Hi, and thanks for your question
The 4th Generation HIV test that we use for HIV testing in British Columbia is an antibody test. This means it tests for the antibody that is present in an individual’s blood when they have been exposed to the virus. These antibodies are not specific to a particular strain of HIV. Antibodies can be detected reliably 3 months or more after exposure to HIV, regardless of the strain of the virus.
If a person’s antibody test is reactive (“positive”) then they are diagnosed with an HIV infection. Once diagnosed, there is further testing done to determine which strain or sub-type of the virus the person has.
Let us know if this does not answer your question or if you have any more questions or concerns.