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How Long To Test For Hiv

What Happens If The Test Is Positive

How to Get Tested for HIV – Episode 4

If you receive a positive result, you will want to work with your healthcare provider on a treatment plan. Your healthcare provider will determine how far HIV has progressed and recommend medicines to help you manage it.

You will also want to talk about your diagnosis with your sexual partner. If you and your partner have had unprotected sex, you could have transmitted the virus to them. They should get tested, too.

When You Should Take An Hiv Test

What testing service you should use, and which type of test, depends on when you might have been exposed to HIV. Signs of HIV infection dont show up in the blood right away. It normally happens within four weeks of infection, but can be longer.

If you think you might have been exposed to HIV in the last 72 hours , its possible to take post-exposure prophylaxis to help stop an infection from happening.

If your risk was recent, then your test provider will probably advise you to take a test immediately, followed by a second one a few weeks later. The second test will pick up any infection the first one may have missed.

If your risk was in the last three months, make sure you tell the person testing you, as it may affect the type of test youre given.

A self test is not guaranteed to pick up an infection thats occurred in the previous three months. If you think youve been exposed in the last three months, you should get a test in person.

Very occasionally it can take up to three months for antibodies to appear in the blood, so an HIV negative result is only totally accurate if three months have passed between the test and the last time a risk was taken. However, a negative result four to eight weeks after taking a risk is a very good sign that HIV infection hasnt happened.

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 person’s 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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What Is Hiv Testing

HIV testing, also called HIV screening, is the only way to know if you have the virus.

Several types of tests check your blood or other body fluids to see whether you’re infected. Most can’t spot HIV right away, because it takes time for your body to make antibodies or for enough of the virus to grow inside you.

Types Of Condomless Sex And Risk Of Hiv

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During condomless sex, HIV in the bodily fluids of one person may be transmitted to the body of another person through the mucous membranes of the penis, vagina, and anus. In very rare cases, HIV could potentially be transmitted through a cut or sore in the mouth during oral sex.

Out of all types of condomless sex, HIV can most easily be transmitted during anal sex. This is because the lining of the anus is delicate and prone to damage, which may provide entry points for HIV.

Receptive anal sex, often called bottoming, poses more risk for contracting HIV than insertive anal sex, or topping.

HIV can also be transmitted during vaginal sex without a condom, although the vaginal lining is not as susceptible to rips and tears as the anus.

The risk of acquiring HIV from oral sex without using a condom or dental dam is very low. It would be possible for HIV to be transmitted if the person giving oral sex has mouth sores or bleeding gums, or if the person receiving oral sex has recently contracted HIV.

In addition to HIV, anal, vaginal, or oral sex without a condom or dental dam can also lead to transmission of other STIs.

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Making Hiv Testing Routine

Its recommended that you test for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections at least once a year if youre having sex, even if you always use protection.

You might want to test more regularly than this, for example, if you are having sex with a new partner or feel you are more at risk. Groups who are more at risk are recommended to test more regularly. Testing every 3-6 months is often advised for men who have sex with men.

Testing regularly helps keep your mind at rest, and if you test positive, it means you can start treatment quickly, protecting your health.

How Soon Will Get The Result

Some types of HIV test give a result very quickly. Services that offer rapid testing will take a blood sample using a finger-prick test this will give a result within minutes. The same goes for self-testing kits. With other types of test that require the sample to be sent to a lab, the results may take a few days.

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How Long Do You Have To Wait After Unprotected Sex To Take An Hiv Test

By | Oct. 14, 2010, 11:04 a.m.

Category:

how long does it take after u have unprotected sex for u to get tested for hiv? can u get tested right away and know the results? or do u have to wait a certain amount of time.

HIV tests detect antibodies the immune systems response to infection. For the majority of people, HIV testing will be accurate at four to six weeks after possible infection. However, for some people it may take longer up to three months for detectable antibodies to develop. This is called the window period. During the window period, HIV tests can come back negative even though the person has the virus. HIV can be passed to other people during the window period. To make an appointment for HIV testing, contact your local Planned Parenthood health center. Tests are also available from most health care providers, hospitals, and health centers. Local, state, and federal health departments may offer free testing. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists HIV testing locations and offers information about home testing. The site can also be accessed in Spanish.

Getting A Result Quickly

Real Question: How Long Does it Take to Test Positive for HIV?

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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Can Hiv Be Detected Immediately

HIV can not be detected immediately after infection with an HIV test. In the last 72 hours, if you believe you have been exposed to HIV, talk to your health care provider about post-exposure prophylaxis . During the window period, when an HIV test can accurately detect the disease, a person is at risk for getting HIV.

Can You Test Too Early For Hiv

HIV can only be detected after an infection, not just after it has occurred. During the time lag between when HIV enters your body and when a test can detect the virus or the antibodies your immune system makes to fight it, there is a window period. It is possible for your results to be faulty if you are tested too soon.

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What To Expect Next

If you find out you are HIV-positive, its important to keep in mind the condition is treatable. Antiretroviral therapy is recommended for all people with HIV, regardless of how long theyve had the virus or how healthy they are. It works by lowering the amount of virus in the body to very low levels. This treatment can also slow the progression of the infection and protect the immune system.

Taking ART medications is vital to slowing the progression of HIV. Left untreated, HIV will progress to the second stage. During this stage, people may experience no symptoms at all. If no treatment is administered, an individual can stay in this stage for 10 to 15 years.

