Why Should I Get Tested If I Am Pregnant
If you are pregnant, it is important to determine if you have HIV so you can be treated. Treatment of HIV-infected mothers during pregnancy, precautions at birth, and avoiding breast-feeding can minimize the risk of passing the infection from mother to child. If you are already taking HIV medications when you become pregnant, you should continue to do so during pregnancy and labor and delivery. If you are not taking HIV medications or have a high viral load during pregnancy, giving the antiretroviral drug zidovudine intravenously during labor and delivery and also to the newborn twice a day by mouth for 6 weeks reduces the rate of transmission from 25-33% to about 1-2%.
Can Hiv Show Up In A Normal Blood Test
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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.
Where Can I Get Blood Work Done
There are different locations that offer laboratory services that include blood work. Most hospitals contain a laboratory that you can visit to get tests done. Some laboratories will have walk-in options. Others may require an appointment.
Additional locations for blood testing may include:
- Private laboratories. Hospitals may use private labs to offload some testing from their own laboratories, or in cases when a specialized test is needed. Often, health insurance plans will require you to use a specific laboratory that is in their network for the test to be covered.
- Point-of care. This describes situations when you may need to get a blood test wherever you are receiving medical care. In routine scenarios, this typically
Results may take anywhere from a few hours to a few days to become available. Heres an overview of how long some common tests may take:
- complete blood count : 24 hours
- basic metabolic panel: 24 hours
- complete metabolic panel: 24 to 72 hours
- lipid panel: 24 hours
Timing can depend on the specific lab where you get tested, and how many tests you get done at once. If you order multiple tests, you may not get the complete results until all of the tests are completed.
Sometimes a lab will only release results to your doctor, who reviews them and then releases them to you.
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Screening For Hiv In Pregnancy
If you’re pregnant, you’ll be offered a blood test to check if you have HIV as part of routine antenatal screening.
If untreated, HIV can be passed to your baby during pregnancy, birth or breastfeeding. Treatment in pregnancy greatly reduces the risk of passing HIV on to the baby.
Page last reviewed: 22 April 2021 Next review due: 22 April 2024
A Positive Test Result May Not Be Positive News
Some blood tests look for diseases by searching for molecular markers in your blood sample among them the sickle cell anemia test, the HIV test, the hepatitis C test, and the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene test for breast and ovarian cancer risk. Results are considered positive when the test finds the disease marker DNA, antibody, or protein that it is looking for. In these cases, a positive test result means you may have the disease or disorder or, in the case of infectious diseases, that you may have been exposed to it in the past.
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How Is The Test Used
HIV tests are used to screen for and diagnose HIV infections.
Different types of tests may be used for HIV screening:
Lab Tests Are Important Tools
Having regular lab tests is necessary to care for your health. If you are living with HIV , you will probably have several such tests done. The complete blood count and blood chemistry tests described below check your overall health, including whether you have side effects from your HIV medications. See our fact sheets on Understanding CD4 Cells and CD4 Cell Tests and Understanding Lab Tests II: Viral Load, Resistance, and Tropism for information on other tests that your health care provider may order.
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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.
How Can I Get Tested For Hiv
There are a few different ways you can get access to HIV screening:
- A blood or saliva sample can be collected in a healthcare practitioner’s office or a local clinic and sent to a laboratory for testing. Certain testing centers provide either anonymous or confidential HIV testing and counseling. You can also contact your state or local health department to find out where testing may be available. To find a testing site near you, visit the National HIV and STD Testing Resources webpage.
- In these same settings, there may be a rapid test available, with results that are generated in 20 minutes or less.
- There is a home test for HIV that has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration . It uses a saliva sample and results are available in about 20 minutes.
The home test has two limitations:
1. The saliva test is less sensitive than a blood test, so the home test may miss some cases of HIV that a blood test would detect.2. The home test is not as accurate when it is performed at home by a lay person compared to when it is performed by a trained healthcare professional. However, the convenience of home testing might encourage some people who might otherwise be reluctant to go to a healthcare practitioner or clinic to learn their HIV status.
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Some Practices Dont Reduce Your Risk Of Hiv
Some people use unreliable methods to reduce their risk of HIV. These include:
- Serosorting choosing your sexual partner based upon them having the same HIV status as you.
- Strategic positioning where an HIV-negative partner penetrates an HIV-positive partner.
- Withdrawal when the insertive partner pulls out before ejaculating .
None of these strategies are reliable, so you are at risk of HIV transmission.Having sex only with people who have the same HIV status can be very risky. For example, a person may think they are HIV-negative, but may have been exposed to HIV since their last test, or may never have been tested at all.
Using a combination of proven, reliable strategies like condoms, PrEP, and undetectable viral load is the best way to prevent HIV transmission.
Can Antibody Test Detect Hiv
Tests for the detection of HIV up to 20 days earlier than standard tests are known as antigen/antibody tests. This test examines the HIV antigens that appear in 2 to 4 weeks after infection. It also examines the antibodies. This test uses only blood as a means of detecting HIV antigens/antibodies, not oral fluids.
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Types Of Hiv Tests And Their Window Periods
- Nucleic Acid Test A NAT can usually tell you if you have HIV infection 10 to 33 days after exposure
- Antigen/Antibody TestAn antigen/antibody test performed by a laboratory on blood from a vein can usually detect HIV infection 18 to 45 days after exposure. Antigen/antibody tests done with blood from a finger prick take longer to detect HIV .
