Why Should Someone Get Tested For Hiv
If someone is infected with HIV, it’s important to know because:
- Starting medicines right away can keep a person stay healthy for a long time.
- There are ways to stop the spread of HIV to others, such as using a condom and taking medicines.
- A pregnant woman who is infected can get treatment to try to prevent passing HIV to her baby.
Another reason to get tested is peace of mind: A negative test result can be a big relief for someone who is worried about being infected.
How Do I Know If I Have Hiv
The only way to know for sure if you have HIV is to get tested. You cant tell if you have HIV just by the way you feel, because most people who get HIV dont have any symptoms for years.
Testing is a good idea if youve had unprotected sex or if your partner tests positive for HIV. You should also get tested if youve shared needles with anybody . If youre pregnant, get tested for HIV at your first prenatal visit.
Luckily, HIV testing is pretty easy and painless. The best part about getting tested for HIV? Once you get it over with, it can really put your mind at ease. And if you DO have HIV, its best to find out right away so you can take medicines to help you stay healthy and lower your chances of spreading HIV to others.
How Do The Tests Work
Most HIV tests use a blood sample, either from a blood draw or finger prick. Others use saliva , but this is a little less accurate than blood tests.
Some HIV tests look for the virus itself. But most look for the antibodies for HIV. Antibodies are part of the immune system and fight infections. When someone is infected with HIV, the body creates antibodies to fight HIV.
Testing results may be available that day or can take longer come back.
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How Can I Get Tested
To get tested, you can:
- Ask your doctor to test you.
- Go to a local clinic or community health center.
- Go to National HIV and STD Testing Resourcesto find a testing center near you.
- Buy a test at a pharmacy and do the test at home.
Many testing centers will do an HIV test for free. Ask if there is a fee before you go for testing. In most states you do not need a parent’s permission to get tested for HIV. And you can buy the test at the pharmacy without a parent.
New Legislation Removes Barrier To Routine Hiv Testing In Washington
On March 21, Washington State removed a barrier to routine HIV screening as Governor Jay Inslee signed Senate Bill 6580 into law, removing exceptional consent for HIV testing.
Governor Inslee signs SB6580 into law.
Thirty years ago, HIV was a terrifying new disease that was swiftly destroying the health and lives of those it infected. Fear, misinformation, and stigma surrounded the condition. At times, people were tested for HIV without their permission or knowledge, test results were shared without consent, and if infected, people lost jobs, homes, friends, and family.
To protect people, many states, including Washington, passed laws requiring specific exceptional consent before people could be tested for HIV.
Advances in the testing, treatment, and prevention of HIV have since transformed the disease into a condition managed in ways similar to other chronic health concerns. These advances in care and treatment of HIV and new laws protecting health information have decreased the need for exceptional consent laws.
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State Of Maryland Law And Consent For Hiv Testing
The State of Maryland law regarding consent requirements for HIV testing changed on July 1, 2008. The requirement to use the States informed consent document for HIV testing performed in a health care facility was revised. Use of the State form is not required if there is documentation in the medical record that informed consent was obtained from the individual who was asked to have HIV testing. Documentation in the medical record must state that the individual tested received pre and post-test counseling and was informed she/he had the right to refuse HIV testing without penalty.
The State HIV testing form is still available to clinicians and researchers. The Organization has determined that researchers who conduct research that involves HIV testing have the following two options to meet State requirements for documentation of testing.
Questions regarding the requirements for documentation of HIV testing should be directed to the Office of Human Subjects Research.
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Hiv Patient ‘cured’ Herself Without Treatment Study Suggests
New York doctors would be able to test patients for HIV without their explicit consent under a measure that advocates say would boost detection rates but which opponents argue is invasive and doesnt confront the issue.
The bill, sponsored by state Sen. Brad Hoylman and awaiting review in the Senate Health Committee, would put the onus on patients to read signs in their doctors offices informing them that they could be tested.
Current law requires that testing be offered to anyone between ages 13 and 62, but proponents of Hoylmans bill say doctors often avoid asking that question due to its awkward nature and because of time crunches in packed hospital and clinic waiting rooms.
Ive known plenty of people who didnt get tested but wished they had, because they not only may have unknowingly passed the virus on, but their well-being suffered, too, said Hoylman. Its better to know your HIV status.
Although the plan is well-intentioned, its a shortsighted solution to a much more complicated problem, argued Dr. Jeffrey Birnbaum, of SUNY Downstate Medical Center. Theres no data to prove that removing consent will fix the problem.
Birnbaum said the existing law should be sufficient so long as doctors are willing to ask the tough questions.
Doctors are saying this is too time consuming, too much of an inconvenience … but theyll talk about smoking cigarettes, obesity, diet and hypertension, he said. These are issues that also take time.
