What Happens If My Test Is Positive
If you test positive for HIV, it is important to remember that with treatment you can live a long, healthy life. In fact, with early treatment, people with HIV can live about as long as people that are not infected.
A team approach will help you get the medical care and support that you need. Start by talking to your doctor or the counselor or social worker at the testing site. He or she can help you with suggestions on how to talk to your parents or guardians and how to find a health care provider whos an HIV specialist. By starting treatment as soon as possible, you can stay healthy and learn to live well with HIV.
If My Test Is Negative Do I Need Get Tested Again
Talk to your doctor or the counselor or social worker at the testing site to see if you need to get tested again.
Some reasons to get tested again include if you:
- have sex without a condom
- are a guy who has sex with other guys
- have had sex with more than three partners in the past year
- are a woman and are pregnant
Could You Have A False
HIV blood test accuracy is so high that its unusual to have a positive result when you dont have HIV, or to have a negative result when you do have the virus. Still, it is possible.
These tests are highly sensitive and highly specific, so the likelihood of a false-positive or a false-negative is low, but it does occur, says Urbina. Generally, theres a greater likelihood of having a false-positive in who dont have risk factors for HIV.
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What Does It Mean If Hiv Viral Load Is Undetectable
Although there is currently no cure for HIV, the right HIV treatment can help to increase CD4 count and at times an undetectable viral load.
Viral load is the term used to describe the levels of the virus in the body. When treatment is taken correctly, viral load can become so low that its referred to as undetectable. While this does not mean that HIV has been cured, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it does mean that there is no longer a risk of passing the virus on to a partner during sex.
Its important to remember that many people with HIV infection may experience little to no symptoms – making it easy for the virus to go unnoticed and undiagnosed. Early detection of HIV and the correct HIV treatment and medication is key to going on to live a healthy life, which is why regular screening of your sexual health is crucial. Testing can be done with your local healthcare provider or from home with an at-home lab test.
LetsGetCheckeds at-home STI Tests detect some of the most common sexually transmitted infections. The blood test for HIV involves a simple finger-prick sample and online results will be available within 2-5 days. Our dedicated medical team will be available throughout the process to provide medical advice, support, and guidance.
You consider taking a test if:
How Long Are The Window Periods Of Different Hiv Tests
It is hard to say exactly how long the window period lasts, as there are variations between individuals and it is a difficult topic to research .
Nonetheless, a study by Dr Kevin Delaney and colleagues calculated window periods for a range of HIV testing assays. All these analyses were based on plasma samples. Window periods are likely to be several days longer when testing samples of fingerprick blood or of oral fluid, as will be normal when using rapid, point-of-care tests and self-testing devices. Unfortunately, precise figures for how much longer the window periods are have not yet been published.
The researchers analysis confirms that fourth-generation laboratory tests detect HIV infections between one and three weeks earlier than older antibody-only tests. Moreover, their data suggest that some countries guidelines which recommend retesting 90 days after a possible exposure to HIV are more cautious than they need to be.
Afourth-generation laboratory testis recommended in UK and US guidelines. It uses a sample of blood plasma or serum and can detect immunoglobulin G antibodies, immunoglobulin M antibodies and p24 viral antigen . Commonly used tests of this type include Abbott Architect HIV Ag/Ab, GS Combo Ag/Ab EIA and Siemens Combo HIV Ag-Ab.
- The median window period is 18 days . This indicates that half of all infections would be detected between 13 and 24 days after exposure.
- 99% of HIV-infected individuals would be detectable within 44 days of exposure.
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Understanding The Hiv Window Period
What is the HIV window period?
The window period for an HIV test refers to the time between HIV exposure and when a test can detect HIV in your body. The window period depends on the type of HIV test used.
What is the window period for the HIV test I took?
- Antibody tests can usually detect HIV 23 to 90 days after exposure. Most rapid tests and self-tests are antibody tests.
- A rapid antigen/antibody test done with blood from a finger stick can usually detect HIV 18 to 90 days after exposure.
- An antigen/antibody lab test using blood from a vein can usually detect HIV 18 to 45 days after exposure.
- A nucleic acid test can usually detect HIV 10 to 33 days after exposure.
