How Accurate Are Hiv Tests
HIV tests are very accurate. Once confirmatory testing has been performed, the chance of a positive result being false is essentially zero.
Sensitivity and specificity
Sensitivity and specificity are measures of the accuracy of an HIV test.
Sensitivity is the chance that a positive test result will correctly indicate that a person has HIV. This means that if the person has HIV, the test will detect it. Higher sensitivity means there is a lower chance of a false-negative result .
Specificity is the chance that a negative test result will correctly indicate that a person does not have HIV. This means that if the person does not have HIV, the test result will be negative. Higher specificity means there is a lower chance of a false-positive result .
HIV screening tests used in Canada all have a sensitivity of up to 99.9%. In other words, if 1,000 HIV-positive people were tested for HIV, 999 would correctly test positive and one would incorrectly test negative. High sensitivity is ideal for a screening test because it effectively rules out people who dont have HIV . Since the vast majority of people who get tested for HIV are actually HIV negative, the chance of a negative result being false is extremely low.
The Geenius assay has a specificity of 100%. This means that the chance of a false-positive result after confirmatory testing is essentially zero.
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.
What Does A Positive Result Mean
A follow-up test will be conducted. If the follow-up test is also positive, it means you are living with HIV .
If you had a rapid screening test, the testing site will arrange a follow-up test to make sure the screening test result was correct. If your blood was tested in a lab, the lab will conduct a follow-up test on the same sample.
It is important that you start medical care and begin HIV treatment as soon as you are diagnosed with HIV. Antiretroviral therapy or ART is recommended for all people with HIV, regardless of how long theyve had the virus or how healthy they are. ART works by lowering the amount of virus in your body to very low levels, called viral suppression. It slows the progression of HIV and helps protect your immune system. If you are on ART and virally suppressed, you can stay healthy for many years, and greatly reduce your chance of transmitting HIV to sex partners.
If you have health insurance, your insurer is required to cover some medicines used to treat HIV. If you dont have health insurance, or youre unable to afford your co-pay or co-insurance amount, you may be eligible for government programs that can help through Medicaid, Medicare, the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program, and community health centers. Your health care provider or local public health department can tell you where to get HIV treatment.
To lower your risk of transmitting HIV:
If I test positive for HIV, does that mean I have AIDS?
Family and friends
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Hiv Testing And Your Rights
Testing for HIV is voluntary and can only be done with your informed consent, except in exceptional circumstances.
Before you are tested, you will be provided with information about what is involved. what the results might mean for you, and how to prevent HIV transmission in the future. All people who request an HIV test must receive this information from the test provider.
Under Australian and Victorian law, it is unlawful to discriminate against anyone who has HIV. Test results, and details on whether someone has been tested are strictly confidential. It is illegal for any information about a person being tested or a person with HIV to be disclosed without their permission.
Can Testicular Cancer Be Detected In Blood Tests
The testicles lie in the scrotum at the base of the penis. They are responsible for the production of male sex hormones and sperms. Testicular cancer is the most common type of cancer occurring in American males between the ages of 15 to 35 years. Testicular cancer can be aggressive and spreading rapidly, but it is treatable.
Studies have shown that the risk of dying due to testicular cancer is about 1 in 5000.
To help diagnose testicular cancer, a series of radiological investigations and blood tests may be done to detect tumor markers in the blood. Testicular cancer often produces the tumor markers: alpha fetoprotein and human chorionic gonadotropin . AFP and hCG levels can also help monitor the progress of treatment.
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What Else Do I Need To Know About Hiv Testing
The world has come a long way from when the AIDS epidemic hit in the late 1980s. Researchers are working tirelessly to find treatments.
Unfortunately, many people still dont understand much about HIV. Because of this, legislation exists to protect people living with HIV and AIDS. The Americans with Disabilities Act protects people with HIV from discrimination. If you believe someone has discriminated against you because of your HIV status, you may wish to consult legal counsel.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Research has made significant progress in terms of what we know about HIV. But there is still more to learn. Until researchers find a vaccine, HIV will continue to infect people. If you or someone you love may be HIV positive, please seek help. Current treatments can help HIV-positive people live happy, productive lives.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 03/10/2016.
Does Hiv Show Up In Routine Blood Tests
Routine blood tests do not always include HIV tests. Doctors can order HIV tests when they think patients are at risk for HIV infection.
HIV testing is usually done through a blood test, according to the Center for Disease Control. However, there are a few different kinds of tests for HIV. The most common is a laboratory antibodies test, which tests for the presence of HIV antibodies in the blood or oral fluid. This is usually conducted as a blood test, as antibody levels tend to be higher in the blood. The FDA approves two tests for home use: Home Access HIV-1 Test System and OraQuick In-home HIV test. The first involves a prick to the finger and the second involves a mouth swab. However, both of these tests require a laboratory test as a follow-up.
Because antibodies testing can only detect HIV 3 weeks after exposure, doctors can sometimes conduct an RNA test. This type of test looks for the presence of the virus in the blood instead of the antibodies. It can detect HIV as soon as it enters the bloodstream, which usually tales around 10 days. However, because they cost more than antibodies tests, doctors do not usually order them for HIV screening.
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Letting Partners Know You Have Hiv
If you have just been diagnosed with HIV, it will likely be a difficult time. You might still be struggling to come to terms with diagnosis.
During this time, it is important to let any sexual or injecting partners know they may have been exposed to HIV as soon as you can, so they can be tested and offered PEP if appropriate.
