Hiv Testing And Screening
Elyon Clinic provides a range of specialised HIV tests in Singapore. With a confidential screening process, patients can be assured they will be treated with utmost discretion. Our board-accredited doctor will provide a comprehensive assessment and recommend the relevant HIV tests best suited to your health concerns. Though there is no cure for HIV, it can be controlled and managed with proper medical care and treatment.
As part of being responsible in protecting yourself and others, regular testing for HIV is important since the earlier HIV is diagnosed, the sooner treatment can begin. Although the virus can exhibit symptoms, the only way to determine if you are infected with HIV is through testing.
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If your last HIV test result was negative, you should get an HIV test. If you answer “yes” to any of the questions below, you might be a person of higher risk for HIV:
- Are you a man who has had sex with another man?
- Have you had sex, whether anal or vaginal, with an HIV-positive partner?
- Have you had more than one sexual partner?
- Have you shared needles with others?
- Have you exchanged sex for drugs or money?
- Have you been diagnosed with, or sought treatment for, another sexually transmitted disease?
- Have you been diagnosed with or treated for hepatitis or tuberculosis ?
- Have you had sex with someone who could answer “yes” to any of the above questions or someone whose sexual history you don’t know?
Are Home Hiv Tests Accurate
Home tests are an accurate way to test for HIV. However, they may take longer to detect the virus after exposure than tests performed at a doctors office.
HIV antibody levels in saliva are lower than HIV antibody levels in the blood.
The at-home test is an antibody-only test. It does not test for HIV antigen, which is typically included in a fourth-generation HIV test done at a hospital or doctors office. Tests for HIV antibody and antigen can detect infection sooner.
Simply stated, the OraQuick In-Home HIV Test may not detect HIV as quickly as a blood test would.
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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.
How Can I Get Tested For Hiv
There are a few different ways you can get access to HIV screening:
- A blood or saliva sample can be collected in a healthcare practitioner’s office or a local clinic and sent to a laboratory for testing. 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. To find a testing site near you, visit the National HIV and STD Testing Resources webpage.
- In these same settings, there may be a rapid test available, with results that are generated in 20 minutes or less.
- There is a home test for HIV that has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration . It uses a saliva sample and results are available in about 20 minutes.
The home test has two limitations:
1. The saliva test is less sensitive than a blood test, so the home test may miss some cases of HIV that a blood test would detect.2. The home test is not as accurate when it is performed at home by a lay person compared to when it is performed by a trained healthcare professional. However, the convenience of home testing might encourage some people who might otherwise be reluctant to go to a healthcare practitioner or clinic to learn their HIV status.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Hiv Infection
Symptoms of the initial HIV infection can mimic those of influenza and other viral infections. The only reliable way to tell if you are infected is to get tested. Many people with HIV do not experience symptoms for years after the initial infection or have symptoms that are very similar to symptoms of other illnesses. For more, see this CDC web page: About HIV.
How Often Should You Test For Hiv
Testing at least once a year for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections is good sexual health practice for everyone who is sexually active, even if you know you havent put yourself at risk of infection. Depending on how many different sexual partners you have in any one year, you might want to consider testing more regularly.
Gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men should get tested routinely for HIV and other STIs – at least annually or every three months if having sex without condoms with new or casual partners.
Black African men and women should have a regular HIV and STI screen if having sex without condoms with new or casual partners.
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How Much Does Hiv Testing Cost From Home
With myLAB Box, the process of testing from home is easy, convenient and fast. Not having to sit in a waiting room, have awkward conversations with a doctor about your sex life, or pay a fortune for your results? Thats priceless! On top of that, myLAB Box offers several testing options that give you the freedom to take full control of your health.
An HIV Test screens for the Human Immunodeficiency Virus. This test costs $79.
Cost Of Hiv Test In The Us
The cost of an HIV test ranges between $69 and $170 in different labs and facilities across the U.S. No prior appointment is required. Compare the price, order your test online and visit the nearest lab during lab business hours. Complete the procedure and get the results in your email in 2 to 3 business days. Doctor consultation is also available for further treatment or any kind of medical advice.
