Thursday, May 19, 2022

How Soon Is Hiv Detectable

Where Can I Get Tested For Hiv

AIDS, HIV & STDs : How Early Can HIV Be Detected?

Your health care provider can give you an HIV test. HIV testing is also available at many hospitals, medical clinics, substance use programs, and community health centers. Use this CDC testing locator to find an HIV testing location near you.

You can also buy a home testing kit at a pharmacy or online.

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 1000 cases.

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.

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How Much Do Hiv Tests Cost

Unlike rapid tests, blood tests for HIV are covered by Medicare, which means your doctor can order the test free of charge for you.

If you are not eligible for Medicare, you may also be able to claim some of the testing costs through private health insurance. Check with your provider to see if youre eligible.

Side Effects Of Hiv Treatment

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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 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.

How Soon After Exposure To Hiv Can Tests Detect I Have The Virus

The window of time between exposure to HIV and when a test will show you have the virus varies from person to person and by the type of test:

  • Nucleic acid test : The NAT test can detect HIV infection the earliest. It can tell if you have HIV infection 10 to 33 days after exposure.
  • Antigen/antibody test: The antigen/antibody test can detect infection 18 to 45 days after exposure when performed by a lab using blood from a vein. If the sample is from a finger prick, the window is 18 to 90 days after exposure.
  • Antibody test: Antibody tests can detect infection 23 to 90 days after exposure.

If your initial test is negative, get a second test after the window of time has passed. The second test can confirm your negative result in case you got tested before the infection was active in your body.

Remember, post-exposure prophylaxis can help prevent infection, but you must start it within 72 hours of possible infection. Talk to your healthcare provider about how to start PEP.

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When Should I Get Tested For Stds

STD Name
Get retested after 3 months to confirm your initial test results.
Oral Herpes4-6 WeeksIf you tested negative, get retested frequently if you have unprotected oral sex or come in contact with Herpes 1 fluids like saliva or semen.
Genital Herpes4-6 WeeksEven if you tested negative for Genital Herpes, it is advised to retest after 3 months to confirm the initial results.
HIV1-3 MonthsRetesting is not necessary, since HIV is a virus and remains in your system for life. Seek treatment if you test positive for HIV.
HIV9-11 DaysRetesting is not necessary, since HIV is a virus and remains in your system for life. Seek treatment if you test positive for HIV.

How Are Testing Technologies Used To Diagnose Hiv Infection

How Early Can HIV Infection Be Detected

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.

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Does Hiv Always Show Up On Testing

No, if someone was recently infected, it might not show up with testing. How quickly HIV shows up on testing depends on the type of test done:

  • Testing that looks for the virus itself can find HIV 728 days after infection.
  • Testing that looks for HIV antibodies can find HIV antibodies 312 weeks after infection.

What Does A Negative Test Result Mean

A negative result doesnt necessarily mean that you dont have HIV. Thats because of the window period the time between when a person may have been exposed to HIV and when a test can tell for sure whether they have HIV. The window period varies from person to person and is also different depending upon the type of HIV test.

Ask your health care provider about the window period for the test youre taking. If youre using a home 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 for the test youre taking to be sure. For example, if your health care provider uses an antigen/antibody test performed by a laboratory with blood from a vein you should get tested again 45 days after your most recent exposure. For other tests, you should test again at least 90 days after your most recent exposure to tell for sure if you have HIV.

If you learned you were HIV-negative the last time you were tested, you can only be sure youre still negative if you havent had a potential HIV exposure since your last test. If youre sexually active, continue to take actions to prevent HIV, like using condoms the right way every time you have sex and taking medicines to prevent HIV if youre at high risk.

If I have a negative result, does that mean that my partner is HIV negative also?

No. Your HIV test result reveals only your HIV status.

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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.

Can I Take The Test At Home

Virus

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.

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Where To Get Tested For Hiv

Getting an HIV test is easy. Tests for HIV and other STIs are confidential and available from your local doctor , or a sexual and reproductive health clinic.

It is a good idea to have some pre-test counselling. Before the test, talk with your doctor, nurse, or peer tester about any concerns, your level of risk, whether you are likely to be HIV-positive and what a positive result may mean.

How Do You Get Or Transmit Hiv

You can only get HIV by coming into direct contact with certain body fluids from a person with HIV who has a detectable viral load. These fluids are:

  • Blood
  • Vaginal fluids
  • Breast milk

For transmission to occur, the HIV in these fluids must get into the bloodstream of an HIV-negative person through a mucous membrane open cuts or sores or by direct injection.

People with HIV who take HIV medicine daily as prescribed and get and keep an undetectable viral load have effectively no risk of sexually transmitting HIV to their HIV-negative partners.

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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.

When To Be Tested Again

Q42. How soon after exposure can HIV infection be detected?

If you have a negative test within the window period from your last potentialexposure, you should be tested again after the window period has passed.

