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 A Regular Blood Test Detect Hiv
Routine blood work is in fact a battery of separate tests, all run on samples of your blood. Each test looks for a different thing. While there’s no reason why the tests shouldn’t include a specific test for HIV, this isn’t necessarily routine practice.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention encourages medical professionals to routinely offer HIV testing to people living in areas where HIV is a common medical problem. They should also offer testing to people whose behavior may put them at increased risk. But patients should be specifically informed that HIV testing is part of routine care and have the opportunity to decline HIV testing.
And implementation of the CDC’s guidance is patchy. While an HIV test could be included with your routine blood work, there’s a very strong chance that it isn’t.
Typical routine blood tests include the complete blood count that measures your red and white blood cell numbers as well as hemoglobin and other numbers. Abnormal increases or decreases in these cell counts may indicate that you have an underlying medical condition that calls for further evaluation. But this is not a sensitive test for HIV infection.
Other tests often included examine your blood glucose, calcium, electrolyte, cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
You could ask your healthcare provider whether he or she could include an HIV test alongside your other blood tests.
The Complete Blood Count
The most common laboratory test is the complete blood count . It examines the components of blood, including red and white blood cells and platelets. Most test results are reported as amounts in a sample of blood or as a percentage. Other laboratory tests are discussed in Fact Sheet 122 and Fact Sheet 123.
All blood cells are made in the bone marrow, the center of large bones. Some medications or diseases can damage the bone marrow. This can reduce the numbers of different types of red or white blood cells.
Every laboratory has its own “reference range” or normal values for the results of each test. Most lab reports show the normal range and highlight any test results outside the normal range.
For more information on laboratory test results, see Fact Sheet 120 or Lab Tests online at
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Which Home Tests Screen For Hiv
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved two home HIV screening tests. They are the Home Access HIV-1 Test System and the OraQuick In-Home HIV Test.
With the Home Access HIV-1 Test System, a person takes a pinprick of their blood and sends it off to a lab for testing. They can call the lab in a day or two to receive the results. Positive results are routinely retested to ensure that the result is accurate.
This test is less sensitive than one that uses blood from a vein, but its more sensitive than one using a mouth swab.
The OraQuick In-Home HIV Test uses a swab of saliva from the mouth. Results are available in 20 minutes. If a person tests positive, theyll be referred to testing sites for a follow-up test to ensure accuracy. Learn more about home tests for HIV.
Why It Is Done
A test for the human immunodeficiency virus is done to:
- Detect an HIV infection. Testing is often done for people with risk factors for HIV infection and people who have symptoms of an HIV infection.
- Screen blood, blood products, and organ donors to prevent the spread of HIV.
- Screen pregnant women for HIV infection. The Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada recommends all pregnant women be screened. Pregnant women who are infected with HIV and receive treatment are less likely to pass the infection on to their babies than are women who do not receive treatment.
- Find out if a baby born to an HIV-positive woman also is infected with HIV. A PCR test is often done in this case because the baby may get antibodies against HIV from the mother and yet not be infected.
This test is not done to determine if a person has AIDS. A diagnosis of AIDS means a person is HIV-positive and other problems are present.
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Where To Get Tested For Hiv
Getting an HIV test is easy. Tests for HIV and other STIs are confidential and available from your local doctor , or a sexual and reproductive health clinic.
It is a good idea to have some pre-test counselling. Before the test, talk with your doctor, nurse, or peer tester about any concerns, your level of risk, whether you are likely to be HIV-positive and what a positive result may mean.
Who Has Access To Hiv Test Results
In B.C., positive HIV test results are shared with public health, in a confidential manner, to ensure that you and your partner are offered support and follow-up. In the event of a positive result, if you do not wish your full name to be reported to public health, you may request that your first name, initials and birth date be used as your identifying information when your results are reported.
Some clinics allow you to test using a numbered code and give no contact information. This is called anonymous testing, and is currently being offered at a limited number of sites in B.C.
Laboratory test results are kept in the provincial laboratory database. Your HIV test results may also be stored in your electronic health record within your health authority. Health care providers who are providing you with care will be able to see portions of your health care record. How much a health care provider can see of your record depends on their role. Health care providers who are not providing you with care will not be able to access your record. You can place disclosure directives on your electronic health records that enable you to choose who will have access to them. For more information, visit www.healthinfoprivacybc.ca/who-can-see-or-change-a-health-record/limiting-who-else-can-see-your-health-information.
