Antibody versus RNA Testing
The first is an antibody test, which looks for your body’s immune response to the virus. This is a rapid test, which means that your results are ready in 15 minutes and you will receive them before you leave your appointment.
The second test is an RNA test, which looks for genetic material from the virus. This test is processed at a lab off-site and it will take ten days to receive your results.
Another difference between these two tests is how soon they can tell if you have been infected with HIV. The amount of time between infection and when the test can detect infection is called ”the window period.”
The antibody test has a window period of two (2) weeks to six (6) months. The RNA test can detect the virus two weeks after infection.