Std Testing As A Routine Part Of An Overall Healthy Lifestyle
In todays culture of casual sex and hook up apps such as Grindr and Tindr, the responsibility of an individual to take ownership of their sexual health and overall well-being is of vital importance. The spread of STDs has increased America to critical levels. According to the director the CDC, the widespread nature of STDs in America today is a is a clear warning of a growing threat. And the growing number of infections is outpacing our ability to respond.
Getting tested for STDs is associated with stigma and shame, when, in fact, the opposite should be the case. NOT getting tested for STDs should be a point of concern.
GETTING TESTED FOR STDs DEMONSTRATES A LEVEL OF RESPECT FOR YOURSELF AND YOUR SEXUAL PARTNER.
STDAware makes getting tested quick, simple, and convenient. With the fastest turn around time for test results , theres less time left wondering.
To find out how STDAware makes getting tested simple and fast, click here.
ONLY YOU CAN DEFEND YOUR SEXUAL HEALTH
Aside from being in a mutually monogamous, STD-free confirmed relationship, routine STD testing is one of the strongest defenses against the spread of STD infection. Being tested for STDs before engaging in sexual activity will ensure that any STD condition is adequately treated and addressed before moving forward
Taking point and guarding your sexual health is a personal responsibility. STDAware has over 4,000 testing laboratory locations, nationwide.
Is Hiv Testing Necessary For Pregnant Women
HIV testing is critically important for pregnant women. HIV testing is recommended at the beginning of each pregnancy during prenatal care. If any HIV risk factors are present or there is a high incidence of HIV in the population, testing should be repeated in the third trimester. There have been enormous advances in the treatment of HIV-infected pregnant women. With proper management, the probability of transmitting the virus to the fetus is less than 2%. Without proper management, the risk of transmission is as high as 33%. Because undiagnosed HIV is so common, it is necessary to test all pregnant women. It is strongly recommended that all children born to women with HIV also be tested.
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.
Also Check: Hiv Causes Hair Loss
What Do The Results Mean
If your result is negative, it can mean you don’t have HIV. A negative result may also mean you have HIV but it’s too soon to tell. It can take a few weeks for HIV antibodies and antigens to show up in your body. If your result is negative, your health care provider may order additional HIV tests at a later date.
If your result is positive, you will get a follow-up test to confirm the diagnosis. If both tests are positive, it means you have HIV. It does not mean you have AIDS. While there is no cure for HIV, the disease can be effectively controlled with medicine. The medicine used to treat HIV is called antiretroviral therapy . ART can significantly reduce the amount of HIV in the blood. People with HIV who take ART before the disease gets too advanced can live long, healthy lives. If you are living with HIV, it’s important to see your health care provider regularly.
There Are Different Types Of Hiv Tests
The CDC recommends that every person between the ages of 13 and 64, who is sexually active, should be tested at least once in their lifetime for HIV. There are many different places you can get tested for HIV such as a doctors office, a private laboratory, a mobile testing unit or a home test. Beyond where you can test, there are also a number of options for what types of HIV tests you can take.
Antibody or antibody/antigen tests HIV antibody tests are the most common type of HIV testing. These test for the antibodies that your body produces in order to combat HIV. It is most often performed by collecting a blood sample since the level of antibody is higher in blood than it is in other types of bodily fluid. Most patients begin to produce these antibodies about six to eight weeks after exposure.
Several tests can detect both antibodies and antigens. These tests can detect the HIV infection sooner than an antibody-only test. These antigen/antibody combination tests can find HIV soon after exposure to the virus and are only available for testing blood. Not all testing sites offer this test by default.
Most doctors recommend waiting at least two weeks after a potential exposure to test. They further recommended follow-up testing six weeks after that. If you are concerned that you may have been exposed to HIV, or you are simply looking for a regular screening, you should have HIV testing performed. This is the best way to know the current status of your sexual health.
You May Like: Nba Youngboy Herpes In My Blood
How Often Should I Get Tested
Men who have sex with men may benefit from more frequent testing .
Many people have HIV for years and dont know it. If you have a higher risk of contracting HIV, get tested more frequently. Even if you are in a monogamous relationship, consider getting tested with your partner.
Its also a good idea for pregnant people to get tested. If they have HIV, treatment can help prevent transmission during pregnancy.
Where Can I Go For Hiv Testing
You can get tested for HIV and other STDs at your doctors office, a community health clinic, the health department, or your local Planned Parenthood health center. You might want to get your HIV test at a place that also has HIV counseling .