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How Can You Prevent Hiv
HIV can be spread by people who don’t know they are infected. To protect yourself and others:
- Practice safe sex. Use a condom every time you have sex until you are sure you and your partner are not infected with HIV.
- Don’t have more than one sex partner at a time. The safest sex is with one partner who has sex only with you.
- Talk to your partner before you have sex the first time. Find out if he or she is at risk for HIV.
- Get tested together and retested 6 months later. Use condoms in the meantime.
- Don’t drink a lot of alcohol or use illegal drugs before sex. You might let down your guard and not practice safe sex.
- Don’t share personal items, such as toothbrushes or razors.
- Never share needles or syringes with anyone.
Sonora Quest Laboratories is committed to the fight against HIV and AIDS, supporting various programs and fund-raising events through The Apothecary Shops, Aunt Ritas Foundation, the Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation, and the Southwest Center for HIV/AIDS. Our expansive HIV test offerings allow us to assist doctors and patients in all stages of the disease.
To learn more about HIV/AIDS, talk with your doctor, go to your local health department, or visit:
Diagnosing Hiv Infection & Aids
Doctors at NYU Langone diagnose human immunodeficiency virus, known as HIV, a chronic viral infection that destroys certain infection-fighting white blood cells. If left untreated, HIV weakens the immune system, so the body is unable to fight infections and disease. When this occurs, HIV infection leads to a chronic, possibly life-threatening illness called acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, or AIDS.
HIV is transmitted through sex by sharing needles, syringes, or other equipment through contact with infected blood or through pregnancy, childbirth, or breastfeeding.
A few weeks to three months after becoming infected with HIV, many people develop intense flu-like symptoms, such as fever, fatigue, and swollen lymph nodes. They may also experience weight loss and night sweats during this initial phase. However, many people who are infected with the virus have no symptoms for 10 years or longer.
After the initial phase of an HIV infection, the disease moves into a period called clinical latency. This means the virus is developing but is producing few if any mild symptoms. Even when it causes no symptoms, the virus can be transmitted to others.
As HIV multiplies and destroys certain white blood cellsthe CD4 cells, which fight bacteria and virusesa person may develop symptoms of infection. These might include recurring fever, intense night sweats, and prolonged swelling of lymph glands in the armpits, groin, or neck. Sores in the mouth, anus, or genitals may also occur.
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Hiv Testing In A Health Care Setting Or Lab
If you take a test in a health care setting or a lab, a health care provider or lab technician will take your sample . If its a rapid test, you may be able to wait for the results, but if its a laboratory test, it can take several days for your results to be available. Your health care provider or counselor may talk with you about your risk factors, answer any questions you might have, and discuss next steps with you, especially if your result is positive.
- If the test comes back negative, and you havent had an exposure during the window period for the test you took, you can be confident you dont have HIV.
- If your HIV test result is positive, the lab will conduct follow-up testing, usually on the same sample as the first.
Should You Consider Preventive Medication
How quickly a person is able to see a healthcare provider after exposure to HIV can significantly affect their chances of contracting the virus.
If you believe youve been exposed to HIV, visit a healthcare provider within 72 hours. You may be offered an antiretroviral treatment called post-exposure prophylaxis that can reduce your risk of contracting HIV. PEP is typically taken once or twice daily for a period of 28 days.
PEP has little or no effect if taken more than
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Testing Positive On Hiv Antibody Tests
Since the early days of the HIV epidemic, we have used antibody tests to test for HIV. Antibody tests are the most affordable and accessible HIV tests. They are the most common types of HIV tests at testing sites around the world because they provide rapid, on-the-spot results.
Antibody tests do not detect HIV. Instead, they detect antibodies that the immune system produces in response to HIV infection.
Want to know more about different types of HIV tests, how they work and how early they detect HIV? Check out thiseasy-to-read guide from Avert orread this Q& A by the CDC.
WHAT ARE ANTIBODIES?
Our immune systems develop antibodies in response to all kinds of pathogens. Anytime you get sick or get any kind of infection, your body builds up a defense system and creates antibodies to try and fight that specific infection off. If these antibodies are successful, some infections will go away but the antibodies never do. They will remain in your body, helping to protect you from getting the same infection in the future.
In this way, antibodies allow our bodies to remember a specific infectious agentlike a particular strain of the fluand then respond to it more quickly if exposed to it again in the future. Once we develop antibodies to a virus we may have those antibodies for life or for many years.
