Does There Have To Be Consent To Have An Hiv Test
HIV testing must only be performed after a person gives consent that is explicit, informed and voluntary.
It is understood in Canada that respecting and protecting peoples rights needs to be central to HIV testing. HIV testing is voluntary in Canada, meaning that a person is free to accept or refuse an HIV test without threat or coercion. Under no circumstances should the person be pressured to receive an HIV test.
What is informed consent?
A person being tested for HIV must provide informed consent. To be able to provide informed consent, the person must be able to:
A pre-test discussion should ensure that the person being tested is able to provide informed consent. The Public Health Agency of Canadas HIV Screening and Testing Guide recommends that verbal informed consent be sufficient, as with other medical tests.
Find Needle Exchange And Harm Reduction Programs
You can get free sterile harm-reduction supplies at over 35 needle exchange programs and over 370 access points across Ontario. Through these programs you can get:
- safer-injection equipment including:
Through these programs, you can also:
- safely dispose of both injection and crack smoking equipment
- get condoms
- get education and information
- get referrals and counseling
Find the closest needle-exchange and harm-reduction program by contacting a public health unit near you or call the AIDS and Sexual Health Info Line toll free at 1-800-668-2437.
What Do The Results Mean
If your result is negative, it can mean you don’t have HIV. A negative result may also mean you have HIV but it’s too soon to tell. It can take a few weeks for HIV antibodies and antigens to show up in your body. If your result is negative, your health care provider may order additional HIV tests at a later date.
If your result is positive, you will get a follow-up test to confirm the diagnosis. If both tests are positive, it means you have HIV. It does not mean you have AIDS. While there is no cure for HIV, the disease can be effectively controlled with medicine. The medicine used to treat HIV is called antiretroviral therapy . ART can significantly reduce the amount of HIV in the blood. People with HIV who take ART before the disease gets too advanced can live long, healthy lives. If you are living with HIV, it’s important to see your health care provider regularly.
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A Word About Window Periods
The window period refers to the time it takes for HIV to show up in an HIV test. The length of the window period will depend on the type of test you take.
If you feel like you may be at risk of HIV, do not wait, speak to a healthcare professional as soon as possible. The most important thing is to test.
If you test negative but think you may have been exposed to HIV more recently, you can take another test once the window period has passed.
The picture below shows the window periods for different HIV tests. Some tests can give you an accurate result within four weeks, while others can take three months to be accurate .
A healthcare worker will be able to explain how long the window period is for the test you are taking, and will tell you if they think youll need to test for HIV again.
Specimen Choice Collection And Transport
For standard HIV-1/HIV-2 antibody testing, including p24 antigen and all confirmatory testing, a single tube of clotted whole blood is sufficient. If possible, a dedicated tube for HIV testing is preferred to minimize the possibility of cross contamination during handling. Most assays currently in use are validated for use on serum, including serum collected in serum separator tubes and plasma collected in EDTA, sodium heparin, sodium citrate, acid-citrate-dextrose, cell preparation tube or potassium oxalate. Laboratories should provide their clients with specific guidelines on the collection and submission of samples for HIV testing locally. Performance of these assays, including p24 antigen testing, has been validated on serum and plasma. The assays have not been validated on post-mortem specimens or body fluids such as urine, saliva, semen or pleural fluid.
For most quantitative viral RNA assays , 10 mL of whole blood in EDTA or 2’7 mL of whole blood in plasma preparation tubes or 5 mL of separated plasma is required. Whole blood in EDTA is stable for only 4 h, while blood in PPT, if centrifuged within 4 h of collection, is stable at room temperature for 24 h. Plasma can be stored frozen for three months before testing, and is stable for 24 h at room temperature.
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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.
Im Pregnant When Should I Test
Testing for HIV during your pregnancy is very important. Left undiagnosed and untreated women living with HIV can pass the virus on to their unborn babies. In most countries, HIV tests are a routine part of the care women receive during pregnancy . Partners of pregnant women should also get tested during this time.
The earlier you test in your pregnancy the better. You’ll usually be tested in your first appointment, ideally before your tenth week. These tests should be repeated, either every three months or at least once again in your third trimester.
Your doctor will tell you everything you need to know about HIV testing alongside the other blood tests they do during pregnancy.
