What Happens If I Am Hiv Positive
With proper care, HIV infection can be managed, preventing the development of AIDS. Both the length and the quality of life can be greatly improved by testing and treating HIV as early as possible. Todays HIV treatments can enable infected persons to live a normal life if they follow their doctors instructions.
How An Hiv Test Works
An HIV test is a blood test. It does not detect HIV itself, but looks for a protein found in an HIV cell, or an antibody made by the body to fight HIV.
HIV tests in the UK are very reliable. They can occasionally produce a positive result which is then found to be negative when tested again. This is called a false positive and is rare, occurring in less than 1 in 1,000 cases.
What Is The Difference Between A Rapid
The major difference between a rapid-HIV test and traditional HIV tests is the amount of time it takes for the results to be available. A rapid HIV test can provide a result in as little as 20 minutes. A traditional HIV test can generally take about two weeks for the result to be returned. Although they are very accurate and reliable, rapid tests are for screening only. A reactive rapid test needs to be confirmed with additional testing before a final result is determined.
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What Does A Positive Result Mean
You will need a second test to confirm the result. In some countries you will need three tests in total to confirm the result.
If you get a positive result after using a self-test kit you will need to go to a healthcare clinic.
If your final test result is positive, it means you do have HIV. Receiving a positive diagnosis can be a shocking and emotional experience this is completely normal. The healthcare worker will support you and answer any questions that you have.
You can now start treatment straight away which will keep you healthy.
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.
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Who Has Access To Hiv Test Results
In B.C., positive HIV test results are shared with public health, in a confidential manner, to ensure that you and your partner are offered support and follow-up. In the event of a positive result, if you do not wish your full name to be reported to public health, you may request that your first name, initials and birth date be used as your identifying information when your results are reported.
Some clinics allow you to test using a numbered code and give no contact information. This is called anonymous testing, and is currently being offered at a limited number of sites in B.C.
Laboratory test results are kept in the provincial laboratory database. Your HIV test results may also be stored in your electronic health record within your health authority. Health care providers who are providing you with care will be able to see portions of your health care record. How much a health care provider can see of your record depends on their role. Health care providers who are not providing you with care will not be able to access your record. You can place disclosure directives on your electronic health records that enable you to choose who will have access to them. For more information, visit www.healthinfoprivacybc.ca/who-can-see-or-change-a-health-record/limiting-who-else-can-see-your-health-information.
How To Get An Std Test
Getting tested for STDs is a simple process. Almost all mid-sized and large cities offer options for free or low-cost STD testing, with convenient online testing options also available for many common sexually transmitted diseases.
You can get tested by:
Talking to your healthcare provider. Your primary care provider will be able to provide testing for most STDs. Many health insurance policies either provide free STD testing or offer tests at a significantly reduced price.
Visiting your local urgent care center. Many urgent care centers offer testing for most STDs. You can search for free, fast and confidential testing locations in your area using the CDCs GetTested tool.
Visiting your local pharmacy. Many pharmacies can schedule testing for some STDs, or provide an at-home test that you can return to the pharmacy or mail directly to the lab for analysis.
Contacting Planned Parenthood. Many Planned Parenthood centers offer STD testing and treatment.
Using an at-home/online test. Several companies provide at-home STD tests that you can order online. Some tests provide instant results, while others may need to be mailed to a lab for analysis.
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When To Get Tested
Seek medical advice immediately if you think there’s a chance you could have HIV. The earlier it’s diagnosed, the earlier you can start treatment and avoid becoming seriously ill.
Some HIV tests may need to be repeated 1-3 months after exposure to HIV infection, but you should not wait this long to seek help.
A GP or a sexual health professional can talk to you about having a test and discuss whether you should take emergency HIV medicine.
Anti-HIV medicine called post-exposure prophylaxis may stop you becoming infected if taken within 72 hours of being exposed to the virus.
What Is The Cost Of The Rapid Hiv Test
The cost for the rapid HIV test, whether it uses oral fluid or a finger-stick blood sample is about $8 per test for public health officials and $8-$60 for other organizations. Most insurance plans now cover HIV testing.
There are several rapid tests available which can be done on either whole blood from a vein or finger stick, or oral fluids collected on a special swab. Many of these tests also can detect HIV-2, which is a different virus than HIV-1.
HIV-1 is the retrovirus that typically causes AIDS and is the HIV type most prevalent in most of the world, including the United States. If a person has antibodies to HIV-1, it means that he or she is infected with the HIV-1 virus that causes AIDS.
HIV-2 is a virus found primarily in western, sub-Saharan Africa. HIV-2 is rare in other parts of the world, but it has been reported sporadically in many locations. It is believed to be spread by the same methods of transmission as HIV-1. If a person has antibodies to HIV-2, it means that he or she is infected with the HIV-2 virus.
Testing for both HIV-1 and HIV-2 is important, particularly in people who may have acquired their infection in West Africa or from someone who may have links to that area. Much of the HIV testing currently done in the United States, including the rapid oral test, detects both HIV-1 and HIV-2 .
Available rapid tests include the following:
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Stat And Critical Samples Testing
Testing of source patient for needlestick/occupational exposure if warranted. Testing of pregnant women in labour with no prenatal work up and a high risk for HIV.STAT testing should only be requested when it directly affects patient care in an emergency medical circumstance. STAT samples must be shipped separately from routine specimens in a clearly marked package indicating STAT and handled in accordance with the Canadian Biosafety Standards and shipped in accordance with the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations. Failure to ship separately will delay testing.Notify PHO immediately when a STAT sample is sent by contacting our Customer Service Centre at 416-235-6556 / 1-877-604-4567. After-hours STAT testing requires approval by a PHO Microbiologist who can be contacted through the Customer Service Centre.
