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How Long Does Hiv Rna Test Take

Stages Of Hiv Infection

Rapid HIV1 RNA PCR Test by Dr Jonathan Ti | Dtap Clinic

HIV infection is categorized according to the severeness of the symptoms exhibited.

The first stage is termed Acute HIV infection where the virus has just entered the body and begun to manipulate.

The second stage is known as Chronic HIV, this is the stage when some people start experiencing actual symptoms of the disease, by now the infection has started to spread rapidly.

The final stage is known as AIDS , where the immune system is totally weakened and the infected person is open to acquire any disease otherwise a healthy person does not get affected easily.

There Are Several Types Of Hiv Test This Website Can Help You Learn More About Different Types Of Hiv Test Here Are The Basic Types Of Test:

HIV Antibody Tests Antibody tests do not detect the HIV-virus itself, but detect a protein called an antibody, which is produced by your body in response to the virus. Antibodies are produced by the immune system after it has had time to react to the new infection, which means antibodies are not detectable in the blood or saliva immediately. The window period for antibody-only tests is about 1 month on average, but can take up to 3 months in some people.

Rapid HIV Tests There are several types of rapid test for HIV, all of which are antibody-only tests. Rapid tests are point-of-care tests . These tests use either saliva or a small amount of blood and provide a result within 30 minutes. Madison Clinic uses a rapid test that takes a few drops of blood and provides a result in less than 60 seconds. The advantage of using a rapid test is that you dont have to wait to get the results however, because a rapid test has a longer window period than other tests and because it is a point-of-care test which is more subject to error in its use than a laboratory test, it is recommended that people getting a rapid HIV test also get a standard laboratory test to confirm the results.

How An Hiv Rna Test Is Done

Since the HIV RNA test is a blood test, theres no special way to prepare for it. But some people find that being well hydrated before any type of blood test makes it easier for the technician to find a vein.

A technician will swab your arm with an antiseptic wipe or solution. Then, a blood sample will be drawn from a vein in your arm.

Based upon the lab used, it may take up to 10 days for you to get the results of your test.

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Where Can People Find Free Hiv Testing Locations

The CDC maintains a list of HIV testing locations for people who want to find out whether they have contracted the virus. This National HIV and STD Testing Resource can be accessed at . This site includes the ability to search for free testing locations as well as locations that provide rapid tests. Some clinics only provide HIV testing. However, sexually transmitted diseases clinics routinely provide HIV testing along with testing for diseases like chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, and herpes.

Diagnosis Of Hiv In Infants And Children

HIV Test

HIV can be diagnosed definitively by virologic testing in most non-breastfed infants with perinatal HIV exposure by age 1 to 2 months and in almost all infants with HIV by age 4 to 6 months. Antibody tests, including the antigen/antibody combination immunoassays , do not establish the presence of HIV in infants because of transplacental transfer of maternal HIV antibodies therefore, a virologic test must be used.1,2 Positive virologic tests indicate likely HIV infection. Plasma HIV RNA or cell-associated HIV DNA NATs are generally equally recommended. However, both tests can be affected by maternal antiretroviral therapy through transplacental transfer of antiretroviral drugs from the pregnant person to fetus or by ARV drugs administered to the infant as prophylaxis or presumptive HIV therapy. In contrast, qualitative HIV proviral DNA PCR assays from whole blood detecting cell-associated virus often are less affected by ARVs.

An infant who has a positive HIV antibody test but whose mothers HIV status is unknown should be assumed to have been exposed to HIV. The infant should undergo HIV diagnostic testing, as described in Timing of Diagnostic Testing in Infants with Perinatal HIV Exposure below,15 and receive ARV prophylaxis or presumptive HIV therapy as soon as possible. For ARV management of newborns who have been exposed to HIV and newborns with HIV infection , see Antiretroviral Management of Newborns with Perinatal HIV Exposure or Perinatal HIV.

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Activities That Transmit Hiv

HIV may pass from one person to another any time there is contact with semen, pre-cum, vaginal fluids or blood. HIV is transmitted during sex and when using injection drugs and sharing needles. Mothers can also transmit HIV to their babies before or during birth or while breastfeeding, although this is very rare in the U.S. and in other places where mothers living with HIV have access to health care services.

People living with HIV who are taking HIV medications and have a suppressed viral load do not transmit HIV. People who are HIV-negative can prevent HIV infection with PrEP.

Bodily fluids that are NOT infectious:

  • Saliva / spit

Remember: Any body fluids that also contain blood may be infectious.

What Are The Treatments For Hiv/aids

Currently, there is no cure for HIV infection or AIDS. However, early diagnosis allows for treatment with antiretroviral therapy that can help to suppress levels of virus in your body and greatly improve your long-term health. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as well as the World Health Organization recommend that all individuals diagnosed with HIV infection receive treatment as soon as possible, including pregnant women. With advances in treatment, individuals with HIV infection are living longer, healthier lives.

