Wednesday, May 22, 2024

How Does Hiv Testing Work

How Soon After Exposure To Hiv Can An Hiv Test Detect If You Are Infected

How does STI and HIV testing work?

No HIV test can detect HIV immediately after infection. If you think youve been exposed to HIV, in the last 72 hours, talk to your health care provider about post-exposure prophylaxis , right away.

The time between when a person gets HIV and when a test can accurately detect it is called the window period. The window period varies from person to person and also depends upon the type of HIV test.

What Is A Hiv Rna Early Detection Test And How Does It Work

Within the first several weeks after you have been infected with HIV, the virus may not be detected in your blood stream. This period is called the window period.

With earlier tests, the window period used to be around 3 months. The 4th generation test has reduced that to 4 weeks.

Thats still too long. Although the virus cannot be detected you can still infect others.

There is, however, a more sensitive test that can detect the virus in the earliest stages after infection around 9-11 days after initial exposure.

Its called the HIV RNA early detection test.

The Healthcare Worker There To Help You

Before you test, your healthcare worker will talk to you about your sexual health and why youve decided to test. This is to help them understand your situation so they can offer you the best services and advice.

Remember, the healthcare professional is not there to judge you. There will be nothing you can say that they havent heard before so be honest with them, and ask as many questions as you want. Thats what theyre there for.

You should never feel pressured to test. The results will be completely confidential but you should only go through with it if you want to.

Recommended Reading: Is Hiv In Semen

How Much Does The Test Cost

The cost of an HIV test is usually covered by insurance without a copay, although specific costs depend on a persons insurance coverage and where the test is performed. Check with your health plan and health care provider for specific cost details.

At-home HIV tests cost below $50. Health departments and community-based organizations may provide HIV self-test kits for free or at a reduced cost.

Whats Next If The Test Is Positive

How do HIV tests work and what

If a person gets a positive result, a qualified lab should retest the sample to make sure it was not inaccurate or have another sample tested. A positive result on a follow-up test means that a person has HIV.

Its recommended that people who test positive for HIV see a healthcare professional as soon as possible to discuss treatment options.

A medical professional can get a person with HIV started on antiretroviral therapy right away. This is a medication that helps stop HIV from replicating and can help prevent transmission of HIV to other people.

Its important to use condoms, dental dams, or other barrier methods with any and all sexual partners and refrain from sharing needles while waiting for test results or until the virus becomes undetectable in the blood.

Seeing a therapist or joining a support group, whether in person or online, can help cope with the emotions and health issues that come with an HIV diagnosis. Dealing with HIV can be stressful and difficult to discuss with even the closest friends and family.

Speaking privately with a therapist or being part of a community made up of others with the same medical condition can help a person understand how to lead a healthy, active life after diagnosis.

Also Check: How Long Does Hiv Last

Why Is Hiv Testing Important

The CDC recommends that everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 years old be screened for HIV at least once as part of their routine health care. More frequent testing is recommended for people who have a higher risk of infection because of behaviors such as having sex without condoms, having sex with multiple partners, or injecting drugs using shared needles.

When people know their HIV status, they have powerful information they can use to take care of themselves.

For people who are HIV positive, there are FDA-approved medicines that can help keep the virus under control. These medicines do not cure HIV, but they can help people live longer, healthier lives and reduce the chance theyll spread the virus to someone else. For people who are HIV negative, there are FDA-approved PrEP drugs that may help protect against infection. HIV medicines can sometimes cause side effects. It is important to talk with your health care provider before starting a new medicine and about side effects and warnings for any medicines you take.

Hiv And Health Insurance Among Black People

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.

Recommended Reading: Is Undetectable Hiv Contagious

Importance Of Hiv Testing

If you have the virus, finding out quickly means you can start treatment right away so you can feel better and live a long, full life. You can also take steps so you don’t pass HIV to other people.

Pregnant women should get tested because early treatment means you probably wonât pass it to your baby.

How Does An Oral Hiv Test Work

Home #STD Testing: Why Get Tested & How It Works

OraQuick® Advance rapid HIV-1/2 antibody test

When the CDC announced in September 2006 that everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 should start getting tested for HIV as regularly as they get tested for, say, a normal heartbeat or high cholesterol, it created a bit of stir in the medical community. While most health experts applaud the recommendation on principle, the logistics of widespread, regular HIV testing for people not typically considered to be at risk may be problematic. Testing can be expensive, time-consuming and upsetting. And some people just cannot bear to be stuck with a needle.