If you find out you are positive, youll be given treatment to prevent passing HIV on to your child. The earlier you start treatment, the greater the chance your child will be born HIV-negative. Check out our section on Pregnancy, childbirth & breastfeeding for more information.
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Hiv Transmission In Australia
In Australia, HIV is commonly transmitted through:
- Unprotected anal or vaginal sex .
- Sharing any needles, syringes, or other injecting equipment.
- From mother to child during pregnancy, childbirth, or breastfeeding This can occur when the mother doesnt know she is HIV-positive, or is not on effective treatment.
- Tattooing or other procedures that involve unsterile or reused equipment.
- Needle stick injuries.
HIV is not transmitted by:
- kissing, hugging, massaging, mutual masturbation and other body contact
- social interaction
- sharing food, dishes, utensils, drinking glasses
- air, breath, or being coughed or sneezed on
- mosquito, insect or animal bites
- use of communal facilities .
It is perfectly safe to consume food and drinks prepared by someone who is HIV-positive even if theyre not receiving treatment.
People with HIV who are on treatment and achieve and maintain an undetectable HIV viral load cannot transmit HIV sexually.
Hiv Stigma And Discrimination
HIV can prompt intense feelings in people, regardless of their HIV status. It is sometimes viewed with a sense of unacceptability or disgrace. A person with HIV may feel shame and despair about their status. An HIV-negative person may be fearful or angry when they discover someone has HIV. The relationship of these feelings to HIV is referred to as stigma.Felt stigma refers to deep feelings of shame and self-loathing, and the expectation of discrimination. It can have serious negative impacts on the health and wellbeing of people living with HIV by discouraging them from getting tested, receiving support, or taking treatment. It may also lead people to engage in high-risk behaviours that harm their health, and contribute to new HIV infections.Enacted stigma is the experience of unfair treatment by others. For people living with HIV this can be in the form of being treated differently and poorly, or through rejection, abuse, or discrimination.HIV stigma is particularly harmful when it overlaps with other factors that are stigmatised such as if a person uses drugs, is a sex worker, is trans or gender diverse.Breaking down stigma is a community response where:
If you have experienced stigma or discrimination from a health care provider, and are unable to resolve your complaint with them directly, contact the Health Complaints Commissioner
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What Happens After A Non
No further testing is done to confirm a negative result. However, if a person has had a potential exposure to HIV within the three-month window period of the test, the person should take another HIV test later or go to a healthcare provider for a laboratory HIV test that has a shorter window period.
If a person tests negative and is at ongoing risk for HIV, they should retest regularly. They can also consider taking pre-exposure prophylaxis to help prevent HIV.
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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Where To Get An Hiv Test
There are lots of ways to test for HIV. In Northern Ireland you can get a free HIV test at GP surgeries, genitourinary medicine clinics at hospitals, sexual health clinics or at antenatal clinics .
Some voluntary organisations including Positive Life and The Rainbow Project also can arrange rapid HIV testing.
How Long After Hiv Exposure Should I Get Tested
It is recommended to get tested after a risky exposure between 2-4 weeks, 3 months, and 6 months. A sensitive HIV test, which uses an antibodies/antigen to identify the HIV virus, will usually detect the virus at 1 month almost all will detect it at 3 months and the rest will detect it at 6 months or more.
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Which Hiv Test Is Accurate After 3 Months
In the three months following the three-month window, HIV tests are more than 99 percent. A 97% accuracy rate. HIV can be treated with them regardless of its type or subtypes. The accuracy of medical tests is very low. In rare cases, HIV positive people will not be picked up by health care providers.
Side Effects Of Hiv Treatment
People on current HIV treatments may experience mild side effects including:
- tiredness and fatigue
- skin rashes.
If you are on treatment, see your doctor every 3 to 6 months.
Regular blood tests are necessary to make sure your treatment is working and not causing serious side effects. It is recommended that you also get tested for STIs and talk to your doctor about your sexual health and overall wellbeing. Ensure you are having routine screening for cancers and keeping your vaccinations up to date.
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Feels He Contracted Hiv From A Partner Who Was Not Aware Of Their Hiv Infection
All I could do is replay in my mind how I had contracted HIV. I was seeing my partner for nearly a year and he wasn’t aware that he had it. I had been tested yearly and was fine until February of 2000. By July of that year I was infected and by late August I had gotten mononucleosis but it still didn’t occur to me that anything was wrong until my partner began showing symptoms of shingles and his doctor told him it was very strange for him to be in his early thirties and have shingles. He was told that he should be tested for HIV and when he found out he was positive then I instinctively knew I had contracted it as well.