People typically take at least three drugs from two different classes in order to prevent or minimize virus replication and the emergence of drug-resistant strains. Combinations of three or more antiretroviral drugs are referred to as highly active antiretroviral therapy or HAART. Read the Treatment section of the article on HIV Infection and AIDS for additional details.

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What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Hiv

The most common symptoms of HIV in men & women include

  • Headache
  • Persistent headache
  • Pneumonia

Though the symptoms of HIV do not show initially, the virus maintains a low profile and keeps manipulating and damaging the CD4 immune cells. Some people may experience the symptoms after 14 days or later and some may not notice the symptoms even for years. So, it is highly recommendable to get tested for HIV RNA if you experience the above symptoms and having multiple sex partners.

Virologic Assays To Diagnose Hiv In Infants Younger Than 18 Months With Perinatal Hiv

HIV RNA Test – Cost, Accuracy, Window Period

HIV RNA Assays

HIV quantitative RNA assays detect extracellular viral RNA in plasma. Their specificity has been shown to be 100% at birth and at ages 1 month, 3 months, and 6 months and is comparable to the specificity of HIV DNA PCR.25 Testing at birth will detect HIV RNA in infants who acquire HIV in utero and not in those who acquire HIV from exposure during delivery or immediately before delivery . Studies have shown that HIV RNA assays identify 25% to 58% of infants with HIV infection from birth through the first week of life, 89% at age 1 month, and 90% to 100% by age 2 months to 3 months. These results are similar to the results of HIV DNA PCR for early diagnosis of HIV.3,25,52

An HIV quantitative RNA assay can be used as a confirmatory test for infants who have an initial positive HIV DNA PCR test result. In addition to providing virologic confirmation of infection status, an HIV RNA measurement assesses baseline viral load. An HIV genotype can be performed on the same sample to guide initial ARV treatment in an infant with HIV. HIV RNA assays may be more sensitive than HIV DNA PCR for detecting non-subtype B HIV .

The HIV qualitative RNA assay is an alternative diagnostic test that can be used for infant testing. It is the only qualitative RNA test that is approved by the FDA.23,55-58

HIV DNA PCR and Related Assays

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How Often Should I Get Tested

How often you should get tested depends on who you have sex with and what type of sex you have. Use the NZAF Testing frequency calculator for advice on how often you should be tested. If you are at higher risk of HIV, ask your healthcare provider whether preventative medicine is right for you. Read more about pre-exposure prophylaxis .

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Is Less Than 100% Accuracy Of A Test Important

Nothing in science is 100% absolute. That is why there are multiple testing methods and confirmatory tests available. However, the most important part of tests are the interpretation of the results by trained Physicians.

Our laboratory results are reviewed by Physicians for clinical relevance.

If a test needs to be repeated or re-tested by a different modality, it will by suggested by our Physicians to ensure you get the best possible results.

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How Long Does It Take For A Hiv Test Result To Come Back

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What About False Results

How Long Should You Wait To Take An Hiv Test? â ucsf

Some HIV tests have a very slight chance of giving you false results. A âfalse-positiveâ result means your test shows you have HIV when you donât. Tests may also give you a âfalse-negativeâ result. That means the test says you donât have HIV, but you do.

The rapid oral fluid test is more likely to give you a false-positive result than other tests. If you take a rapid oral test and get a positive result, the doctor will give you a blood test to confirm your diagnosis.

The HIV RNA or viral load test is not generally used to diagnose HIV. If you have this test done and get a positive result, the doctor may start you on HIV treatment, but you should always take an antibody test a few months later to confirm your diagnosis.

If you test positive: These tests are all screening tests for HIV. That means that if you take an HIV test and get a positive or even an unclear result, youâll need another blood test to confirm that you do or donât have the virus. The results of both tests together are more than 99% accurate. The tests used to confirm HIV infection are either the Western blot or indirect fluorescent antibody test. If your screening test went to a laboratory, they can do this additional testing on the same blood sample. But if you were tested in a community clinic or at home, youâll need to give an additional blood sample for follow-up.

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Are These Figures Always Accurate

In some situations, these figures should be interpreted with caution:

  • When tests are done with samples of fingerprick blood or oral fluid , their window periods are likely to be longer.
  • Individuals who are taking pre-exposure prophylaxis or post-exposure prophylaxis may have a delayed antibody response, extending the window period.
  • The data are based on individuals with HIV-1 subtype B and its possible that tests are less sensitive to other subtypes.

British HIV Association, British Association for Sexual Health and HIV and British Infection Association. Adult HIV Testing Guidelines 2020.

Delaney KP et al. Time from HIV infection to earliest detection for 4 FDA-approved point-of-care tests. Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections, abstract 565, 2018.