For people who have no symptoms of an acute HIV infection, it takes an average of seven years to proceed to AIDS.

How Do You Get Hiv

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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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When To Contact A Doctor

Anyone who is showing symptoms of HIV should contact a doctor as soon as possible. This is especially important if the individual has recently had sexual contact with someone else or shared a needle with someone else.

HIV can remain asymptomatic for a long time. For this reason, anyone who has recently had unprotected sex and is concerned about exposure to HIV should contact a doctor as soon as they can, even if they do not have any symptoms. The same goes for anyone who has recently shared a needle.

It can be difficult to discuss the possibility of having HIV. However, without proper treatment, HIV can be life threatening. In these situations, it is very important for people to put their long-term health first and to discuss the matter with a doctor.

Dried Blood Spot Test

A DBS test is a free, accurate and convenient way to test for HIV in the comfort and privacy of your home.

It involves collecting a few drops of blood from your finger and allowing the blood to dry on a test card. You then send the card away to get tested and wait around a week to get the result back. You can register for a DBS HIV test here.

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What Does The Test Measure

HIV tests detect the presence of the HIV virus, HIV antigens, and/or HIV antibodies. If these substances are detected, the test returns a positive result for HIV.

There are three types of HIV tests available:

  • Antibody test: Antibodies are produced by the body after an HIV infection. It can take weeks for the body to produce antibodies, so HIV antibody tests can only detect HIV from 3 to 12 weeks after infection.
  • Antigen/antibody test: Antigens are foreign substances that activate an immune response. Antigens appear before the body produces antibodies, so HIV antigen/antibody tests can detect an HIV infection earlier than antibody tests, within 2 to 4 weeks of becoming infected.
  • HIV viral load test: An HIV viral load test looks for the quantity of HIV virus in the blood. In addition to detecting an HIV infection, viral load testing can also detect how much of the virus is in the blood. Although this type of testing can detect an HIV infection earlier than other HIV tests, its very expensive and is typically only used when someone has symptoms or a possible exposure to HIV.
  • Is Hiv Testing Confidential

    How to Test for HIV?

    If you test positive for HIV, your status becomes part of your private medical record and is protected by federal privacy laws. Your state may require your healthcare provider to report the infection to your state health department. State departments send results to the CDC without your personal identifiable information.

    Some states have laws that require you or your healthcare provider to notify your partner of your HIV-positive status. In some states, if you dont report your status to your partner, you can be charged with a crime.

    You can choose anonymous testing. Anonymous tests dont link the results to your information. The state health department still collects the statistics, but the results arent part of your medical record.

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    Who Should Get Tested For Hiv

    Roughly one in seven Americans who have HIV dont know they do. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control recommends that everyone between the ages of 13 and 65 get tested at least once. If you are in a higher risk group, you should consider more frequent testing.

    Even if you tested negative, you should get tested if you can answer yes to any of these questions about your activity since that test. Have you:

    • Had sex with another man ?
    • Had anal or vaginal sex with someone who is HIV-positive?
    • Had more than one sex partner?
    • Injected drugs with a shared needle?
    • Received another STI diagnosis?
    • Had sex with someone who could answer yes to any of these questions?

    If you believe you may have had HIV exposure within the last 72 hours, talk to your healthcare provider. You may be able to get post-exposure prophylaxis — ie, medication. A PEP can prevent HIV when administered correctly. The sooner you begin to take it, the better, although it isnt 100% effective.

    Hiv Testing Outside Of A Health Care Setting Or Lab

    If you are tested 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 provider near you.

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    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
    • get an STD
    • are a woman and are pregnant

    What Should I Do If My Test Is Negative

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    If your test result is negative, youll probably breathe a big sigh of relief. But dont let down your guard. Its important to protect yourself in the future. Talk to your healthcare provider about whether PrEP is right for you. The PrEP daily pill can reduce your risk of getting HIV from sexual contact by 99%. For IV drug users, it lowers the risk by 74%. PrEP is very important if you are HIV negative and in a stable monogamous relationship with HIV positive partner.

    Even if you take PrEP, its still smart to practice safer sex. Always use a condom to reduce your risk of getting HIV and other STDs.

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    Hiv Testing At Options Clinic Or At Other Anonymous Testing Clinics:

    Options provides anonymous testing with results on the spot. This is called rapid point-of-care testing.

    • You dont need your health card.
    • You dont have to give your real name. This is what anonymous means.
    • A small amount of blood will be taken by pricking your finger the test is quick and convenient
    • If the rapid point-of-care test shows a positive result, meaning that it detects HIV antibodies, the clinician at Options will take more blood to send off to a laboratory to confirm the result. It takes about two weeks for that result to come in.

    What is the HIV antibody test?

    The HIV antibody test checks your blood to see if your immune system has produced HIV antibodies. If antibodies are present, it means you have been infected with HIV. Because HIV is a retrovirus, these antibodies are powerless in fighting off HIV, but their presence is enough to tell if you have HIV or not.

    A positive test only tells you that you are living with HIV. It does not tell you how much virus is in your body, when you were infected or whether or not youll get sick.

    Getting tested for HIV relieves feelings of uncertainty and gives you a chance to learn about HIV and sexual risk reduction from a trained counselor. If you test positive, getting tested is the first step in taking control so you can keep yourself healthy.

    If you’d like more information about getting tested for HIV or to talk to someone who knows what it is like, contact a member of our Education team.

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