At least on that last point, there’s a viable solution: a recently FDA-approved rapid HIV test that can use blood, serum or oral fluids with equal accuracy. A simple swab of the mouth and gums is all that’s required for the OraSure OraQuick Advance test, which is the only HIV test approved for oral use as of September 2006. Depending on who you ask, the oral test is either just as accurate or a partial percentage point less accurate than a blood-based test, with false positives being slightly more likely than false negatives.

Generalized illustration of oral HIV-testing process

For more information on HIV testing and related topics, check out the links on the next page.

You May Like: How Long After Contracting Hiv Do You Get Symptoms

Why Should You Get Tested For Hiv

More than 7.7 million people in South Africa have tested positive for HIV. This means that just over 20% of the South African population are HIV-positive. Its important to know your HIV status, how to get tested, and how to process a positive test result.

There is no known cure for HIV as yet, however, it can be treated and managed. Scientists are working on an HIV vaccine, and serious medical advancements have enabled people to live long, healthy and happy lives when HIV-positive. Access to information, treatment and support is improved upon, year after year. Getting tested is not just important for you, but also for the people you love and care about. If you are HIV-positive, you can start following a few simple but important precautions. This is important as you navigate through life, to protect both yourself and the people you care about.

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.

Recommended Reading: Does Youngboy Really Have Herpes

What Are The Benefits Of Home Hiv Tests

HIV is much easier to manage and treat if its identified early and treatment is started as soon as possible.

Home HIV tests allow people to receive results almost immediately sometimes within minutes without having to wait for an appointment with a healthcare professional or take time out of their schedule to visit a lab.

Early identification is essential for successful long-term treatment and survival with HIV.

Home tests empower people to learn whether they have the virus earlier than any other testing methods. This can help them limit the virus effect on them and on others around them.

Early identification can even protect people they do not know, as their sexual partners could potentially contract HIV and then transmit it to others.

Early treatment can suppress the virus to undetectable levels, which makes HIV untransmittable. The CDC considers any viral load of

During the early stages, which is known as primary infection or acute HIV infection, it can be much easier for a person to transmit HIV to others because levels of virus in the blood are very high.

A person should consider taking an HIV test if they experience these symptoms after the following activities:

  • having sex without a condom or another barrier method
  • injecting drugs

How Accurate Are Hiv Mouth Tests

How Does HIV Genetic Resistance Testing Work?

In general, HIV antibodies are lower in oral fluid than in whole blood, especially after a recent infection, as a result of the lower levels in oral fluid. A pooled sensitivity of 98 was observed in seven studies that compared test performance directly with oral fluid. The percentage difference between 99 and 03% is 0%. The blood of 68% of people has been whole.

Also Check: How Did Nba Youngboy Get Herpes

How Can Someone Test For Other Stds At Home

People can test for other sexually transmitted diseases , such as gonorrhea and chlamydia, using home testing kits. These tests usually consist of taking a urine sample or a swab from the genital area and sending it to a lab facility for testing.

The test should be repeated if a person received negative results, but theyre experiencing STD symptoms.

Another option is to have a healthcare professional order another test to ensure that the results are accurate.

The Accuracy Of Different Rapid Tests

A wide range of point-of-care tests have been manufactured in many countries, but only a few of them have been subject to rigorous, independent evaluations, and even fewer are marketed in the UK. Research on HIV tests is only occasionally published in medical journals. Informally, laboratory professionals may have insights into which tests perform best.

It is important to verify that any test used is CE marked. This should mean that the test conforms to European health and safety legislation, although it does not necessarily mean that test performance has been independently evaluated.

There are variations in accuracy from one test to another, with some older tests that are not usually marketed in the UK having a sub-optimal sensitivity and specificity. However, evaluations by the World Health Organization of several rapid diagnostic tests that either have CE marks or are approved by the US Food and Drug Administration , indicate that most are extremely accurate. The key measures of accuracy are sensitivity and specificity .