HIV ANTIBODIES WHEN YOURE UNDETECTABLE
Should You Get Tested For Hiv If Youre Pregnant
All pregnant women should be tested for HIV so that they can begin treatment if they’re HIV-positive. If a woman is treated for HIV early in her pregnancy, the risk of transmitting HIV to her baby can be very low. Testing pregnant women for HIV infection, treating those who are infected, and treating their babies with antiretroviral therapy after delivery have led to a big decline in the number of children born with HIV.
The treatment is most effective for preventing HIV transmission to babies when started as early as possible during pregnancy. If pregnant women are treated for HIV early in their pregnancy, the risk of transmitting HIV to their baby can be 1% or less. However, there are still great health benefits to beginning preventive treatment even during labor or shortly after the baby is born.
Learn more about how to protect yourself and your partners, and get information tailored to meet your needs from CDC’s HIV Risk Reduction Tool .
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Vitamin Mineral Acid/base Status Tests
|White blood cells||These come in many different shapes and sizes. They have a role in the immune response. When the body is damaged, they increase. WBCs produce, transport, and distribute antibodies as well. Alone, a WBC count doesnt tell you much.||Acute infection, leukemia, tissue injury, malignant neoplasms, uremia, drug use, hemorrhage, post-splenectomy, polycythemia vera, tissue necrosis, steroid therapy , afternoon/evening hours.||Viral infections, bacterial infections, hypersplenism, bone marrow depression, bone marrow disorders, pernicious anemia, AM hours, improper blood draw .|
|Neutrophils||The most abundant white blood cells that destroy bacteria in the body.||Bacterial infection, inflammation, metabolic intoxications, drugs, hemorrhage, hemolytic anemia, myeloproliferative disease, malignant neoplasms, stress, labor, menstruation, steroid use.||Stem cell disorder, infections, drug use, anemia, chemotherapy, some drugs, temperature changes.|
Should You Get Tested For Hiv If You Dont Think Youre At High Risk
Some people who test positive for HIV were not aware of their risk. That’s why CDC recommends that everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 get tested for HIV at least once as part of routine health care and that people with certain risk factors should get tested more often .
Even if you are in a monogamous relationship , you should find out for sure whether you or your partner has HIV.
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What Is It Used For
An HIV test is used to find out if you have been infected with HIV. HIV is the virus that causes AIDS . Most people with HIV don’t have AIDS. People with AIDS have an extremely low number of immune cells and are at risk for life-threatening illnesses, including dangerous infections, a severe type of pneumonia, and certain cancers, including Kaposi sarcoma.
If HIV is found early, you can get medicines to protect your immune system. HIV medicines may prevent you from getting AIDS.
What Are Hiv And Aids
The human immunodeficiency virus is a virus that attacks the immune system. The immune system is the part of the body that fights infection and disease. There is no cure for HIV, but lifelong treatment with medications called highly active antiretroviral therapy means that you can live a long life with HIV.
Without treatment, HIV infection may become a serious disease called Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome . AIDS occurs when a persons immune system has been severely weakened by HIV. Having HIV does not mean that you have AIDS.
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Sexually Transmitted Disease Tests
Many sexually transmitted diseases can be diagnosed using a blood sample. These tests are often combined with urine samples or swabs of infected tissue for more accurate diagnoses.
The following STDs can be diagnosed with blood tests:
Blood tests arent always accurate right after contracting an infection. For an HIV infection, for example, you may need to wait at least a month before a blood test can detect the virus.
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.
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What Happens If I Test Positive For Hiv
If your initial test is positive for HIV antibodies, then additional testing is required to confirm that the first one was accurate. Sometimes this involves a second blood test.
When you are first diagnosed you will probably experience strong emotions. During this time, do not try to cope on your own. Seek support by speaking with your doctor, or contact your local community organisation. They have trained peer workers available to help you through the initial stages of a positive diagnosis, but also through your journey of living well with HIV.
Part of testing best practice includes pre- and post-test counselling. Post-test counselling is important, regardless of the outcome. If you test positive, counselling can provide emotional support, further information about living with HIV, and referrals to support services.
If the test is negative, counselling can provide education about HIV and how to reduce your HIV risk in the future. are community organisations that provide support and advocacy for people with HIV. Peer workers are also available to help you navigate living with HIV.
If you have recently been diagnosed with HIV, visit Next Steps for more information.