The following table shows the cost of HIV Test and HIV home-test kit cost at 3 of our partner laboratories network located across the U.S.
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Should I Tell Anyone Else Of My Test Results
Yes. If you test positive for HIV infection, it is important that you tell your healthcare practitioners as well as all current and future sex partners and/or anyone with whom you share needles. Counseling services are often available from the clinic that performed the test or from your healthcare provider that will help you to inform the people who need to know.
What Type Of Hiv Tests Are There
There are several different HIV tests:
- A NAT looks for the actual virus in the blood and involves drawing blood from a vein. This test can do both, determine if a person has HIV or tell how much of the virus is present in the blood . A NAT can detect HIV sooner than other types of tests however, this type of test is costly and not routinely used for screening individuals unless they recently had a high-risk exposure or a possible exposure and have early symptoms of HIV infection.
- An antigen or antibody test looks for both HIV antibodies and antigens. Antibodies are produced by your immune system when the person is exposed to viruses such as HIV. Antigens are foreign substances that would cause your immune system to activate and fight off the infection. Antigen or antibody tests are recommended for labs and are now common in the United States. This lab test involves drawing blood from a vein. This is also available through rapid testing, and it’s done with a finger prick.
No HIV test can detect HIV immediately after infection. If you think youâve been exposed to HIV in the last 72 hours, talk to your health care provider about post-exposure prophylaxis right away.
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What Happens When You Go For A Test
Normally, testing involves taking a small sample of blood from your finger or your arm, or an oral swab. This is where you rub the testing pen along your gums to collect cells from your mouth.
How long it takes for HIV test results to come back will depend on the type of test you are taking. If youre taking a rapid test, you will be given your results within 20 minutes. Other types of tests will be sent to a laboratory and it may take between a few days and a few weeks for you to receive a final result.
Tests these days are very reliable, but if your result comes back positive, you should have a second confirmatory test to double check your result. If this is also positive, you will get an HIV diagnosis, after which you can start treatment.
Remember, HIV treatment these days is very effective and people with HIV can live long and healthy lives just like anyone else.
Whats Next If The Test Is Positive
If a person gets a positive result, a qualified lab should retest the sample to make sure it was not inaccurate or have another sample tested. A positive result on a follow-up test means that a person has HIV.
Its recommended that people who test positive for HIV see a healthcare professional as soon as possible to discuss treatment options.
A medical professional can get a person with HIV started on antiretroviral therapy right away. This is a medication that helps stop HIV from replicating and can help prevent transmission of HIV to other people.
Its important to use condoms, dental dams, or other barrier methods with any and all sexual partners and refrain from sharing needles while waiting for test results or until the virus becomes undetectable in the blood.
Seeing a therapist or joining a support group, whether in person or online, can help cope with the emotions and health issues that come with an HIV diagnosis. Dealing with HIV can be stressful and difficult to discuss with even the closest friends and family.
Speaking privately with a therapist or being part of a community made up of others with the same medical condition can help a person understand how to lead a healthy, active life after diagnosis.
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How Can Testing Help You
The only way to know for sure whether you have HIV is to get tested.
Knowing your HIV status gives you powerful information to help you take steps to keep you and your partner healthy.
- If you test positive, you can take medicine to treat HIV . People with HIV who take HIV medicine as prescribed can live long and healthy lives. Theres also an important prevention benefit. If you take HIV medicine daily as prescribed and get and keep an undetectable viral load, you have effectively no risk of transmitting HIV to an HIV-negative partner through sex.
- If you test negative, you have more prevention tools available today to prevent HIV than ever before.
- If you are pregnant, you should be tested for HIV so that you can begin treatment if you’re HIV-positive. If an HIV-positive woman is treated for HIV early in her pregnancy, the risk of transmitting HIV to her baby can be very low.