How Long Does It Take To See The Signs Of Hiv

The signs and symptoms of HIV may first appear within two to four weeks of infection. The stage in which the symptoms appear is called the stage of acute HIV infection. The symptoms appear due to the resistance or fight of the immune system against HIV. In the initial stage, the virus multiplies rapidly and spreads throughout the body. It targets and destroys the CD4 cells . As a result, the level of HIV in the blood and the chances of transmission at this stage are very high. It is crucial to recognize the early signs and seek medical help, since early diagnosis and treatment of HIV gets the best results.

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Hiv Rna Test Window Period

The HIV window period refers to the time taken to generate a 100% accurate result. A typical window period for an HIV test takes a lot of factors to arrive at a time period accuracy. Like, the time between viral transmission and antibody production, and the type of HIV testing performed different tests have different window periods.

For HIV Testing, the HIV RNA test is considered the fastest testing method to detect the virus. HIV RNA test can measure the genetic material of the virus in just 9 11 days since the exposure. Researchers claim that RNA tests are 99% accurate, so there is no need to worry about effectiveness or reliability. Standard HIV tests usually measure the levels of the antibodies that fight the HIV virus, compared to newer RNA-based tests, which estimate the amount of virus circulating in the bloodstream.

In this viral infection, the antibodies in reaction to the virus take nearly 3 months to manipulate at a detectable level of antibodies. This is why many standard HIV tests taken for early detection are shown as false negatives or false positives. On the other hand, the HIV RNA test detects the virus as soon as it is measurable in the bloodstream, long before antibodies begin to develop.

What Is The Hiv Rna Test

What is HIV RNA Test?

The HIV RNA test is the best option available for early detection. Tests can either measure antigens, antibodies or genetic material of the virus . Researchers claim that RNA tests are 99% effective, so there is no need to worry about the validity of the findings! Older commonly used HIV tests usually measured the levels of the antibodies that fight HIV, compared to newer RNA-based tests, which detect the presence of the virus itself in the bloodstream.

It actually takes your body up to 3 months to produce a detectable level of antibodies in reaction to the virus. On the other hand, the HIV RNA test detects the virus as soon as it is measurable in the bloodstream, long before antibodies begin to develop.

Having the ability to detect a new HIV infection without the presence of antibodies in the bodyâs blood, makes the new HIV RNA test the best and most accurate early HIV detection test available on the market today.

  • RNA Tests have been routinely used to monitor the progression of disease in an HIV-infected person.
  • HIV RNA Tests are used to screen blood donations commonly.
  • The tests have been improved and are now used to diagnose primary infection.
  • False positives are easily recognized by the testing facility and are automatically retested and compared with the presence or absence of a recognizable viral load.

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How Do You Get Hiv

HIV infection can occur in the following ways:

  • Unprotected sexual intercourse, especially receptive anal intercourse
  • Multiple sexual partners
  • Sexually transmitted diseases: Chlamydia and gonorrhea infections increase the HIV transmission risk by three times syphilis raises the transmission risk by seven times and genital herpes raises the infection risk by 25 times during an outbreak
  • Sharing IV needles or injections
  • Receiving HIV infected blood products
  • Needle-stick injuries
  • Maternal HIV infection : The risk of transmission can be reduced at birth by practices like cesarean delivery and prenatal antiretroviral therapy in the mother, and antiretroviral therapy in the newborn immediately after birth

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The test normally is not covered by health insurance. does not accept health insurance because this can reduce the privacy of a clients results. We believe that everyone should have access to the sexual healthcare that they need, so we offer pay later options if you cannot currently pay for a test. This lets you go ahead and get tested as soon as possible without needing to go ahead and find payment for the test. You just need to pay when you plan on accessing your HIV RNA results.

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How Confidential Are Hiv Test Results

Your HIV status, like other medical conditions and test results, is protected by the HIPAA Privacy Rule and cannot be shared with friends, family, or employers without your written permission. Your HIV status may be shared with your healthcare providers who have a “need to know” in order to treat you. Also, in order to determine the incidence of HIV and to provide appropriate prevention and care services, all new cases of HIV are reported to state and local health departments.

Certain testing centers provide either anonymous or confidential HIV testing and counseling. You can also contact your state or local health department to find out where testing may be available.

When Should I Get An Hiv Viral Load Test


Diagnostic testing for HIV viral load may be used in patients with a possible or known exposure to the virus who are suspected of having an acute HIV infection. An acute HIV infection describes the earliest stage of HIV infection when some people begin to develop signs and symptoms of this disease. Although up to 60% of people infected will not have symptoms during this period, when they do occur symptoms of an acute HIV infection may include:

  • Fever
  • Within 2 to 4 weeks after starting ART
  • Every 4 to 8 weeks until the viral load is suppressed and undetectable
  • Once the virus is undetectable, every 3 to 4 months during the first two years of ART
  • Every 6 months in some patients who have undetectable viral loads for two years or longer

If a patient changes their ART regimen due to side effects or because their viral load is suppressed, an HIV viral load test may be ordered after 4 to 8 weeks to confirm the effectiveness of the new treatment regimen.

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