Of note, in the World Health Organization data below, the tests were performed with samples of plasma or serum. However, the tests are less sensitive when testing whole blood sampled from a finger prick. Moreover, the blood was taken from people who had chronic HIV infection, but the tests are less accurate in cases of recent infection.



“All HIV tests need to have reactive results confirmed with further tests.”

Recommended Reading: How Long Before Hiv Turns Into Aids

How Do Hiv Tests Work

When you get HIV, your immune system makes antibodies that try to fight off the infection. The most common type of HIV test looks for these antibodies in your blood or cells from your cheek.

It usually takes about 3 months for your body to make enough antibodies to show up on an HIV test, but it could be even longer. This time after you first get infected but wont test positive for HIV is called the window period. If you get tested during this time, you can get a negative result even if you do actually have HIV. You also have the biggest chance of giving HIV to other people during the window period.

Situations In Which Rapid Tests May Not Be Accurate

How does HIV treatment work?

Performance of rapid tests is poorer in a number of situations. Results may not be accurate.

You May Like: Does Cookie Johnson Have Hiv Aids

What Happens During An Hiv Test

You will either get a blood test in a lab, or do your own test at home.

For a blood test in a lab:

  • A health care professional will take a blood sample from a vein in your arm, using a small needle. After the needle is inserted, a small amount of blood will be collected into a test tube or vial. You may feel a little sting when the needle goes in or out. This usually takes less than five minutes.

For at home test, you will need to get a sample of saliva from your mouth or a drop of blood from your fingertip.

  • The test kit will provide instructions on how to get your sample, package it, and send it to a lab.
  • For a saliva test, you will use special spatula-like tool to take a swab from your mouth.
  • For a fingertip antibody blood test, you will use a special tool to prick your finger and collect a sample of blood.

For more information on at-home testing, talk to your health care provider.

Benefits Of The Hiv Rna Test

A surprising number of people dont know they have HIV.

A study pegs the number at about 15% of the roughly 1.2 million Americans with HIV.

Many people live with HIV for years without realizing it.

This is dangerous for two reasons.

One, those infected miss out on early treatment which can help manage the infection and any resulting health effects.

Two, people with HIV but dont realize it are highly likely to spread it to their sex partners.

If you are sexually active, you should get a HIV test at least once or twice a year. The regular HIV test is adequate.

You can get tested at a clinic or buy a HIV home test kit.

But if you suspect that you have been exposed to HIV, an early RNA test is the best option.

It has several benefits:

  • Immediate counselling. Most clinics and labs that provide HIV RNA testing also offer free counselling.
  • Early treatment. This will help you manage your health and can prevent the HIV infection from progressing to the AIDS stage.
  • Protect your sexual partners. Knowing in time that you have HIV ensures you dont spread it to your sexual partners.

You May Like: Nba Youngboy Aids

How Does An Hiv Test Work

Most HIV tests check for antibodies that the body produces once infected with HIV. Antibodies are proteins that the immune system produces to fight off different kinds of infections, including HIV. If an HIV test detects HIV antibodies, a person is infected with HIV.

If antibodies are not present, a person is considered non-reactive for HIV. It can take as long as 90 days for the body to develop enough antibodies to be measurable on this type of test. The time period between HIV exposure and a positive test is called the window period, during which you could test non-reactive for HIV but still be infected with HIV and able to transmit the virus to others. It is important to get tested after a sufficient period of time has passed to know for sure.

What Happens When You Go For A Test

How do HIV test kits work?

Normally, testing involves taking a small sample of blood from your finger or your arm, or an oral swab. This is where you rub the testing pen along your gums to collect cells from your mouth.

How long it takes for HIV test results to come back will depend on the type of test you are taking. If youre taking a rapid test, you will be given your results within 20 minutes. Other types of tests will be sent to a laboratory and it may take between a few days and a few weeks for you to receive a final result.

Tests these days are very reliable, but if your result comes back positive, you should have a second confirmatory test to double check your result. If this is also positive, you will get an HIV diagnosis, after which you can start treatment.

Remember, HIV treatment these days is very effective and people with HIV can live long and healthy lives just like anyone else.

Also Check: How Long Does It Take To Become Undetectable Hiv

Popular Articles
Related news