Wednesday, May 22, 2024

How Do They Do An Hiv Test

Will Va Tell My Spouse Or Partner That I Have Hiv

NO BIG DEAL – Rapid HIV Tests

In VA, your results are entered in your medical record, but there are strict laws to protect the confidentiality of your HIV test results.

If you test positive for HIV, it is important for your spouse or partner to be tested for HIV, for the sake of their health and to prevent the infection from being passed to others. Your health care provider can help you prepare to inform your partner if you want or need help, and can arrange for them to be tested. Or your provider can arrange for them to be notified by a partner counseling and notification service through a local health department.

Your spouse or partner may be informed of your HIV status without your involvement only if it is clear that you have not told them, and your provider has determined that you are unlikely to do so.

It is important to know, though, that different states have different laws about disclosing someone’s HIV status. Your provider can advise you about the requirements in your state.

What Types Of Tests Diagnose Hiv

To diagnose HIV, healthcare providers can order any of three tests:

  • Nucleic acid test: The NAT test looks for the virus in your blood. It is a thorough laboratory test but can be costly. The results can take several days to receive.
  • Antigen/antibody test: This test looks for antibodies and antigens to HIV in your blood. Your immune system forms antibodies when it comes in contact with viruses, such as HIV. Antigens, however, are foreign substances that activate your immune system. HIV has a particular antigen that this test can find. This rapid test uses a drop of blood from a finger prick and can give you results in roughly 30 minutes.
  • HIV antibody test: This test is similar to the antigen/antibody test, but it only looks for the antibody. Just like the antigen/antibody test, this test produces results in around 30 minutes. It uses either a drop of blood from a finger prick or a swab of saliva.

Some states allow for home testing. There are two types of home tests:

  • Rapid self-test: The only rapid self-test available in the United States uses a saliva sample to check for infection. After you receive your kit, you swab your gums and use the test kit to get results.
  • Mail-in self-test: This test uses a blood sample from a simple finger prick. All of the supplies are in the kit to help you take the sample, package it and send it to the lab. A healthcare provider will tell you the results.

Testing For Sexually Transmitted Infections

Sexually transmitted infections are diseases that affect your sexual and reproductive organs. The most common STIs are chlamydia, genital herpes and genital warts .

Anyone who’s sexually active can get or spread an STI. Be sure to know the symptoms of an STI and get tested regularly if you think you are at risk of having an STI.

Also Check: Hiv Causes Hair Loss

How Soon After Exposure To Hiv Can Tests Detect I Have The Virus

The window of time between exposure to HIV and when a test will show you have the virus varies from person to person and by the type of test:

  • Nucleic acid test : The NAT test can detect HIV infection the earliest. It can tell if you have HIV infection 10 to 33 days after exposure.
  • Antigen/antibody test: The antigen/antibody test can detect infection 18 to 45 days after exposure when performed by a lab using blood from a vein. If the sample is from a finger prick, the window is 18 to 90 days after exposure.
  • Antibody test: Antibody tests can detect infection 23 to 90 days after exposure.

If your initial test is negative, get a second test after the window of time has passed. The second test can confirm your negative result in case you got tested before the infection was active in your body.

Remember, post-exposure prophylaxis can help prevent infection, but you must start it within 72 hours of possible infection. Talk to your healthcare provider about how to start PEP.

How Do I Know If I Have Hiv

Lab tests for HIV: Rapid test, CD4 count, &  Viral Load

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.

Don’t Miss: Does Hiv Cause Hair Loss

Sti Symptoms: Men And Women

You can get many types of infections by having sex . Since some STIs might not cause symptoms right away or at all, you or your partner might be infected and not even know it. If you’re sexually active or starting a new relationship, regular STI testing is important.

For men, symptoms of an STI can include:

  • A discoloured or foul-smelling discharge from the penis.
  • A burning feeling when urinating.
  • Pain during sex or masturbation.
  • Excessive itching in the penis or scrotum.
  • Unusual bumps or a rash on the penis or scrotum.
  • Bleeding from the penis.

For women, symptoms of an STI can include:

  • An unusual discharge from the vagina.
  • A burning feeling when urinating.
  • Pain during sex or masturbation.
  • Excessive itching in the vagina or labia.
  • Unusual bumps or a rash on your genitals.
  • Heavier-than-usual bleeding from your vagina

How Do You Get Hiv

HIV is a sexually transmitted infection. The most common way for someone to get it is through a sexual activity where you exchange bodily fluids. This activity includes vaginal, oral and anal sex. However, you can contract the virus in other ways, including:

  • Sharing needles with an infected person to take drugs.
  • Passing between a mother and her unborn child.
  • Rarely, from a blood transfusion .

A lot of misinformation exists about how you can get HIV. You cannot contract HIV from:

  • Air or water.
  • Touch, such as shaking hands, hugging or social, closed-mouth kissing.
  • Pets or insects, such as mosquitoes and ticks.

