Is Hiv Testing Confidential
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.
How Can I Get Hiv
HIV is found in body fluids, such as blood, semen, breast milk, and fluids from the vagina and anus. HIV can be passed on by:
- having vaginal or anal sex without using a condom
- having oral sex
- a mother with HIV can pass it to her baby during pregnancy, childbirth, or while breastfeeding
- exposure in the work environment
- sharing needles, syringes or other injecting equipment
- receiving a blood transfusion
- unsterilized body art equipment like tattoo or piercing equipment
A person has significant amounts of the virus in their body when they first contract HIV, which increases the possibility of transmitting it to others. You can greatly reduce your risk of transmitting HIV to others by taking antiretroviral medications. These medications decrease the amount of HIV in the body, which reduces the chance of passing it on.
You can not get HIV through casual contact, such as sharing food or drinks, insect bites, hugging or kissing.
Can Hiv Be Transmitted During The Window Period
Its important to know that people can transmit HIV before seroconversion.
The time between exposure and the immune systems initial response is a period of acute HIV infection. Following the initial transmission, the amount of HIV in the body is extremely high. So is the risk of transmitting the virus. Thats because the body has yet to manufacture the antibodies needed to fight it, and its not yet receiving treatment.
During this stage, most people have no idea that theyve contracted HIV. Even if theyve been tested, they may have received a false negative result. This might lead to engaging in practices with known risk factors, such as sex without a condom, where a person could unknowingly spread the virus to other people.
Anyone who thinks theyve had a recent exposure should tell their healthcare provider. They may check the HIV viral load or prescribe preventive treatment for a month.
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A Word From Same Day Std Testing
At Same Day, we work to provide quality and fast service for people in need. You can schedule an appointment, see a medical professional, and get tested the same day with us. Note also that STD tests themselves wont take more than 10-15 minutes to complete. Plus, we work directly with the most advanced labs in the country so you can rest easy knowing that your tests will be comprehensive and accurate. Finally, unlike other medical testing centers that only contact you if theres a positive result, we give you plenty of options to view your tests. Look up the results online, call us, or have us call you the choice is yours. So dont wait another minute. If youre worried about your well-being, give us a call here and get tested today!
Getting A Result Quickly
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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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.
How Often Should You Get Tested For Hiv
While HIV testing is recommended as a part of routine health care, that doesnt mean it automatically happens. To know for sure, ask your health care provider to be tested and then follow up for the results. They can also advise on how frequently you should be tested.
Annual testing may be recommended depending on your risk. Some populations have been more affected by HIV than others. In these cases, more frequent HIV testing, every 3-4 months, may be recommended.
Women who are pregnant or planning a pregnancy should get tested as early as possible. Treatment can prevent passing HIV to the baby.
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How Can I Get Tested
To get tested, you can:
- Ask your doctor to test you.
- Go to a local clinic or community health center.
- Go to National HIV and STD Testing Resources to find a testing center near you.
- Buy a test at a pharmacy and do the test at home.
Many testing centers will do an HIV test for free. Ask if there is a fee before you go for testing. In most states you do not need a parent’s permission to get tested for HIV. And you can buy the test at the pharmacy without a parent.
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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What Is It Used For
An HIV test is used to find out if you have been infected with HIV. HIV is the virus that causes AIDS . Most people with HIV don’t have AIDS. People with AIDS have an extremely low number of immune cells and are at risk for life-threatening illnesses, including dangerous infections, a severe type of pneumonia, and certain cancers, including Kaposi sarcoma.
If HIV is found early, you can get medicines to protect your immune system. HIV medicines may prevent you from getting AIDS.
What Support Is Available
If you receive an HIV diagnosis, you can find help. Your healthcare provider can recommend support groups and counselors.
If someone tells you they are HIV-positive, they are telling you because they trust you. The time right after diagnosis can be very tough. You can support them in many ways:
- Be a friend. While they may not be ready to talk about their diagnosis right away, show them you care by treating them as you did before.
- Listen. Your friend may just need someone to listen to their concerns and fears. Be there for them.
- Learn about the disease. The reference section of this article has additional information to learn about the condition.
- Encourage them to seek treatment. Your friend may not realize they have options available. They do, and they can get treatment. Help them find it and stick to it.
- Get help for yourself. While it will be a challenging time for your friend, you may need some support too. Talk to others a counselor, for example about any concerns or anxieties you may have.
