How Can Someone Get An Hiv Test From A Healthcare Provider Or Community Worker
People can either voluntarily request an HIV test or they may be offered a test by a healthcare provider without asking for it . Provider-initiated testing can happen in a variety of routine care settings, such as pre-natal care, hospitals and doctors offices. In the case of an offer of a test, there are two approaches:
- Opt-in testing: a person is offered an HIV test and must actively accept testing before the test can occur.
- Opt-out testing: a person is notified that HIV testing is a part of normal care for everyone but they can decline. If they do not decline, consent to testing is assumed.
Many provinces and territories use both voluntary and provider-initiated approaches, varying the strategy based on the setting and population being served.
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 your sample . 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 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.
How Long Does It Take To Test For Hiv In Uk
99% of HIV-infected individuals would be detectable within 44 days of exposure. UK guidelines state that 45 days is the window period for fourth-generation laboratory tests. A fourth-generation rapid test is available .
Remember, you can only be sure you are HIV-negative if: Your most recent test is after the window period. You havent had a potential HIV exposure during the window period. If you do have a potential exposure, then you will need to be retested.
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Is Hiv Testing Confidential
Yes, a persons decision to pursue HIV testing and their HIV status are both confidential pieces of information, except in very rare cases. The maintenance of confidentiality is an important consideration for a person who has decided to be tested for HIV. As with all medical information, it is the responsibility of the provider to ensure that the confidentiality of the person being tested is maintained.
There are very limited circumstances in which confidentiality may be broken without consent. For example, the law may require your personal information to be released or some information may be required to be released to public health.
What Happens If The Tests Come Back As Positive
The primary concern for candidates with the MEPS blood test is if the results show that there is evidence of drug use. Illegal drugs or even alcohol use can eliminate recruits from the candidate pool on a permanent basis. Policies are always open for change and waivers may be available for certain individuals. If positive for marijuana or alcohol, the recruits must wait a minimum of 6 months for a retest. In certain branches of the military, approval for the retest must be given.
If a second test is positive for alcohol or marijuana, then a 24 month waiting period is mandatory for a third test to be approved. A battalion commander is required to provide authority for the second retest. If failure occurs after the third test, then an applicant is permanently disqualified.
Any other drugs require a minimum 1 year waiting period and command authority must give approval for a retest. If the retest results in a second failure, then a candidate is permanently disqualified.
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Sexually Transmitted Infection Tests
Rapid testing is available for HIV tests, often at community health centers and clinics. According to Columbia University, these tests most commonly provide results in 10 to 20 minutes. Doctors also use blood tests to test for the presence of conditions such as herpes, hepatitis, and syphilis. These results may take up to one to two weeks.
Be aware that swabs and urine tests may be the preferred method for some STI testing. Results can also take longer if cultures need to be grown.
Some STIs dont show up immediately after theyre transmitted, so your doctor may order a follow-up test a certain period of time after a negative result.
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How Can I Prevent Hiv Infection
You can prevent HIV and other sexually transmitted infections by doing the following:
- always use condoms for any vaginal, anal, and oral sex
- talk with your sex partner about getting tested for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections
- use new needles and other drug-injecting equipment every time you inject
- use only properly sterilized equipment for tattooing or other body art and
- if you are sharing sex toys, use a new condom on the sex toy for each person.
To reduce your risk of HIV infection, you can take antiretroviral drugs if you dont have HIV but are at risk of HIV infection.
If you believe that you have been exposed to HIV within the past 72 hours, you should go to your local emergency room for advice about whether to take medications to prevent developing HIV infection.
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How Do The Tests Work
Most HIV tests use a blood sample, either from a blood draw or finger prick. Others use saliva , but this is a little less accurate than blood tests.
Some HIV tests look for the virus itself. But most look for the antibodies for HIV. Antibodies are part of the immune system and fight infections. When someone is infected with HIV, the body creates antibodies to fight HIV.
Testing results may be available that day or can take longer come back.
What Is The Window Period And How Does It Differ Between Tests
No test can detect HIV immediately after infection. The time between when a person is exposed to HIV and when an HIV test can tell they have HIV is called the window period. The window period can vary between two weeks and three months. The length of the window period varies from person to person and also depends on the type of test used. Some people develop markers of HIV infection that are detected by HIV tests slowly and some people develop them more rapidly. Once these markers of HIV infection are present in amounts that the test can detect, the window period is over.