- Antibody TestAn antibody test can take 23 to 90 days to detect HIV infection after an exposure. Most rapid tests and self-tests are antibody tests. In general, antibody tests that use blood from a vein detect HIV sooner after infection than tests done with blood from a finger prick or with oral fluid.
Ask your health care provider or test counselor about the window period for the test youre taking and whether you will need a follow-up test to confirm the results. If youre using a self-test, you can get that information from the materials included in the tests package.
If you get an HIV test after a potential HIV exposure and the result is negative, get tested again after the window period. Remember, you can only be sure you are HIV-negative if:.
- Your most recent test is after the window period
- You havent had a potential HIV exposure during the window period. If you do have an exposure, then you will need to be retested.
Can A Blood Hiv Test Be Wrong
False positive results from HIV tests are highly sensitive and can be used to determine whether a person is truly ill. A follow-up test can be used to confirm a false positive. A positive HIV result from a second test means that the person is HIV-positive. False-positive results can also be obtained.
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Test Values Can Be Different From Lab To Lab
Lab technicians reports compare your blood test results with a range that is considered normal for that laboratory. The labs reference range is based on test results from many people previously tested in that lab. This normal range may not be the same as another labs, notes the Food and Drug Administration, so dont be surprised if you find that a prior blood test report varies from newer reports the difference could be in the lab.
Would Hiv Show Up On A Normal Blood Test
Or how long till it does enough damage to show up on a. Blood test
You need to specifically ask for it. I think if you get an STD test its included. I know you are supposed to get tested early when you suspect you’ve been exposed and then again 6 months later to be sure.
They don’t test for damage but rather for the virus itself
Nope. Go to your MD and ask for an HIV test. Uncomfortable for sure, could save your life.
No. Blood tests have to have something they are looking for.A typical medical checkup blood panel might look for blood counts, , iron, clotting, urea/BUN and liver functions, and cardiac proteins.If you want to get tested for HIV, you have to ask for that test, or at least ask for a panel of several tests for sexual activity.
If you leave it untested and untreated, then it might take 10-12 years before significant changes show up in a regular blood test – you might have depressed numbers of red blood cells, and depressed numbers of leukocytes . There’s no guarantee that these symptoms will show up, or that they’ll indicate HIV/AIDS without more testing being donw.
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Why Do I Need An Hiv Test
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 get tested for HIV at least once as part of routine health care. You may also need an HIV test if you are at higher risk for infection. HIV is mainly spread through sexual contact and blood, so you may be at a higher risk for HIV if you:
- Are a man that has had sex with another man
- Have had sex with an HIV-infected partner
- Have had multiple sex partners
- Have injected drugs, such as heroin, or shared drug needles with someone else
HIV can spread from mother to child during birth and through breast milk, so if you are pregnant your doctor may order an HIV test. There are medicines you can take during pregnancy and delivery to greatly reduce your risk of spreading the disease to your baby.
How Confidential Are Hiv Test Results
Your HIV status, like other medical conditions and test results, is protected by the HIPAA Privacy Rule and cannot be shared with friends, family, or employers without your written permission. Your HIV status may be shared with your healthcare providers who have a “need to know” in order to treat you. Also, in order to determine the incidence of HIV and to provide appropriate prevention and care services, all new cases of HIV are reported to state and local health departments.
Certain testing centers provide either anonymous or confidential HIV testing and counseling. You can also contact your state or local health department to find out where testing may be available.
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How Do Hiv Tests Work And What’s Involved
- There are plenty of places which offer free HIV testing you can find your nearest provider either by searching online or asking a healthcare professional.
- Testing for HIV is a simple and pain-free process. It involves giving a small sample of blood or oral fluid.
- Your results will be confidential and the healthcare provider will be able to explain the process and answer any questions you have. They are there to help you.
- HIV tests are very reliable. Some HIV tests will give a result within 20 minutes and others are sent to a lab so it may take a few weeks to get your results.
It is really common to feel a little worried about going for an HIV test, but making the decision to test is the best thing you can do for your health. The process is quick, painless, confidential and almost always free.
How Is Hiv Diagnosed
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved tests that detect HIV antibodies in urine, fluid from the mouth , or blood. If a test on urine or oral fluid shows that you are infected with HIV, you will probably need a blood test to confirm the results. If you have been exposed to HIV, your immune system will make antibodies to try to destroy the virus. Blood tests can find these antibodies in your blood.
Most doctors use a screening blood test. If the screening is positive , the blood sample is tested again to verify the result. If the second test is positive, a test called a Western blot is performed for further confirmation.
It may take as long as six months for HIV antibodies to show up in a blood sample. If you think you have been exposed to HIV but you test negative for it:
- Get tested again in six months to be sure you are not infected.
- Meanwhile, take steps to prevent the spread of the virus. If you are infected, you can still pass HIV to another person at this time.
Some people are afraid to be tested for HIV. But if there is any chance you could be infected, it is very important to find out. HIV can be treated. Getting early treatment can slow down the virus and help you stay healthy. And you need to know if you are infected so you can prevent spreading the infection to other people.
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