• DSHS HIV/STD Program
    Post Office Box 149347, MC 1873
    Austin, TX 78714

    Phone: 737-255-4300

    Email the HIV/STD Program

    Email HIV, STD, Hepatitis C, and TB data requests to the Program – Use this email to request Texas HIV, STD, Hepatitis C, and TB data and statistics. Do not use this email to request treatment or infection history for individuals, or to request information on programs or services. Do not email personal, identifying health information such as HIV status, date of birth, or Social Security Number.

    For treatment/testing history, please contact your local health department.

    For information on HIV testing and services available to persons living with HIV, please contact your local HIV services organization.


The Use of Testing Technology to Detect HIV Infection

Policy Number 2013.02
Effective Date June 1, 2014
Revision Date September 3, 2014
Subject Matter Expert HIV Testing Coordinator
Approval Authority TB/HIV/STD Section Director
Signed by Felipe Rocha, M.S.S.W.

1.0 Purpose

This policy is to provide guidance on the use of HIV testing technologies by programs funded or otherwise supported by the DSHS HIV/STD Prevention and Care Branch.


2.0 Authority

Texas Health and Safety Code §§85.003; 85.032.


3.0 Background

Public health programs must provide access to highly sensitive and specific HIV tests to increase the capacity for communities to diagnose patients throughout the course of HIV infection. Unfortunately, strategies limited to antibody detection cannot identify highly infectious persons with acute HIV infection. In addition, multiple studies have demonstrated the inadequacy of oral fluid for rapid and confirmatory testing in identifying early infections, resulting in either negative rapid tests, or non-reactive or indeterminate Western Blot confirmatory tests. When a discordant oral fluid sample confirmatory test occurs and a blood specimen is not available, the provider and lab is unable to automatically perform a more sensitive 4th generation or Nucleic Acid Amplification Test (NAAT) that would resolve the discordant test and possibly detect acute HIV infection. These missed diagnoses represent lost opportunities for public health follow-up, to link persons with acute HIV infection into care and to reduce the risk of transmission to others.


4.0 Policy

HIV testing must use blood-based specimens (finger stick or venipuncture). A specimen must be collected by venipuncture on-site immediately after a point of care (e.g., rapid) preliminary positive test result and submitted to a lab for the new HIV diagnostic algorithm. All indeterminate and non-reactive confirmatory tests must be automatically referred for a NAAT to determine if a client has an acute HIV Infection. The new algorithm can be found at: cdc.gov/hiv/testing/laboratorytests.html.


5.0 Revision History

Date Action Section
Revision History
9/1/2017 Changed "TB/HIV/STD Unit" to "TB/HIV/STD Section" to reflect new program designation -
9/3/2014 In second sentence, clarified requirement for submission to entire algorithm. 4.0
Converted format (Word to HTML) -
1/22/2014 This is a new policy All


Last updated June 15, 2020