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What is the difference between RT PCR Test and the Rapid Antigen Test?

difference RT PCR Test and the Rapid Antigen Test

While these two tests are seen as similar and are often confused for one another, the difference between them is where they’re used: RT PCR Test is more commonly found in hospitals whereas Rapid Antigen Test can be found at a lab, doctor’s office, or even your local health clinic.

RT PCR Test vs. Rapid Antigen Test:

Rapid Antigen Test is a very quick and easy way to have a Covid or HIV test in place. It takes only a matter of time (about 20-30 minutes) and can be done by any medically trained professional. The results will always show whether or not you are HIV positive, but will not provide any additional information. This can be beneficial if you’re not sure how you want to proceed with your life post-test, or if your situation has changed since the time you had a full-blown test done.

This test is usually done from the comfort of your own home or the clinic and can be bought over the counter at any local pharmacy. It will cost you a little more than $40.00 but will be far cheaper than a full-blown HIV test. The results are available quickly as well. While it is not as in-depth as a full-blown test, it can still help you determine if you have HIV or not.

RT PCR Test is a far more invasive test and is only meant to be done at the hospital or a clinic. The results are then given to you either the same day or within 24 hours of your test. This test can be very expensive, as hospital rates vary greatly depending on your area. For there to be an RT PCR Test done, it needs to be submitted in large quantities (about 100 tests/per hour). This means that hospitals must have access to a lot of equipment and supplies. 

The test itself is done through three stages, which are: 

  • Stage 1: 

This is where the initial blood sample is taken and sent off to the lab.

  • Stage 2:

This is where the blood sample gets tested for Covid or HIV antibodies in a process called “enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay” (ELISA). During this stage, you will be required to wait in the hospital for results to come back.

  • Stage 3: 

This is where the results of the entire testing process (Stage 1 & 2) get processed and will be sent back to you.

If you are looking for a test that will give you results quickly, then the Rapid Antigen Test would be what you’re looking for. It can work like the RT PCR Test, but it is far quicker. The Rapid Antigen Test is a much more invasive test, and if you’re not ready for that, then get the Rapid Antigen Test. Otherwise, get the RT PCR Tests.

What is the difference between RT PCR Test and the Rapid Antigen Test? 

To understand the differences between these two tests, we need to look at both separately. The main difference between these two tests is how they are used, who can use them, how they are administered and what results they can provide.

RT PCR Test is a more invasive test, only done in hospitals. The most common form of HIV screening is often done to adults over the age of 15. A real-time RT-PCR test will provide conclusive results within 18 hours of having the sample taken and will also confirm what RNA profile there is in the blood sample that has been taken. 

Real-time RT-PCR tests will only be available to hospital labs and not available over the counter. Like the Rapid Antigen Test, an RT-PCR will also provide you with information on your HIV status. This test can be used to indicate an inpatient or outpatient setting.

Rapid Antigen Test is a quick and easy way to have a test done and can be done at home or your doctor’s office. The results are also available quickly, as the Rapid Antigen Test. It is more commonly used by people who have not had a physical test in a while, as it only provides conclusive results as rapid antigen tests. Like the Real-time RT PCR test, the rapid antigen test will only be available to provide you with a Covid or HIV status in an outpatient setting.

Conclusion:

So, real-time RT PCR Test vs Rapid Antigen Test: which test should you choose? The Real-time RT PCR test is a blood test that has a conclusive result within 18 hours of having the sample taken and can also confirm what RNA profile there is in the blood sample that has been taken. 
Real-time RT PCR tests are only available at hospital laboratories, not over the counter. Like the Rapid Antigen Test, an RT PCR will also provide you with information on your Covid or HIV status.

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