Recommended Reading: What Does Hiv Screen 4th Generation Wrfx Non Reactive Mean

Will My Partner Have The Same Results As Me

Dont assume that if you are positive, or negative, your partner will have the same result. It may be that your partner has a different test result to you. This is why its a good idea to encourage your partner to get tested too, whether your results are positive or negative. If youre worried about telling your partner that you are positive or asking them to take a test, speak to your healthcare advisor. They can often help you with ways to do this.

What Does The Number After The Hiv Elisa Test Result Mean

WHO: HIV self-testing – Questions and Answers

Some people are given test results which say something like non-reactive . This number at the end is called the Optical Density value. This is the measure of how much colour there is in the dish at the end of the ELISA.

As the colour in the dish is an indicator of whether the result is negative or positive these numbers give the result more precisely than just a simple positive or negative answer.

The cut-off values for different tests vary. In general, any numbers below 1.0 mean its a negative result. Any numbers above 1.0 mean its a positive result.

The numerical results of HIV tests are not related so if someone has 2 tests and the numbers look like they are increasing it does not mean they are slowly becoming positive. It is just two separate figures.

If someone has an inconclusive test result it is possible that the OD is very close to 1.0 and a confirmatory test will have to be done.

Recommended Reading: Does Cookie Johnson Have Hiv Aids

When Is It Ordered

Several organizations recommend routine screening for HIV:

  • The Centers for Disease Control and the American College of Physicians recommend that anyone between the ages of 13 and 64 be screened for HIV at least once.
  • The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends anyone age 15 to 65 get at least a one-time test.
  • The CDC, USPSTF and American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommend that all pregnant women be screened. Repeat testing in the third trimester may be done for women at high risk. Some women may opt to get tested when planning a pregnancy .
  • The American Academy of Pediatrics advises that all sexually active youth be screened, and that youths between 15 and 18 years old be offered HIV testing at least once, regardless of sexual history.

For additional details on screening recommendations, see the articles for Teens, Young Adults, Adults, and Adults 50 and Up.

Annual screening is advised for those who are at high risk for HIV and is recommended when you:

  • Have unprotected sex with more than one partner since your last HIV test
  • Are a man who has sex with another man
  • The CDC says that your healthcare practitioners may consider more frequent screening for you, such as every 3 to 6 months.
  • Use street drugs by injection, especially when sharing needles and/or other equipment
  • Exchange sex for drugs or money
  • Have an HIV-positive sex partner
  • You should get at least a one-time test, regardless of age, if you:

    Terms And Technologies Used In Hiv Testing

    This section provides detailed definitions and descriptions of the terms and technologies used in HIV testing.

    4.2.1 Algorithms

    Algorithms for HIV testing have been developed to ensure optimal sensitivity while preserving specificity by confirming reactive results as antibody-positive. The test sequence starts with the most sensitive screening test to identify all those with antibodies. A confirmatory assay is then performed only on the samples that tested reactive/positive on the initial screening test. This ensures that the screen test reaction is due to detection of HIV antibodies rather than a non-specific reaction. In the case of indeterminate or inconclusive results, additional supplementary testing may be necessary to determine if someone is infected with HIV. Each laboratory develops and validates its own algorithm to ensure that it provides the most accurate results possible. The positive predictive value and negative predictive value of a validated algorithm are close to 100%.

    A typical laboratory testing algorithm follows:

    Figure 3: Laboratory Testing Algorithm

    A typical laboratory testing algorithm starts by screening with an enzyme immune assay test. If the EIA is non-reactive, then no HIV infection is present and no further testing is done.

    If the initial EIA is reactive, then the EIA test should be repeated two additional times. If neither of the additional EIA tests is reactive, then the test is considered non-reactive, with no evidence of HIV infection.

    Read Also: Can Hiv Cause Hair Loss

    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.

    Hiv And Health Insurance Among Black People

    All You Need to Know About HIV Testing

    Despite increased access to healthcare under the Affordable Care Act, 1 of every 9 Black people is without insurance. Black trans people, especially Black trans women, often experience hostility in health settings. Black transmasculine people are often excluded from HIV discourse despite testing positive at higher rates in comparison to the general population.

    Poor community access to health insurance, provider hostility, and lack of provider knowledge about trans communities may increase a person’s likelihood of testing HIV-positive. Among Black MSM, the lack of insurance increases the risk of HIV by 2.5 times compared to those who have insurance.

    Also Check: Does Nba Youngboy Have Hiv

    Can Urine Test Detect Hiv

    What is the diagnosis of HIV?? The U. HIV antibodies can be detected in urine, fluid from the mouth , or blood using tests approved by the Food and Drug Administration . In the event that you test positive for HIV in urine or oral fluid, you will probably need a blood test to confirm your diagnosis.