You do not have to do this alone. Your doctor or the Department of Health and Human Services Partner Notification Officers can help you through this process and ensure your identity is not revealed.. Both groups can provide information, support, and guidance for people living with HIV.
Can An Hiv Rna Test Be Used To Screen For Hiv
The recommended test for HIV screening is a combination test that detects HIV antibody and HIV antigen. By detecting both antibody and antigen, the combination test increases the likelihood that an infection is detected soon after exposure. Most HIV screening tests detect only HIV antibody but are good options for screening because they may be available as rapid tests and at the point of care. If any of these screening tests are positive, they must be followed by another different antibody test. If the second test is positive, then HIV diagnosis is confirmed. If, however, the first and second result do not match, then an HIV RNA test may be done to help establish a diagnosis.
The recommended screening test for newborns, however, is an HIV RNA test .
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Accuracy Of Hiv Testing
Modern HIV testing is highly accurate. The evidence regarding the risks and benefits of HIV screening was reviewed in July 2005 by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. The authors concluded that:
…the use of repeatedly reactive enzyme immunoassay followed by confirmatory western blot or immunofluorescent assay remains the standard method for diagnosing HIV-1 infection. A large study of HIV testing in 752 U.S. laboratories reported a sensitivity of 99.7% and specificity of 98.5% for enzyme immunoassay, and studies in U.S. blood donors reported specificities of 99.8% and greater than 99.99%. With confirmatory Western blot, the chance of a false-positive identification in a low-prevalence setting is about 1 in 250 000 .
Many studies have confirmed the accuracy of current methods of HIV testing in the United States, reporting false-positive rates of 0.0004 to 0.0007 and false-negative rates of 0.003 in the general population.
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.
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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 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.
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Types Of Condomless Sex And Risk Of Hiv
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 any type 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 getting 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.
Who Will Know The Results Of My Testing
It depends on where you get your testing. Testing sites have different privacy rules. Ask about privacy rules at your testing site so you understand whether anyone else will know you got tested or see your results.
If you go to an anonymous test site, only you know the results. No written record of the test result is kept.
If you go to a confidential test site, the results will go in your medical record. Positive results are sent to the state or local health department. Your insurance company will have access to your results. Depending on the state you live in, your parent or guardian may be contacted.
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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.
How Soon Can Hiv Be Detected In Blood
Human immunodeficiency virus, better known as HIV, is a virus that attacks the bodys immune system. It is usually contracted through contact with bodily fluids such a blood, semen and vaginal fluids. It can be transmitted through sexual contact or by sharing needles with an HIV-infected person. HIV cannot be spread by saliva or touching someone with HIV. If left untreated, HIV can lead to the development of AIDS , which is the most severe stage of HIV.
What tests are available for HIV?
The only way to know for sure whether you have HIV is to get tested. The CDC recommends anyone ages 13-64 be tested at least once a year and with any new sexual partner.
There are three types of tests available to check for HIV:
- A nucleic acid testis a blood test that looks for the virus in the blood. After blood is drawn from a vein and sent to a lab, the blood is tested to see if a person has HIV and see how much of the virus is present, which is known as HIV viral load. Results may take several days to be available.
- Antibody testsonly look for antibodies present in someones blood or saliva. Your healthcare provider can check for antibodies by drawing blood from a vein, which is then sent to a lab for testing. These test results may take several days to be available. For rapid results, they can perform a finger prick or take a swab of oral fluid, and results are available within 30 minutes.
- Getting tested yearly and with every new sexual partner
- Condom use
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Lab Tests And Why They Are Important
As part of your HIV care, your provider will order several laboratory tests. The results of these lab tests, along with your physical exam and other information you provide, will help you and your provider work together to develop the best plan to manage your HIV care so that you can get the virus under control, protect your health, and reduce the chance that you will pass the virus to others.
Your healthcare provider will repeat some of these tests as part of your ongoing HIV care to continue to assess your health and how well your HIV treatment is working.
The lab tests may include:
- CD4 Percentage: This measures how many of your white blood cells are actually CD4 cells. This measurement is more stable than CD4 counts over a long period of time, but, for most people, the CD4 count remains a more reliable measure of how well your immune system is working than the CD4 percentage.Why its important: This measurement is less likely to vary in between blood tests than CD4 counts .
- Complete Blood Count : This is a measure of the concentration of red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets in a sample of your blood.Why its important: A CBC is one of the most commonly ordered blood tests. It can reveal infections, anemia , and other medical issues.
Reducing The Risk Of Hiv Transmission
The most effective way to prevent HIV transmission during sex is to use a condom. Get a condom ready before any sexual contact occurs, since HIV can be transmitted through pre-ejaculate, vaginal fluid, and from the anus.
Lubricants can also help reduce the risk of HIV transmission by helping to prevent anal or vaginal tears. The right lubricants also help prevent condoms from breaking. Only water-based lubricants should be used with condoms, because oil-based lube can weaken latex and sometimes cause condoms to break.
The use of a dental dam, a small plastic or latex sheet that prevents direct contact between the mouth and the vagina or anus during oral sex, is also effective at reducing the risk of HIV transmission.
For people who may have a higher risk for contracting HIV, preventive medication is an option. Pre-exposure prophylaxis medication is a daily antiretroviral treatment.
Everyone at increased risk of HIV should begin a PrEP regimen, according to a recent recommendation from the US Preventive Services Task Force. This includes anyone who is sexually active with more than one partner, or is in an ongoing relationship with someone whose HIV status is either positive or unknown.
Although PrEP does provide a high level of protection against HIV, its still best to use condoms as well. PrEP provides no protection against STIs other than HIV.
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