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.
Where Can I Get Tested
You can get tested at your primary care providers office or at a local testing center. If you live in the US, find a local testing center near you on the CDC HIV testing resource site. This site has a feature where you can type in your zip code, and get the names and addresses of testing locations near you. Its sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention .
Taking Preventative Medication Or Effective Treatments
PrEP is a medication in tablet form that is taken by people who think they are at risk of catching HIV. There are very few side effects and it is highly effective at blocking the infection.
However PrEP wont protect you from other STIs or an unwanted pregnancy, so it is still important to consider condom use and test for STIs every three months.
PEP is a short course of emergency anti-HIV medication which is taken to try to prevent infection after recent risk of exposure. It needs to be started within 72 hours , but it is recommended that you start it as soon as possible, ideally within 24 hours. The sooner you take it, the more likely it is to be effective.
If you are HIV+, taking antiretroviral medication is the best thing you can do to avoid passing HIV on to others. This treatment can reduce your viral load so that it becomes undetectable. This means you are unable to transmit HIV to other people. Read more about undetectable viral loads.
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What Is The Window Period And How Does It Differ Between Tests
No test can detect HIV immediately after infection. The time between when a person is exposed to HIV and when an HIV test can tell they have HIV is called the window period. The window period can vary between two weeks and three months. The length of the window period varies from person to person and also depends on the type of test used. Some people develop markers of HIV infection that are detected by HIV tests slowly and some people develop them more rapidly. Once these markers of HIV infection are present in amounts that the test can detect, the window period is over.
If someone has had a recent exposure to HIV and gets tested for HIV during the window period, the test result may come back as negative even though the person actually has HIV. This would happen if their body has not started producing the markers of HIV infection at levels that are detectable by the test. When a test result is negative after a recent exposure to HIV, the person should be retested at the end of the window period to confirm they are HIV negative.
The most commonly used HIV tests in Canada detect different markers of HIV infection. Some look for HIV antibodies only, while another looks for both antibodies and the p24 antigen . All antibody tests in Canada can detect both HIV-1 and HIV-2.
The Geenius confirmatory assay can detect HIV infection in 50% of people by 33 days after exposure to HIV and in 99% of people by 58 days after exposure.
What Happens After A Reactive Hiv Self
After someone receives a reactive HIV self-test result, it means that the person probably has HIV but this needs to be confirmed with a laboratory-based confirmatory test. The individual will need to go to a healthcare provider for confirmatory testing.
If the confirmatory test returns a positive result, an HIV diagnosis is made. As with any confirmed HIV positive diagnosis, this initiates a series of processes including post-test counselling, Public Health notification, partner notification and linkage to care. See CATIEs fact sheet on the HIV testing process for more information.
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What If Your Test Result Is Positive
Most HIV tests are antibody tests. If you use any type of antibody test and have a positive test result, you will need a follow-up test to confirm the results.
- If you had a rapid screening test at a community testing program or other location, the testing site will arrange a follow-up test to make sure your initial test result was correct.
- If you used a self-testing kit at home, you should go to a health care provider for a follow-up test. A positive HIV test result must always be confirmed by additional HIV testing performed in a health care setting.
- If you had a blood test in a health care setting or a lab, the lab will conduct a follow-up test on the same blood sample as the first test.
If your follow-up test is also positive, it means you have HIV.
After you are diagnosed with HIV, your health care provider’s office or clinic will provide post-test counselling to help you understand the next steps, including the importance of starting HIV treatment as soon as possible. HIV treatment involves taking highly effective medicines that work to control the virus. ART is recommended for all people with HIV, regardless of how long theyve had the virus or how healthy they are.
If you have health insurance, your insurer is required to cover some medicines used to treat HIV. If you dont have health insurance or you need help because your insurance doesnt pay for the treatment you need, there are state, federal, and private resources that may help you.
What Is A Non
A non-reactive HIV result means that your test sample did not contain HIV antigens or the antibodies that the test looks for. However, this doesnt necessarily mean that a person is HIV-negative. While the person might very well be negative, they might also have tested at the wrong time for their body. Thus, its important for these people to get another test to confirm their diagnosis. If possible, tell medical professionals the exact date of your exposure, or as close to the date as you can remember. This will help them determine whether or not you need to re-test.
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What Do Your Hiv Test Results Mean
If youve just had an HIV test, you may be wondering what a positive or negative test result means. If you were tested in a health care providers office, a clinic, or a community setting, the provider or testing counselor will explain what your result means and talk to you about the next steps. If you used a rapid HIV self-test at home or another private location, the package materials will provide this information, along with a phone number you can call.
Below are answers to some of the most common questions.
Taking Antiretroviral Medicines To Treat Hiv
If you are diagnosed with HIV, you will be prescribed antiretroviral medication. It works by stopping the virus from replicating. This protects your immune system from further damage and allows it to repair and strengthen itself.
The HIV virus can easily develop resistance to a single medicine, so for the treatment to be effective it is likely your doctor would prescribe a combination of different antiretroviral tablets.