Can I Take The Test At Home
At-home HIV tests are a convenient way to take an HIV test in a private location. Testing for HIV at home is a form of HIV screening that requires additional follow-up if preliminary results are positive. At-home HIV tests can be obtained online, at a pharmacy, or at health departments and community-based organizations.
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How Do Hiv Tests Work
There are two basic ways to get HIV test results:
Laboratory tests. For these tests, a technician takes a sample of your blood and tests it. Youâll get results within a few days.
Rapid tests. These tests provide results in about 20-30 minutes. You can get them done in a community clinic or take them at home.
What Is Informed Consent
Informed consent means you have enough information to understand HIV testing, such as the options for testing, an understanding of how the tests are done, what the results mean and the impact of testing. This will help you make an informed decision about your health care. Read more about informed consent, and talk to your healthcare provider if you have any questions.
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What Does The Test Involve
We have two types of HIV tests here at the Jefferiss Wing.
- The point of care test we take a very small sample of blood from a finger prick. This test gives a result within minutes, but has a window period of 12 weeks. So if you are worried about an incident less than 12 weeks ago, this test is not for you.
- The blood test this involves taking a sample of blood from your arm which we send to the Jefferiss Wing laboratory. The result takes about five days to come back but the four-week window period is shorter.
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 need to be tested more than once if you have a higher risk for infection. If your last HIV test was more than a year ago, you should get tested as soon as possible if you have:
- Injected drugs and shared needles, syringes, or other drug items with other people
- Exchanged sex for money or drugs
- Had a sexually transmitted disease , such as syphilis
- Had sex with anyone who has done anything listed above
If you regularly do any of the things on the above list, you should be tested for HIV at least once every year. Certain people, including men who have sex with men , may benefit from being tested more often, depending on their risk. Ask your provider how often you should be tested.
If you are pregnant, your doctor may order an HIV test. That’s because HIV can be passed to the baby during pregnancy and birth, and through breast milk. There are medicines you can take during pregnancy and delivery that greatly reduce your risk of spreading HIV your baby.
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Getting Your Hiv Test Results
Most HIV test results are available within a week.
If the test result is negative, you may receive your results within a few days.
If the initial test result is positive, then additional testing to confirm the result needs to be performed in a reference laboratory and this can take up to a week to get a result.
Barriers To Hiv Testing
Research has shown that some people avoid getting an HIV test because they fear othersâ negative attitudes about HIV. This stigma results largely from fear, outdated beliefs about how HIV is transmitted, and value judgments about people who have it.
People may think an HIV diagnosis could:
- Affect their relationships with friends and family
- Cause problems with housing, employment, or school
- Keep them from getting health care or health insurance
Other barriers to HIV testing include economic, cultural, and social issues such as:
- Lack of access or transportation to testing
- Discrimination against trans people
And, of course, itâs common to be afraid of getting a positive test result. But learning your status can relieve the anxiety of uncertainty.
If you donât feel comfortable going to your regular doctor, consider testing by a nonprofit group or community health center. Some serve particular populations, such as LGBTQ+ people. They may even offer mobile testing vans. Or you may prefer to self-test in the privacy of your home.
Avert: “HIV Testing,” “Continuing antiretroviral treatment,” “When to Get Tested for HIV.”
AIDS.gov: “HIV Test Types.”
HIV.gov: âHIV Testing Overview,â âHow Can You Tell If You Have HIV?â âWhere Can You Get Tested for HIV?â âREALLY: Get Tested.â
Home Access Health Corporation: “The Home Access HIV-1 Test System.”
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When Should I Be Tested For Hiv
You can be exposed to HIV by having unprotected sex with an infected person, by sharing infected needles and other injecting equipment, or from a needlestick injury. It can also be passed on from a mother to her baby during pregnancy and delivery. If you think you may have been exposed to HIV, you should get a test. You can use the NZ AIDS Foundation’s Been exposed tool to find out the likely risk of a specific event or encounter and advice for what to do next.
Hiv Testing Outside Of A Health Care Setting Or Lab
If you get an HIV test outside of a health care setting or lab you will likely receive a rapid HIV test.
- If the test comes back negative, and you havent had a possible exposure during the previous 3 months, you can be confident you dont have HIV.
