SINCLAIR STAMMERS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SINCLAIR STAMMERS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
HIV- blood test by HLA typing. Fluorescent light micrograph view of human white blood cells testing HIV negative, in a "Human Leucocyte Antigen" (HLA) blood-typing test. HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is the virus which causes AIDS. Here, a patient's "leucocyte" white blood cells are coated on small glass beads. An HIV-negative result is obtained when cells on the beads fluoresce green. These are intact "live" cells representing no antibody-antigen being active, and no HIV antigen found in the patient's blood. The HLA test (called a complement-fixation test) can, when HIV positive, tell the severity of infection by the strength of the antibody-antigen reaction.
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