Asked Questions about HIV Testing and AIDS
What is AIDS?
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 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
HIV is transmitted through contact
with the blood, semen, vaginal secretions or breast milk of an HIV
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
Can you get AIDS through
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
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
What should I do if the test
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
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
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
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
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
Yes. Special discount pricing is available
upon request. Please e-mail us with your requirements.