In this experiment students will perform an Enzyme Linked ImmunoSorbent Assay (ELISA) simmulation to see how it is used in the diagnosis of HIV infection. The lab is a simulation and does not use HIV antigen or human blood samples; however, it is otherwise a truely accurate depiction of the technique. Students will process samples from two different "patients" to determine whether they nave been infected with HIV. We recommend that you combine this activity with the CIBT activity entitled :AIDS Transmission" and a discussion of "safe sex" activities. Several thought provoking questions have been included at the end of the lab. You may want to require student essays or ask the students to approach these questions using the CIBT Bioethics Activity. The CIBT lab, "The Cocktail": A Magic Potion Against HIV" is a good way to discuss treatment.
Regents, Honors, or AP Biology.
The hands -on experiment is extremely easy to carry out. To increase the level of the lab, more detail on immunology, on the life cycle of the HIV virus can be concluded.
The activity fits nicely into an 80 minute class period. While the color reactions are developing, students can do the "AIDS Transmission activity, "The Cocktail: A Magic Potion Against HIV" computer activity on drug design, or have a discussion about the biology of the HIV virus, ethical issues, etc.
A suitable ELISA kit is required. West Hill Bio's HIV Testing ELISA can be previewed by clicking the Supplies button above.