Hiv Is Detected With A Blood Test
Blood tests are the most common and reliable tests for HIV. The virus is detected by taking a sample of your blood either with a conventional blood test or a rapid test .There is a short period of time between exposure to HIV and the ability for tests to detect HIV or its antibodies. This is often referred to as the ‘window period’ between 2 and 12 weeks.
Most tests used in Australia can detect HIV as early as 2 to 4 weeks after infection.
If your blood test shows that HIV or its antibodies are present, you are HIV-positive.
If you have no antibodies in your blood you are HIV-negative. Sometimes negative results might also mean you are in the window period, so you might need a follow-up blood test to make sure.
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What If I Am Pregnant Is My Baby Going To Get Hiv Too
If a pregnant woman has HIV, she can take medication during pregnancy to prevent her baby from becoming infected. After birth, the baby will be given medicine for the first six weeks of life to make sure he or she is not infected. HIV-exposed babies should receive medical care from a HIV doctor until it is certain that the baby is not infected. HIV-infected women should not breastfeed in order to prevent transmitting the infection to infants.
Do I Have To Tell My Sexual Partner
It is difficult to decide if, when, and how to tell people that you have HIV .
It is important to understand the law around sharing your status where you live. In some countries you must tell your sexual partners you have HIV.
Sharing your status can be hard, and help is available. Speak to your healthcare professional.
What Does A Positive Hiv Test Result Mean
If you have a positive HIV test result, a follow-up test will be conducted. If the follow-up test is also positive, it means you are HIV-positive.
If you had a rapid screening test, the testing site will arrange a follow-up test to make sure the screening test result was correct. If you used a self-testing kit at home, a positive HIV test result must always be confirmed by additional HIV testing performed in a health care setting. If your blood was tested in a lab, the lab will conduct a follow-up test on the same sample.
If your follow-up test result confirms you are infected with HIV, the next thing is to take steps to protect your health and prevent transmission to others. Begin by talking to your health care provider about antiretroviral therapy . ART is the use of HIV medicines to treat HIV infection. People on ART take a combination of HIV medicines every day. ART can keep you healthy for many years and greatly reduces your chance of transmitting HIV to your sex partner if taken the right way, every day. Your health care provider will help you decide what HIV medicines to take.
If you have health insurance, your insurer is required to cover some medicines used to treat HIV. If you dont have health insurance, or you need help because your insurance doesnt pay for the treatment you need, there are Federal resources that may help you.
To lower your risk of transmitting HIV,
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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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.
Some Practices Dont Reduce Your Risk Of Hiv
Some people use unreliable methods to reduce their risk of HIV. These include:
- Serosorting choosing your sexual partner based upon them having the same HIV status as you.
- Strategic positioning where an HIV-negative partner penetrates an HIV-positive partner.
- Withdrawal when the insertive partner pulls out before ejaculating .
None of these strategies are reliable, so you are at risk of HIV transmission.Having sex only with people who have the same HIV status can be very risky. For example, a person may think they are HIV-negative, but may have been exposed to HIV since their last test, or may never have been tested at all.
Using a combination of proven, reliable strategies like condoms, PrEP, and undetectable viral load is the best way to prevent HIV transmission.
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Scientific Basis And Underlying Biology
RATs are immunochromatographic assays which give results that can be seen with the naked eye . They are qualitative in nature, although within a certain range it is possible to make rough order of magnitude estimates of viral load from the results. RATs are generally screening tests, with relatively low sensitivity and specificity, thus results should be evaluated on the basis of confirmatory tests like PCR testing or western blot.
One inherent advantage of an antigen test over an antibody test is that it can take time for the immune system to develop antibodies after infection begins, but the foreign antigen is present right away. Although any diagnostic test may have false negatives, this latency period can open an especially wide avenue for false negatives in antibody tests, although the particulars depend on which disease and which test are involved. A rapid antigen test typically costs around US$5 to manufacture.
How Accurate Is An Hiv Test What Is The Window Period For An Hiv Test
The current testing protocols are highly accurate but not perfect. The probability of a false result on the test depends on the test and on the persons risk factors for getting infected. The lower the risk of getting HIV, the higher the probability of a false- positive result.
Falsely negative tests occur in people who are truly infected with HIV but have negative tests. Among 1,000 people who are truly infected, rapid tests will be falsely negative in zero to six people, depending on the test. Negative antibody tests in people infected with HIV may occur because antibody concentrations are low or because antibodies have not yet developed. On average, antibodies take about four weeks to reach detectable levels after initial infection, and falsely negative tests may occur during this so-called HIV window period. Individuals with negative tests and who had high risk for HIV exposure should be retested in two to three months.
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Reducing Hiv Risks From Chemsex And Drug Use
- Inject drugs.
- Forget to take your HIV medications.
- Are taking PreP it can be less effective if it is mixed with other drugs.
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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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What You Need To Know
- The Human Immunodeficiency Virus is a virus that attacks the immune system, which helps your body fight off infection.
- HIV infection is a chronic illness that can be treated with medication. Like diabetes, there is no cure for HIV, but people living with HIV who are treated can stay healthy and are less likely to pass the virus onto others. This is because the amount of virus in the body can be controlled by medication.
- HIV can lead to Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome if you are not treated with anti-HIV medication.
- HIV can spread from one person to another during unprotected sex or by blood contact with someone who has HIV.
- HIV test results are stored in a confidential computer information system and only health care staff directly involved in the care of a patient may access the patients information.