A positive result on an HIV test means that either HIV has been detected in your body or your body seems to be responding to an HIV infection. Depending on the type of test used, a positive result may be preliminary. Preliminary results require additional testing before it can be determined if you actually are infected with HIV.

Rapid test results are generally preliminary. HIV tests that are sent to a lab and initially come back positive may be confirmed by running an additional test before results are reported to you.

A positive HIV test result does not mean that you are immunocompromised. Understanding how and whether HIV has affected your overall health requires additional testing.

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Testing Recommendations And Requirements

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends routine HIV screening in health-care settings for all adults, aged 13-64, and repeat screening at least annually for those at higher risk.26,27 Per the CDC individuals who may benefit from at least annual screening include:28

  • sexually active gay or bisexual men
  • individuals who have had sex with an HIV-positive partner
  • individuals who have had more than one partner since their last HIV test
  • those who have shared needles or works to inject drugs
  • people who have exchanged sex for drugs or money
  • individuals who have another sexually transmitted disease, hepatitis, or tuberculosis
  • those who have had sex with someone who has participated in any of the above activities or with someone with an unknown sexual history

Certain factors are known to reduce the risk of HIV transmission including condom use, antiretroviral treatment leading to durable viral load suppression among those with HIV, which prevents further transmission, and the use of pre-exposure prophylaxis among those at increased risk for HIV.29

Additionally, HIV testing is recommended for all pregnant women and for any newborn whose mothers HIV status is unknown.30 Treatment provided to pregnant HIV-positive women and to their infants for 4-6 weeks after delivery can reduce the risk of transmitting HIV to 1% or less.31 HIV testing is also recommended for anyone who has been sexually assaulted.

The 4th Generation Duo Antibody/antigen Test

After you have suspected yourself about being hit by the HIV virus, you can confirm it at an early stage itself, by undergoing the HIV 4th Generation Antibody/Antigen Test approved by FDA. The incubation period for this test is four weeks. Up to this time, 95% of the infections can be caught. Further after three months, one can detect almost 99.9% of the infections. The 4th generation test includes p24 tests, Tri-Dot and Duo tests.

Antigens are basically proteins surviving on the HIV particles surface. The persons immune system produces antibodies in response to these antigens. Therefore, through this sensitive test, the infection can be diagnosed at an early stage.

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If My Viral Load Is Undetectable Can I Transmit Hiv To Other People

Im very happy to say that we know the answer to this. If you are undetectable, and have been on HIV medications for at least six months, and you continue that treatment, the risk of transmitting HIV is effectively zero.

This finding has been well-established over the last six to seven years . After studying thousands of couples, over many years, research has shown that if an HIV-positive person is on effective HIV medications for at least six months, is undetectable, and stays on their HIV medications, they will not transmit HIV to other people.

How Is Hiv Spread From Person To Person

Bio

HIV can only be spread through specific activities. In the United States, the most common ways are:

  • Having vaginal or anal sex with someone who has HIV without using a condom or taking medicines to prevent or treat HIV. Anal sex is riskier than vaginal sex.
  • Sharing injection drug equipment , such as needles, with someone who has HIV.

Less common ways are:

HIV is spread only in extremely rare cases by:

  • Having oral sex. But in general, the chance that an HIV-negative person will get HIV from oral sex with an HIV-positive partner is extremely low.

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How Soon After Exposure To Hiv Can An Hiv Test Detect If You Are Infected

No HIV test can detect HIV immediately after infection. If you think youve been exposed to HIV, in the last 72 hours, talk to your health care provider about post-exposure prophylaxis , right away.

The time between when a person gets HIV and when a test can accurately detect it is called the window period. The window period varies from person to person and also depends upon the type of HIV test.

Stage : Clinical Latency

In this stage, the virus still multiplies, but at very low levels. People in this stage may not feel sick or have any symptoms. This stage is also called chronic HIV infection.

Without HIV treatment, people can stay in this stage for 10 or 15 years, but some move through this stage faster.

If you take HIV medicine every day, exactly as prescribed and get and keep an undetectable viral load, you can protect your health and have effectively no risk of transmitting HIV to your sexual partner.

But if your viral load is detectable, you can transmit HIV during this stage, even when you have no symptoms. Its important to see your health care provider regularly to get your viral load checked.

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Results Reporting Critical Findings

Once HIV is diagnosed, it is essential to link patients who are HIV-positive to the care they need. The CDC uses the HIV care continuum to explain that only 30% of the 1 million adults living with HIV in the United States are in treatment, adhering to medication therapy, and achieving viral control. Data from 2011 shows that only 86% of HIV-positive adults are diagnosed, 40% are linked to a provider, 37% are prescribed antiretroviral therapy, and 30% adhere to the medications to achieve viral suppression. The care continuum is a motivating tool for healthcare providers to intervene at every level of HIV care to improve outcomes. HIV can be treated in a variety of settings including primary care, infectious disease specialty offices, federally qualified health centers, and specific HIV care centers. Every practice that screens for HIV should develop a relationship with a treating office and follow up with patients concerning their linkage to care.

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