • Location: The Western Blot Test For HIV prices in India may vary depending on the city or the region in which the test is conducted. For example, in Bangalore or Mumbai, it might be expensive as compared to small towns.  
  • Type of facility centres:  The Western Blot Test For HIV charge also varies between private hospitals, government hospitals, and diagnostic centres. Cost is lower in government hospitals as compared to private ones.
  • Healthcare centres: Diagnostic centres, laboratories and hospitals may have different Western Blot Tests for HIV prices. It depends upon the benefits and reputation of the healthcare centre. 
  • Insurance Coverage: Individuals with health insurance can cover partial or all costs depending on their policy coverage and network providers.
  • Additional services: Additional services such as home sample collection, express test results, or additional charges for special management may be paid, which contributes to the overall Western Blot Test For HIV price.

Generally, the Western Blot Test For HIV cost in India ranges from Rs. 2500 to Rs. 9000. By opting for HealthcareOnTime lab test at-home facilities, you can access the Western Blot Test For HIV at the cost of INR 2820.

You received your HIV Western blot test results but still need help determining if they fall under the normal range. Read this section to know if your results range between the Western blot test normal range.

What do Western Blot Test Results Mean? 

The Western blot test is majorly used as a confirmatory test following a positive initial screening test for HIV, such as ELISA. Here's a quick guide that will help you with the Western Blot Test's interpretation in the context of HIV:5

  • Positive Result: Presence of bands corresponding to HIV-specific proteins (such as gp120/160, gp41, and p24). This indicates a confirmed HIV infection.
  • Negative Result: Absence of bands for HIV-specific proteins, suggesting no HIV infection.
  • Indeterminate Result: Some but not all of the HIV-specific bands are present, or the pattern is unclear, suggesting the need for retesting or additional types of tests.

A positive Western Blot for HIV is considered confirmatory following an initial positive screening test (like ELISA).

What is a Western Blot Test Normal Range? 

While there is no normal range for the Western Blot test, ideally, a negative result (absence of bands for HIV-specific proteins) would make a person fall in the normal (free from HIV infection) category.


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FAQs around Western Blot Test For HIV

The Western blot test is necessary for HIV diagnosis because it serves as a highly specific confirmatory test following an initial positive screening, reducing the chance of misdiagnosis by accurately confirming the presence of HIV antibodies.

The Western blot is like a double-check after a positive ELISA, making sure the diagnosis is accurate, and together, they're about 99.9% reliable.

The HIV Western blot test window period is about 4 or 5 business days.

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  • Disclaimer: HealthcareOnTime offers extensively researched information, including laboratory testing for health screening. However, we must emphasize that this content is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice or diagnosis. Always prioritize consulting your healthcare provider for accurate medical guidance and personalized treatment. Remember, your health is of paramount importance, and only a qualified medical professional can make precise determinations regarding your well-being. Protection Status Protection Status Protection Status