- If your test result is positive, you should go to a health care provider to get follow-up testing. Counselors providing the test should be able to answer questions and provide referrals for follow-up testing as well. You can use the HIV.gov locator to find a health center near you.
Hiv Tests For Screening And Diagnosis
HIV tests are very accurate, but no test can detect the virus immediately after infection. How soon a test can detect HIV depends on the type of test being used. There are three types of HIV tests: antibody tests, antigen/antibody tests, and nucleic acid tests .
An initial HIV test usually will either be an antigen/antibody test or an antibody test. If the initial HIV test is a rapid or self-test and it is positive, the person should go to a health care provider to get follow-up testing. If the initial HIV test is a lab test and it is positive, the lab will usually conduct follow-up testing on the same blood sample as the initial test. Although HIV tests are generally accurate, follow-up tests allow the health care provider to confirm the result.
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 a sample of your blood or oral fluid. 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 rapid test 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.
What Is A False Positive Test Result
A false positive test is when the test result shows positive but the person is really negative. This can happen with antibody tests when the test picks up antibodies for other infectious agents.
Approximately 1.5% antibody tests are a false positive. The fourth generation tests have a much lower chance of a false positive.
This means that a small percentage of people who test positive on a rapid test may turn out to be HIV negative.
A second blood sample will be tested in a lab to look for this.
If your blood test was originally performed in a laboratory, a positive result would have already been confirmed before giving you this result.
All positive laboratory tests in the UK are routinely confirmed using a second type of test called western blot that is 100% accurate.
Getting A Result Quickly
Many services offer rapid testing, which means a finger-prick test that will give you a result within minutes.
A self testing kit ordered online and done at home will normally give you a result up to 15 minutes, depending on the kit.
A blood sample taken at a testing centre will be sent to a lab, with results ready within a day or up to a week later.
If you use postal testing, the lab will normally contact you a week or so later with your result.
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Best For Payment Options: Health Testing Centers
- Collection method: This test requires a cervical swab or urine sample.
- Results time: People will receive their results within 34 days.
- Price: This test costs $99.
Health Testing Centers offer a variety of home test kits to screen for several STIs, including HPV. Females take a sample from their cervix, while males take a urine test.
According to the company, the tests check for the most common forms of high risk HPV that may develop into cancer.
To order the test, a person selects the test they need and the laboratory they wish to use.
After paying for the test online, an individual can choose to visit their local laboratory or receive a test kit through home delivery.
According to the company, a person should receive their test kit in the mail within 34 business days, and after collecting their sample, they should mail their test to their chosen lab. The laboratory then sends the results via email.
The HPV test from Health Testing Centers costs $99. A person may use their HSA but may not be eligible to claim through their private health insurance.
- Collection method: This test requires a swab collection.
- Results time: People will receive their test results within 25 days.
- Price: This test costs $89.
myLAB Box produces this HPV home test kit for females aged 30 years and older. The company recommends individuals take a test even if they received a vaccination for HPV.
Generations Of Hiv Antibody Tests: When They Can Be Done And Their Accuracy
This table summarizes four generations of HIV Ab teststhat currently can be performed. They all confirm seroconversionâthe bodyâs response to the virus via production of antibodies.
*Please note that with each generation, the test has become more accurate sooner.
|HIV Ab tests
|Earliest time the test can be done
|Ideal time for testing
|35â45-day post exposure 50% accuracy
|95% after 6 weeks > 99% after 6 months
|25â35 days post exposure 50% accuracy
|57 days post exposure is 99% accurate
|22â35 days post exposure 50% accuracy
|50 days post exposure is 99% accurate
|15â20 days post exposure 50% accuracy
|44 days post exposure is 99% accurate
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Why Its Important To Test
If you have HIV, finding out means you can start treatment, stay healthy and avoid passing the virus onto anyone else. The sooner you start treatment, the less likely you are to become seriously ill. People who are diagnosed early and get on effective treatment can expect to live a normal lifespan.
Once youre on effective treatment and your viral load is undetectable then you cant pass the virus on to anyone else.
If you wait to test, the virus could do a lot of damage. There is a lot of support available for people who test positive.