How Much Does An Hiv Test Cost
The cost of HIV testing varies. Clinics that offer tests for free or on a sliding scale are available in most areas. EPIC offers free, confidential, rapid testing at our five locations and mobile unit. Health insurance may cover the cost of HIV testing. Call ahead to your doctor or local clinic to find out how they charge for HIV tests or to your health insurance provider to find out if the tests are covered.
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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.
How Do Hiv Tests Work And What’s Involved
- There are plenty of places which offer free HIV testing you can find your nearest provider either by searching online or asking a healthcare professional.
- Testing for HIV is a simple and pain-free process. It involves giving a small sample of blood or oral fluid.
- Your results will be confidential and the healthcare provider will be able to explain the process and answer any questions you have. They are there to help you.
- HIV tests are very reliable. Some HIV tests will give a result within 20 minutes and others are sent to a lab so it may take a few weeks to get your results.
It is really common to feel a little worried about going for an HIV test, but making the decision to test is the best thing you can do for your health. The process is quick, painless, confidential and almost always free.
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How Is Aids Different Than Hiv
HIV is the virus that causes AIDS. AIDS stands for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. They are not the same thing, and a person with HIV does not necessarily have AIDS. HIV is transmitted from person to person. Once infected, over time, HIV will destroy an important kind of cell in a person’s immune system that helps protect them from infections.
When a person doesn’t have enough CD4 cells, their body cannot off infections the way it normally can. Once the immune system is damaged from HIV, it’s possible to develop AIDS. If you get dangerous infections or have a deficient CD4 cell, you will most likely develop AIDS. AIDS is the most serious stage of HIV, and it would lead to death overtime.
Who Should Get An Hiv Test
The CDC recommends that everyone in the United States between the ages of 13 and 64 get tested for HIV at least once.
You should be tested more often — at least once a year — if youâre at higher risk of getting HIV, including if you:
- Have had several sexual partners
- Had unprotected sex with someone who is or could be HIV-positive, including someone whose sexual history you don’t know
- Injected drugs with a needle, syringe, or other device that someone else used first
- Have had or are getting tested for tuberculosis, hepatitis, or any sexually transmitted disease, including syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia, or herpes
- Have had sex for drugs or money
- Had sex with someone who has a history of any of these
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Whats Next If The Test Is Negative
If a person gets a negative test result and its been more than 3 months since they may have been exposed, they can be fairly certain that they do not have HIV.
If its been less than 3 months since exposure, they should consider taking another HIV test at the end of the 3-month period to be sure. During that time, its best that they use condoms during sex and avoid sharing needles.
How Much Does The Test Cost
The cost of an HIV test is usually covered by insurance without a copay, although specific costs depend on a persons insurance coverage and where the test is performed. Check with your health plan and health care provider for specific cost details.
At-home HIV tests cost below $50. Health departments and community-based organizations may provide HIV self-test kits for free or at a reduced cost.
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Why Testing Is Important
If you’re carrying the HIV virus, early treatment can keep you healthy longer. Treating HIV infection early may slow down damage to the immune system and may help prevent or delay some of the life-threatening infections people with AIDS can develop. By knowing your HIV status, you can also take steps to avoid spreading the virus to other people.
The HIV virus is transmitted from person to person through sexual contact and contact with blood from an infected person. It can also be passed to an unborn baby through pregnancy, childbirth and breast-feeding. You can carry the HIV virus and not have symptoms initially. That’s why testing is so important. Some experts believe everyone should get tested for HIV at least once.
Why Should I Get Tested If I Am Pregnant
If you are pregnant, it is important to determine if you have HIV so you can be treated. Treatment of HIV-infected mothers during pregnancy, precautions at birth, and avoiding breast-feeding can minimize the risk of passing the infection from mother to child. If you are already taking HIV medications when you become pregnant, you should continue to do so during pregnancy and labor and delivery. If you are not taking HIV medications or have a high viral load during pregnancy, giving the antiretroviral drug zidovudine intravenously during labor and delivery and also to the newborn twice a day by mouth for 6 weeks reduces the rate of transmission from 25-33% to about 1-2%.
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