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What Are The Types Of Hiv Tests
Currently there are two ways to test for HIV. One of these is a standard laboratory test done using a blood sample taken from your arm. The result is available in 1 to 2 weeks.
The second type of HIV test is a called a point-of-care test using a drop of blood taken from your finger. The result is available at the time of testing. When a point-of-care test indicates that HIV antibodies may be present, a standard laboratory test is required to confirm HIV infection.
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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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.
What Kind Of Tests Are Available
There are several different ways to be tested for HIV. Some tests use blood, and others test cells inside the mouth. HIV blood tests may be a finger stick or a draw from the inner arm. Oral HIV tests use a swab of the mouth.
If you have a preference for the type of test, ask your health care provider. At-home HIV test kits are also available for sale in many drug stores.
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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.
What Are False Positives And False Negatives
False-negative and false-positive test results can happen.
False-negative tests can occur when antigen or antibody levels cant be detected in a testing sample. Perhaps the immune system didnt develop enough antibodies to be detected at the time of the test, or the test may not have been sensitive enough to detect the levels.
If the test is done early in the window period and the result is negative, theres a chance that a follow-up test may be positive.
If a rapid test is taken and the result is positive, a second test will be done to confirm the result.
False positives can occur and arent considered officially positive until the test is confirmed with a second positive test result.
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Comparing Different Testing Facilities
As you may or may not know, theres more than one way to get tested for STDs. Naturally then, where you choose to get tested can have a big effect on when youll get your test results back. Lets take a look at some of the options available to you, and what factors might add to your wait time:
Doctors Office: Obviously, you cant get tested for STDs at your doctors office without first setting up an appointment which could take days or weeks depending on your M.D.s schedule. Then, once youve finally settled on an appointment date, youll have to wait for your doctor to send your samples to a specialized lab. Thats because few doctors have access to sophisticated STD testing equipment at their base office. If speed is your priority, the doctors office isnt for you.
The Free Clinic: The free clinic is an attractive option for many people, because, obviously, its free. However, you will have to pay in other ways namely by spending lots of time in line. Because you cant schedule an appointment at the free clinic like you can at other testing facilities, it could be days before you find an entire afternoon to dedicate to standing in line to receive a test.
At-Home Tests: Sure, there are plenty of at-home STD tests that promise instant results, but heres the kicker: you should always get tested for STDs by a professional, and no at-home test can replicate the advanced tech required to diagnose certain STDs.
Why Its Important To Test
If you have HIV, finding out means you can start treatment, stay healthy and avoid passing the virus onto anyone else. The sooner you start treatment, the less likely you are to become seriously ill. People who are diagnosed early and get on effective treatment can expect to live a normal lifespan.
Once youre on effective treatment and your viral load is undetectable then you can’t pass the virus on to anyone else.
If you wait to test, the virus could do a lot of damage. There is a lot of support available for people who test positive.
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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 they’re infected or you hear from the health department that you need to be tested, it’s scary to learn that you may be at risk.
Any STD test that detects an infection using antibodies can’t 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.
How Soon Can Hiv Be Detected By A Blood Test
It depends on the test. Combination tests that use a blood sample drawn from a vein and detect HIV antigen and HIV antibodies can detect HIV infections in most people 2 to 6 weeks after infection. Combination tests that use fingerstick blood samples detect HIV infections about 2 to 12 weeks after infection. Blood tests that detect HIV antibody alone can detect infections in most people about 3 to 12 weeks after infection.
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How Long Does It Take To Get Hiv Test Results
Some testing locations, including at-home tests, provide initial results of HIV tests in under 20 minutes, with some as fast as one minute. These are referred to as rapid HIV tests.
Others may require a few weeks to get back results from the lab. If you have a preference for the type of test, ask your health care provider what they offer.
What Happens During An Hiv Test
You will either get a blood test in a lab, or do your own test at home.
For a blood test in a lab:
- A health care professional will take a blood sample from a vein in your arm, using a small needle. After the needle is inserted, a small amount of blood will be collected into a test tube or vial. You may feel a little sting when the needle goes in or out. This usually takes less than five minutes.
For at home test, you will need to get a sample of saliva from your mouth or a drop of blood from your fingertip.
- The test kit will provide instructions on how to get your sample, package it, and send it to a lab.
- For a saliva test, you will use special spatula-like tool to take a swab from your mouth.
- For a fingertip antibody blood test, you will use a special tool to prick your finger and collect a sample of blood.
For more information on at-home testing, talk to your health care provider.
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