    Testing Recommendations And Requirements

    The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends routine HIV screening in health-care settings for all adults, aged 13-64, and repeat screening at least annually for those at higher risk.26,27 Per the CDC individuals who may benefit from at least annual screening include:28

    • sexually active gay or bisexual men
    • individuals who have had sex with an HIV-positive partner
    • individuals who have had more than one partner since their last HIV test
    • those who have shared needles or works to inject drugs
    • people who have exchanged sex for drugs or money
    • individuals who have another sexually transmitted disease, hepatitis, or tuberculosis
    • those who have had sex with someone who has participated in any of the above activities or with someone with an unknown sexual history

    Certain factors are known to reduce the risk of HIV transmission including condom use, antiretroviral treatment leading to durable viral load suppression among those with HIV, which prevents further transmission, and the use of pre-exposure prophylaxis among those at increased risk for HIV.29

    Additionally, HIV testing is recommended for all pregnant women and for any newborn whose mothers HIV status is unknown.30 Treatment provided to pregnant HIV-positive women and to their infants for 4-6 weeks after delivery can reduce the risk of transmitting HIV to 1% or less.31 HIV testing is also recommended for anyone who has been sexually assaulted.

    Don’t Miss: How Long Can Hiv Be Dormant

    Responses To Std Testing How To Where Privacy And Cost

  • Nancy

    Thank you so much for your help!Can I just go to the test location and pay for the test there?

  • It was simply excellent, Three day turnaround, electronic convenience for getting results and ordering tests, and no wait time at the lab either. I was in and out within 10 minutes.

    Thanks for posting this!

  • How Is The Accuracy Of Hiv Tests Measured

    HIV Testing Explained Clearly – Exam Practice Question

    Accuracy of medical tests are often described in terms of:

    Sensitivity the percentage of the results that will be positive when HIV is present

    Specificity the percentage of the results that will be negative when HIV is not present.

    The ideal test would have 100% sensitivity and 100% specificity, but few tests are ever this accurate.

    Every diagnostic test has its limitations. On very rare occasions the results can be inconclusive or incorrect.

    These are either false positive the test result indicates that HIV is present when it is not or false negative the test result indicates that HIV is absent in an infected person.

    A second confirmatory test would eliminate this possibility. False negative and false positive results are discussed in the section Test accuracy, results and further testing.

    Don’t Miss: How Long Does Aids Take To Show

    Types Of Hiv Testing Services

    4.5.1 Standard

    The majority of healthcare venues carry out “standard” HIV testing. This means a tube of blood is collected in the clinic, hospital or physician’s office and sent to the medical laboratory along with a requisition ordering an HIV test. Standard testing can be done in any type of setting . Test results are generally available within one week.

    4.5.2 Point-of-Care or rapid testing

    What Is Being Tested

    Human immunodeficiency virus is the virus that can cause acquired immunodeficiency syndrome . HIV screening tests detect the HIV antigen and/or HIV antibodies produced by the body in response to an HIV infection in the blood. Some tests detect HIV antibodies in saliva.

    An HIV infection may initially cause no symptoms or cause flu-like symptoms that resolve after a week or two. The only way to determine whether you have been infected is through HIV testing.

    If left untreated, an HIV infection can progressively destroy the body’s ability to fight infections and certain cancers. HIV weakens the immune system by infecting lymphocytes , a type of white blood cell, that normally help the body fight infections.

    During the first few weeks following infection with HIV, the virus infects T-cells, making numerous copies of itself and continuing to infect more T-cells. The amount of virus and the p24 antigen level in blood can be quite high. HIV tests that detect the p24 antigen can generally identify infections in the first weeks after infection, even before antibodies develop.

    About 2-8 weeks after exposure to the virus, the immune system responds by producing antibodies directed against the virus that can be detected in the blood. As the initial infection resolves and the level of HIV antibody increases, both virus and p24 antigen levels decrease in the blood. HIV tests that detect HIV antibodies can identify HIV infections about 2 to 8 weeks after infection.

    Recommended Reading: Can You Get Aids Before Hiv

    Can Hiv Be Prevented

    There is currently no vaccine to protect you against HIV, but avoiding high-risk activities such as having unprotected sex and sharing needles for injecting drugs can help to prevent its spread.

    While there is no vaccine, the CDC and the World Health Organization recommend that individuals without HIV infection but at high risk for it consider taking pre-exposure prophylaxis , a daily pill to help prevent infection. For people taking PrEP consistently, the risk of HIV infection was significantly lower compared to those who didn’t take it.

    If you have HIV, early diagnosis of your infection is important to prevent its transmission to others and to allow evaluation, monitoring, and treatment. Healthcare workers can protect themselves from HIV infection by following universal precautions, such as wearing gloves and avoiding needle sticks.

    Post-exposure prophylaxis is another strategy for preventing HIV. PEP is taking antiretroviral medication after recent possible exposure to the virus. PEP should only be used in emergency situations and must be taken within 72 hours of possible HIV exposure. Talk to your healthcare practitioner or emergency department doctor about PEP right away if you:

    • Think you have may been exposed through sex
    • Think you were exposed through sharing needles or other works for injecting drugs
    • Were sexually assaulted
    • Are a healthcare worker and think you were exposed to HIV at work

    Popular Articles
    Related news