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New Yorknine Years Of Contention
In the face of such opposition, legislators in New York State tried repeatedly from 2006 to 2010 to address the restrictive legal constraints under which HIV testing could occur. In this period, 169 HIV-related bills were introduced to the state legislature, 12 of which explicitly addressed informed consent.
What unfolded was a morally charged debate regarding whether written informed consent impeded what all agreed was crucial: that individuals who were infected but unaware be able to learn their HIV status. The New York State Medical Society, which exemplified one side of this argument, wrote a letter to Assemblywoman Nettie Myerson, a leading proponent of routinizing HIV testing:
For over 20 years, physicians and other health care personnel have not been allowed to offer HIV testing as part of the standard tests that are offered patients.
Paradoxically, the very exceptionalism that was designed to protect those at risk had stigmatized the test for the disease.
There is absolutely no scientific evidence that the statutory requirements of written informed consent and counseling pose an actual barrier to testing.
Some have cited written consent as a barrier to testing. . . . Such claims have proven baseless and have not been empirically documented in any major peer reviewed academic journal.
What Happens If My Test Is Positive
If you test positive for HIV, it is important to remember that with treatment you can live a long, healthy life. In fact, with early treatment, people with HIV can live about as long as people that are not infected.
A team approach will help you get the medical care and support that you need. Start by talking to your doctor or the counselor or social worker at the testing site. He or she can help you with suggestions on how to talk to your parents or guardians and how to find a health care provider who’s an HIV specialist. By starting treatment as soon as possible, you can stay healthy and learn to live well with HIV.
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Study Design Setting Sampling And Participants
This qualitative study consisted of the prevention and voluntary testing and counselling centre of the six district hospitals of the city of Douala. These health centers were chosen primarily because they are publicly funded health facilities in which national health policies are implemented, and secondly because of their strategic geographical locations which allow to reach a large part of the population of Douala. These facilities provided the bulk of HTC services in Douala.
Douala is the capital of Cameroons Littoral Region and the countrys economic capital. The city is the most populated urban centre in Cameroon , with about 1,907,479 habitants. According to the 2011 Cameroon Demographic and Health Survey , the prevalence of HIV/AIDS reached 4.6% for people aged 15 to 49 years in the city of Douala. Women were particularly affected, with a prevalence of 6.4% as opposed to 2.6% for men .
The study participants consisted of lay counsellors and head nurses working in the selected PVTCCs. Purposive sampling were used to select 16 lay counsellors and six nurses. This sampling technique was chosen to enable different experiences to be obtained from the participants within and across the sites.
Where Can I Go For Hiv Testing
You can get tested for HIV and other STDs at your doctors office, a community health clinic, the health department, or your local Planned Parenthood health center. You might want to get your HIV test at a place that also has HIV counseling .
You can either get an anonymous” or “confidential HIV test, depending on the laws in the state that you live in. Confidential” testing means your name is on the test, and the results go in your medical records. Your doctors and insurance company may also see the results. If you test positive, your results are sent to your local health department so they know the rates of HIV in your area. But your results are protected by privacy laws, so nobody else can see them without your permission.
“Anonymous” testing means your name isnt on the test. Youll get an ID number that youll use to find out your results. Your results wont go in your medical records, and they wont be sent to your insurance company or the health department youre the only one who will know them.
STD testing, including HIV testing, isnt usually automatically part of your regular checkup or gynecologist exam you have to ask for it directly. Be honest with your nurse or doctor so they can help you figure out what tests are best for you. Dont be embarrassed: your doctor is there to help, not to judge.
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Can A Hospital Test Me For Hiv
If you live in a rural area, your local health department may offer free HIV testing, or if you are a student, your college or university health center may provide free HIV testing to you. Planned Parenthood health centers, doctors offices, hospitals, and clinics often offer low-cost and no-cost tests.
Does Hiv Always Show Up On Testing
No, if someone was recently infected, it might not show up with testing. How quickly HIV shows up on testing depends on the type of test done:
- Testing that looks for the virus itself can find HIV 728 days after infection.
- Testing that looks for HIV antibodies can find HIV antibodies 312 weeks after infection.
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Making Hiv Testing Routine
The new law does not do away with consent for HIV testing, but it removes the extra consent that was required, making the level of consent the same as it is for other serious diseases.
Medical systems and health care providers will now be able to routinely test for HIV without having to create extra documentation. Removing barriers to HIV testing allows more people to get tested, know their HIV status, and, if infected, get the treatment and care they need.