During your treatment, it is vital that you take your recommended dose every day and that you always attend your HIV clinic appointments. Find out more about what to expect from HIV treatment clinic appointments.
HIV treatment is free to all in the UK regardless of immigration or residency status.
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Where Can Someone Get A Self
Tests can be purchased online directly from the manufacturer, bioLytical at www.insti.com. The cost of the test from bioLytical is $34.95 plus shipping costs. The test may also be available in some pharmacies for purchase. Additionally, they may be available through community organizations that distribute free HIV self-test kits.
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.
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Do I Have To Tell My Sexual Partner
It is difficult to decide if, when, and how to tell people that you have HIV .
It is important to understand the law around sharing your status where you live. In some countries you must tell your sexual partners you have HIV.
Sharing your status can be hard, and help is available. Speak to your healthcare professional.
How To Read Hiv Test Results Non
Understanding HIV blood test report is less challenging and more confusing because of the terms positive, negative, and non-reactive. You understand the positive and negative, but what is Non-Reactive?
In this article, you will understand what is Non-Reactive in your HIV test results and how to read your report.
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What Is A Test Like
There are many places to get HIV tests, such as your primary care providers office or a special testing site. Youll first receive information about HIV, risk factors for HIV, and the types of different tests. You will have time to ask questions and talk about any concerns about getting tested. Its your choice to get tested.
Having An Undetectable Viral Load
The goal of HIV treatment is to have an undetectable viral load. This means the level of the virus in your body has dropped so low that is can no longer be detected in a test.
HIV treatment clinics commonly use two tests to measure how effective treatment is:
If you have been taking effective HIV treatment and your viral load tests have come back undetectable for more than 6 months, it means you cannot pass the virus on through sex. This is called undetectable& equals untransmittable .
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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%.
Some People Are More Likely To Get Hiv Than Others
Regular testing is highly recommended for certain groups of people who are at a higher risk of becoming infected:
- men who have sex with men
- black African heterosexuals
- people who share drug taking equipment such as needles or syringes.
The risk of catching it through unprotected oral sex is much lower, but is significantly higher if the person giving oral sex has bleeding gums, sores or ulcers. The virus is not transmitted through saliva but can be passed on through blood from these sores.
Of all HIV diagnoses in the UK in 2017:
- 53% were in gay or bisexual men
- 38% were in black African men or women
- 3% contracted HIV through sharing injecting equipment.
There are also a high number of undiagnosed cases. It has been estimated that almost 8,000 people in the UK are living with HIV without knowing, and could be passing the virus on to others.
If you test positive for HIV, you should tell all of your current partners and anyone else that you have had sex with in the last three months. They may have contracted HIV and it is important for them to get tested. It can be difficult to talk to people about your diagnosis. If youd like some support, reply to one of our text messages. Our clinical team are on hand to support you. If your clinic confirmatory test is positive, the clinic staff will advise you about confidential partner notification services.
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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.
Will Other People Know Your Test Result
If you take an anonymous test, no one but you will know the result. If you take a confidential test, your test result will be part of your medical record, but it will still be protected by state and federal privacy laws. Most HIV testing is done confidentially.
- Anonymous testing means that nothing ties your test results to you. When you take an anonymous HIV test, you get a unique identifier that allows you to get your test results. Anonymous tests are not available at every place that provides HIV testing. You can purchase a self-test if you want to test anonymously.
- Confidential testing means that your name and other identifying information will be attached to your test results. The results will go in your medical record and may be shared with your health care providers and your health insurance company. Otherwise, the results are protected by state and federal privacy laws, and they can be released only with your permission.
With confidential testing, if you test positive for HIV, the test result and your name will be reported to the state or local health department to help public health officials get better estimates of the rates of HIV in the state. The state health department will then remove all personal information about you and share the remaining non-identifying information with CDC. CDC does not share this information with anyone else, including insurance companies.
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What Does A Positive Result Mean
You will need a second test to confirm the result. In some countries you will need three tests in total to confirm the result.
If you get a positive result after using a self-test kit you will need to go to a healthcare clinic.
If your final test result is positive, it means you do have HIV. Receiving a positive diagnosis can be a shocking and emotional experience this is completely normal. The healthcare worker will support you and answer any questions that you have.
You can now start treatment straight away which will keep you healthy.
People Are At Risk And Need To Test Hiv Every Year Are Following
- People who have several sexual partners
- Performed sexual intercourse with somebody who is infected by HIV or at a potential risk zone.
- Someone whose sexual history is unknown or doubtful
- Drugs were injected using a needle, syringe, or other devices that had previously been used by someone else.
- Tested positive for TB, Herpes, Syphilis or/and any STDs
- Performed sexual intercourse with somebody who has STDs.
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What Does It Mean When You Get A Negative Result From A Finger Prick Blood Test That You Do At Home
If you have taken an Insti HIV from Fettle, you tested at least 12 weeks after your last possible exposure to HIV and you have received a negative result, then you do not have HIV.
Everyone who is sexually active and changes partners should test for HIV and other STIs at least once a year. Many STIs, including HIV, may not have symptoms.
If you are a man who has sex with men then we recommend that you test every 3 months.