If someone has had a recent exposure to HIV and gets tested for HIV during the window period, the test result may come back as negative even though the person actually has HIV. This would happen if their body has not started producing the markers of HIV infection at levels that are detectable by the test. When a test result is negative after a recent exposure to HIV, the person should be retested at the end of the window period to confirm they are HIV negative.
The most commonly used HIV tests in Canada detect different markers of HIV infection. Some look for HIV antibodies only, while another looks for both antibodies and the p24 antigen . All antibody tests in Canada can detect both HIV-1 and HIV-2.
The Geenius confirmatory assay can detect HIV infection in 50% of people by 33 days after exposure to HIV and in 99% of people by 58 days after exposure.
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What Does The Hiv Test Involve
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that all people between the ages of 13 and 64 be tested at least once for HIV. People with known risk factors should be tested yearly, or more frequently.
HIV tests are very accurate, but no test can detect the virus immediately after transmission. How soon a test can detect HIV depends on what the test is looking forantibodies, antigens, or the virus itself.
HIV testing uses a blood draw, a finger stick, or an oral swab. The type of sample used depends on the test.
These three types of diagnostic tests are used to detect HIV:
Antibody and antigen/antibody tests are typically used first because they are less expensive and easier to administer. They may also detect signs of HIV sooner. A NAT test may be used to confirm a positive result on an antibody or antigen/antibody test, or if these tests are negative and there is a strong suspicion for new HIV infection.
Linkage To Prevention And Care
HIV testing is an important entry point for people into other services, such as HIV care, treatment, and prevention, as well as other services such as harm reduction and housing.
For people who test HIV positive, attempts should be made to ensure they are linked to, engaged in, and retained in HIV care and treatment, as well as to ensure they are linked to information and services related to prevention, to help avoid the onward transmission of HIV.
For people who test HIV negative, but may continue to be at risk of acquiring HIV, attempts should be made to ensure that they are linked to prevention services, such as pre-exposure prophylaxis and risk-reduction counselling, and repeat testing.
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Getting Tested For Hepatitis C:
The only way to know if you have Hep C is to have several blood tests done.
It takes two different tests to determine whether someone has Hepatitis C or not.
The first test is a screening test called the Hepatitis C antibody test. A positive result indicates the person has been exposed to the hepatitis C virus at some point in their life
The second test is a confirmatory test. Hepatitis C RNA testing checks for the actual virus in the body by measuring the genetic material of the virus in the blood.
This test is done after a person tests positive for Hepatitis C antibodies. If a person also tests positive for Hepatitis C RNA it means they have Hepatitis C. If the test is negative it means that they were one of the 25% that had the virus clear up on its own.
Genotype is the specific strain of the Hep C virus that you have. There are 6 different Genotypes. Your Genotype determines the type of treatment you will receive.
Other tests might be done to show how your liver is working. These include: liver function tests, a fibroscan and an ultrasound.
When results are positive from the hepatitis C screening test, additional testing to measure Hepatitis C RNA is required. Hep C PCR testing is a measure of active virus detected in the blood. Depending upon the result, this test may be repeated after 3 months.
If you are concerned about Hepatitis C and would like to talk to someone before you decide to get tested, contact one of ourHep C team members in Client Services.
Where Can People Find More Information About Hiv Testing
There are several resources for people interested about the facts of HIV testing.
- The national HIV, STD, and hepatitis testing site Get Tested helps visitors find free, fast, and confidential testing.
The CDC web site is also an excellent source of information: https://www.cdc.gov/hiv/basics/testing.html.
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How Are Testing Technologies Used To Diagnose Hiv Infection
To test for HIV, a sample of a persons blood is taken. With the most common test, a vial of blood taken from a vein is sent to a laboratory to be tested for HIV . There are also rapid tests available, which use a drop of blood from a finger prick to test for HIV immediately after the sample is taken.
How Long Do You Have To Wait For A Blood Test
You should get the result in a few days. You might be asked not to eat anything for up to 12 hours before the test. But this is not always needed. If youre over 40, you may have a test during your NHS Health Check. This is a check-up that can help spot early signs of problems like heart disease and diabetes.