Change Comes To New York
After decades of debate, in 2010 the New York State legislature voted overwhelmingly to modify the states legal framework for HIV testing the assembly voted 97 to 0, the senate 42 to 10. The result was a carefully crafted compromise. The statute required a mandatory offering of testing to people aged 13 to 64 years in hospitals, emergency departments, and primary care settings. Rapid HIV testing could be conducted using oral consent except in jails and prisons. Consent for testing could be integrated into general consent as long as a specific part of the form provided the clear option to decline the HIV test. It is of singular importance that once consent had been given it was to be considered durable and could be terminated only when a patient explicitly sought to withdraw it.
Although this statute finally permitted New York State to move forward, the long-fought controversy was not over. Patrick McGovern, the chief executive officer of Harlem United, declared in 2010,
New Yorks debate on HIV testing . . . has been passionate and sometimes contentious . . . while this legislation falls short on a true opt out approach, the required offer of HIV testing in all primary care settings foretells an end to the current practice of segregated and stigmatized HIV testing.
Gay Mens Health Crisis, by contrast, underscored that it had protected written informed consent under challenging political circumstances:
For Carrie, a new battle
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Informed Consent For Hiv Testing
Gaining informed consent before testing for HIV is required by the National HIV Testing Policy.
Informed consent for testing means that the person being tested understands HIV testing procedures, the reasons for testing and is able to assess the personal implications of testing before deciding whether to be tested.
Informed consent is required for HIV testing, except for rare occasions when a legal order is made for compulsory testing, as for example, under some state-based mandatory testing laws or in emergency settings. In the case of a child or person who is incapable of giving consent responsibility for consent rests with the guardian or other person/agency legally authorised to make such decisions on their behalf.
Given that the consequences of being tested for HIV may be enormous, it is important to realise that, while ordering tests may be standard for the health care practitioner, receiving the results may be anything but routine for the patient. The provision of information should allow the health care practitioner to discuss the risks and benefits to the patient in his or her particular situation, thereby facilitating the decision-making process. Pre-test discussion should also assist in preparing patients for a potential positive HIV test result.
The person performing the test should use their professional judgment in seeking informed consent. This should be based on their understanding of the context in which the test is being performed:
Hiv Testing Without The Patient’s Consent
This is an interesting HIV testing case. Plaintiff suffers from a seizure disorder and must take a medication that can damage the liver. His physician tests him for liver function abnormalities every 3 months as part of this care. At one point plaintiff required hospitalization and as part of this workup he was asked to give permission for HIV testing. He refused, but was tested anyway pursuant to the Illinois AIDS Confidentiality Act. This act provides that: “o person may order an HIV test without first receiving the written informed consent of the subject of the test or the subject’s legally authorized representative.” However, the act contains exceptions, including section 8, which providers:
“Notwithstanding the provisions of Sections 4 and 5 of this Act, written informed consent, information and counseling are not required for the performance of an HIV test . . . when in the judgment of the physician, such testing is medically indicated to provide appropriate diagnosis and treatment to the subject of the test, provided that the subject of the test has otherwise provided his or her consent to such physician for medical treatment. 410 ILCS 305/8.”
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Who Will Know The Results Of My Testing
It depends on where you get your testing. Testing sites have different privacy rules. Ask about privacy rules at your testing site so you understand whether anyone else will know you got tested or see your results.
If you go to an anonymous test site, only you know the results. No written record of the test result is kept.
If you go to a confidential test site, the results will go in your medical record. Positive results are sent to the state or local health department. Your insurance company will have access to your results. Depending on the state you live in, your parent or guardian may be contacted.
Private Hospitals Have Begun Testing All Patients For Hiv/aids Without Seeking Their Consent Or Offering Them Counselling
Reported By:| |Source: |Updated: Nov 19, 2013, 11:17 PM IST
Next time you go to the hospital for a routine test, you may get tested for HIV as well. Private hospitals have begun testing all patients for HIV/AIDS, without seeking their consent or offering them counselling.
Medical experts call it a violation of ones fundamental rights. Private hospitals have made the tests mandatory, as they say it protects their healthcare providers from contracting such diseases.
But in the process, they have overlooked the Ministry of Health and Family Welfares guideline: HIV screening is recommended for patients in all healthcare settings, provided the patient is notified that testing will be performed.
The National AIDS Control Organisation has questioned the necessity of such tests and has also recommended that if these tests are performed, they should conform to rules laid down by some expert body.
Dr Alaka Deshpande, AIDS specialist at JJ hospital, says three tests should be performed before calling somebody HIV+. She says that there have been cases where the first test has shown up positive, but the other two tests have proved otherwise.
However, some hospitals perform only one test and if the result is positive, tag the person HIV+ without confirming with subsequent tests, says Deshpande. She adds that lack of stringent laws is making things worse.
What if there were no laws? Medical ethics itself should stop hospitals from conducting the tests surreptitiously, she adds.
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