Some people felt they could pin point the incident where they got HIV. Some of these people said that drugs, alcohol or psychological difficulties played a part in their risky sex at the time.
I was listening to the radio. And there was acoverage of a, of a conference on. And I suddenly had this awful remembrance of a drunken night in town. And thinking, bastard If it wasn’t that, it And then I remembered that I that neither of us had had a rubber. You know, and it seemed like a good idea. I don’t do sex drunk. Normally. That was 5 4 years beforehand. And after that I’d come out in an But I’d never even heard of seroconversion. I’d come out with an enormous rash I Everything that, that I’ve subsequently learnt was to do with seroconvertion.
What Happens After A Positive Hiv Test
After a client receives a positive HIV test result, the result is reported to public health. A positive result initiates a series of processes to support the care of the client, to identify recent partners who may benefit from testing, and to prevent onward transmission.
Public Health notification
HIV is a reportable, or notifiable, illness in all Canadian provinces and territories except for Quebec1. This means that when an HIV infection is confirmed by a clinic, doctor or laboratory, it is reported to public health authorities . Each province and territory has public health laws that stipulate specific requirements for reporting HIV diagnoses. HIV is a reportable disease because it is considered to be of significant importance to public health.
The amount of information collected and shared with public health varies according to each province or territory. However, all provinces and territories provide non-nominal data on positive tests to the Public Health Agency of Canada, which facilitates the production of national-level reports on the state of the HIV epidemic in Canada.
HIV partner notification, or contact tracing, is the practice of identifying, locating and informing someone that a partner they have had sex or used drugs with has been diagnosed with HIV. Contact tracing is meant to encourage the partners to test for HIV to identify new HIV infections as early as possible.
Linkage to prevention and care
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How Are Hiv And Aids Diagnosed
A doctor may suspect HIV if symptoms last and no other cause can be found.
If you have been exposed to HIV, your immune system will make antibodies to try to destroy the virus. Doctors use tests to find these HIV antibodies or antigens in urine, saliva, or blood.
A diagnosis of HIV infection is not made until a positive ELISA test is confirmed by a positive test to detect HIV DNA or RNA. A PCR test can do this.
HIV antibodies or antigens usually show up in the blood within 3 months. If you think you have been exposed to HIV but you test negative for it:
- Get tested again. A repeat test may be done after a few weeks to be sure you are not infected.
- Meanwhile, take steps to prevent the spread of the virus, in case you do have it.
- Avoid sexual contact with others. If you do have sex, practice safer sex.
- Do not share needles, syringes, cookers, cotton, cocaine spoons, or eyedroppers.
Getting tested and home test kits
You can get HIV testing in most doctors’ offices, public health clinics, hospitals, and Planned Parenthood clinics.
A home test kit for HIV has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration . For the test, you rub your gums with a swab supplied by the kit. Then you place the swab into a vial of liquid. The test strip on the swab indicates if you have HIV or not.
If the results from a home test kit show that you have an HIV infection, talk with a doctor.
Tests after a positive result
- Hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C.
- Tuberculosis .
How Can You Help Someone Who Has Been Newly Diagnosed With Hiv
There are many things that you can do to help a friend or loved one who has been recently diagnosed with HIV:
If you are the sexual partner of someone who has been diagnosed with HIV, you should also get tested so that you know your own HIV status. If you test negative, talk to your healthcare provider about PrEP , taking HIV medicine daily to prevent HIV infection. PrEP is recommended for people at high risk of HIV infection, including those who are in a long-term relationship with a partner who has HIV. If you test positive, get connected to HIV treatment and care as soon as possible.
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Human Immunodeficiency Virus2 Diagnosis
The possibility of human immunodeficiency virus 2 infection should be entertained in patients with the following risk factors:
Illness characteristic of HIV infection despite negative HIV-1 test result
West African origin
Sex partners or needle-sharing partners of a person known to be infected with HIV-2 or who is not infected but is from an HIV-2endemic area
Children born to women with HIV-2 or who have risk factors for HIV-2 infection
Persons who have participated in a HIV-vaccine trial or have receive blood products or a nonsterile injection in HIV-2endemic areas
People with unusual HIV-1 Western blot indeterminate patterns