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When To Take A Rapid Hiv Test
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , everyone between 13 and 64 years old should be tested for HIV at least once in their life. People who have sex without condoms, have multiple sexual partners, or share drug equipment are at higher risk for HIV and should be tested more frequently, whether through regular or rapid testing.
If you think youve been exposed to HIV within the past 72 hours, contact your doctor or medical professional about post-exposure prophylaxis, which is medication that can prevent HIV after a possible exposure.
After someone has been infected with the virus it can take about two weeks for HIV antigen to be detectable with current antigen tests, and more than three weeks to produce enough HIV antibodies to be detected by antibody tests. In a very small number of people, the process takes up to several months.
There are different window periods for different types of tests:
- Antigen and antibody tests take blood from a vein, and can detect HIV between 18 and 45 days after exposure
- Antigen and antibody tests done with blood from a finger prick can detect HIV between 18 and 90 days after exposure
- Antibody tests can take 23 to 90 days after an exposure to detect HIV. Most rapid tests and self-tests are antibody tests. In general, antibody tests that use blood from a vein can detect HIV sooner after infection than tests done with blood from a finger prick or with oral fluid
How Antibody Tests For Herpes Hiv And Other Stds Work
Learning that you have been exposed to a sexually transmitted disease such as herpes or HIV can be frightening. Whether a former sexual partner calls to tell you theyre infected or you hear from the health department that you need to be tested, its scary to learn that you may be at risk.
Although its possible to test for some STDs, such as chlamydia and gonorrhea, relatively quickly after infection using a highly sensitive urine test, this is not the case with all STDs.
Any STD test that detects an infection using antibodies cant be accurate for at least several weeks after exposure. It may be six months or more before you can trust a negative result. The unfortunate truth is that STD results take time.
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Types Of Hiv Tests And Their Window Periods
- Nucleic Acid Test A NAT can usually tell you if you have HIV infection 10 to 33 days after exposure
- Antigen/Antibody TestAn antigen/antibody test performed by a laboratory on blood from a vein can usually detect HIV infection 18 to 45 days after exposure. Antigen/antibody tests done with blood from a finger prick take longer to detect HIV .
- Antibody TestAn antibody test can take 23 to 90 days to detect HIV infection after an exposure. Most rapid tests and self-tests are antibody tests. In general, antibody tests that use blood from a vein detect HIV sooner after infection than tests done with blood from a finger prick or with oral fluid.
Ask your health care provider or test counselor about the window period for the test youre taking and whether you will need a follow-up test to confirm the results. If youre using a self-test, you can get that information from the materials included in the tests package.
If you get an HIV test after a potential HIV exposure and the result is negative, get tested again after the window period. Remember, you can only be sure you are HIV-negative if:.
- Your most recent test is after the window period
- You havent had a potential HIV exposure during the window period. If you do have an exposure, then you will need to be retested.
Where Can I Get An Hiv Test
Depending on where you are in the world, there are a number of places that you can get tested for HIV. The best first step is to search online for “HIV testing, plus your location. This will generally give you a good idea of where to go, or at least give you a starting point.
If you have limited internet access, its always worth asking local sexual health charities or health professionals what is available in your area. They should be able to direct you to somewhere where you can test for free. The image below has some examples of the types of places that might offer HIV testing.
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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.
What Are The Different Types Of Hiv Testing
There are three main types of HIV tests: antibody tests, RNA tests, and a combination test that detects both antibodies and viral protein called p24 . All tests are designed to detect HIV-1, which is the type of HIV in the United States. Some antibody tests and the combination test can also detect HIV-2 infections, which are usually limited to West Africa. No test is perfect tests may be falsely positive or falsely negative or impossible to interpret .
Positive test results are reportable to the health department in all 50 states and include the patient’s name. This information is then reported to the CDC so that the epidemiology and infection spread rates can be monitored. The names sent to the state remain confidential and will not be reported to employers, family members, or other such people. Some states allow anonymous testing in which the patient’s name is not recorded.
HIV antibody tests: HIV possesses many unique proteins on its surface and inside the virus itself. When someone is infected with HIV, their body produces proteins designed to tag the virus for elimination by the immune system. These proteins are called antibodies, and they are directed against the unique proteins of HIV. Unfortunately, these HIV antibodies do not eliminate the virus, but their presence serves as a marker to show that someone is infected with HIV. HIV antibody tests are the most commonly used tests to determine if someone has HIV.
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