What Is a Nonreactive HIV Test?

A non-reactive HIV test indicates that there were no active HIV antibodies in the blood at the time of testing using a rapid HIV test, according to the Berkeley Free Clinic. A rapid HIV test produces results within 40 minutes after a blood sample is drawn.

Because it typically takes the body two weeks to six months to develop detectable antibodies in the blood, if someone receives a non-reactive test result and engaged in high-risk behavior during this window, a follow-up test should be taken again once outside of the this window to confirm a negative result, according to the Berkeley Free Clinic. Most people develop enough antibodies in their blood that can be detected using a rapid HIV test around the end of the third month after infection.

A non-reactive test does not indicate that a person is immune to HIV or that they cannot contract it in the future, according to Young Men’s Health. There are two other HIV tests, the standard blood test and the Western blot test, which are also used to confirm or rule out HIV infection. In the case of a reactive result using a rapid HIV test or a standard blood test, the Western blot test is used to confirm the result, as the other two tests can only confirm a preliminary positive result.