You can either get an anonymous” or “confidential HIV test, depending on the laws in the state that you live in. Confidential” testing means your name is on the test, and the results go in your medical records. Your doctors and insurance company may also see the results. If you test positive, your results are sent to your local health department so they know the rates of HIV in your area. But your results are protected by privacy laws, so nobody else can see them without your permission.
“Anonymous” testing means your name isnt on the test. Youll get an ID number that youll use to find out your results. Your results wont go in your medical records, and they wont be sent to your insurance company or the health department youre the only one who will know them.
STD testing, including HIV testing, isnt usually automatically part of your regular checkup or gynecologist exam you have to ask for it directly. Be honest with your nurse or doctor so they can help you figure out what tests are best for you. Dont be embarrassed: your doctor is there to help, not to judge.
You May Like: Hiv To Aids Time
What Are The Three Different Hiv Blood Tests
There are three kinds of HIV tests: the HIV Antibody test, HIV Antibody/Antigen combination test, and HIV Nucleic Acid RNA test. Each HIV test has its own testing window and each test detects HIV by looking for different specimens in a blood sample. Test windows represent the incubation periods or time frames that have to elapse in order for the virus or immune response to be detected via the various testing methods.
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.
You May Like: Hiv Stays Alive In Dried Blood
How Accurate Is An Hiv Test What Is The Window Period For An Hiv Test
The current testing protocols are highly accurate but not perfect. The probability of a false result on the test depends on the test and on the person’s risk factors for getting infected. The lower the risk of getting HIV, the higher the probability of a false- positive result.
Falsely negative tests occur in people who are truly infected with HIV but have negative tests. Among 1,000 people who are truly infected, rapid tests will be falsely negative in zero to six people, depending on the test. Negative antibody tests in people infected with HIV may occur because antibody concentrations are low or because antibodies have not yet developed. On average, antibodies take about four weeks to reach detectable levels after initial infection, and falsely negative tests may occur during this so-called HIV window period. Individuals with negative tests and who had high risk for HIV exposure should be retested in two to three months.
Can You Contract More Than One Strain
Its possible to contract more than one strain of HIV. This is called superinfection. When superinfection occurs, the new strain can either replace or coexist in the body along with the original strain.
The exact prevalence of HIV superinfection is unknown, and estimates can vary based on individual studies. Some data suggest that the incidence rate of superinfection can range between 0 and 7.7 percent per year.
Superinfection can impact HIV treatment. This is because the new virus may be resistant to the antiretroviral drugs that a person is currently taking.
According to the CDC , superinfections that are difficult to treat with antiretroviral drugs are rare. Additionally, continuing to take antiretroviral drugs as directed can help to prevent a superinfection from occurring.
Its also possible for a person to contract both HIV-1 and HIV-2. This dual infection has a prevalence of up to
Also Check: Can You Get Aids From Dried Blood
Where Can People Find Free Hiv Testing Locations
The CDC maintains a list of HIV testing locations for people who want to find out whether they have contracted the virus. This National HIV and STD Testing Resource can be accessed at . This site includes the ability to search for free testing locations as well as locations that provide rapid tests. Some clinics only provide HIV testing. However, sexually transmitted diseases clinics routinely provide HIV testing along with testing for diseases like chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, and herpes.
Who Should Get Tested
Everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 should get tested at least once in their life, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention .
Some people have a higher risk of contracting HIV, according to HIV.gov. Even if youve had a past test, its recommended to get retested if you answer yes to any of the following questions since your last test:
- Are you a man who has had sex with another man?
- Have you had sex anal or vaginal with an HIV-positive partner?
- Have you had more than one sexual partner?
- Have you injected drugs and shared needles or works with others?
- Have you received a diagnosis of or treatment for another STI?
- Have you received a diagnosis of or treatment 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 dont know?
Don’t Miss: Does Aids Make Your Hair Fall Out
Importance Of Hiv Testing For Prevention Of Hiv Infection
People with HIV who are aware of their status can get HIV treatment and remain healthy for many years. Studies show that the sooner people start treatment after diagnosis, the more they benefit from ART. Treatment with ART reduces the amount of HIV in the blood , reduces HIV-related illness, and helps prevent transmission to others. People with HIV who take HIV medicine as prescribed and get and keep an undetectable viral load have effectively no risk of transmitting HIV to HIV-negative sex partners.
People who get tested and learn they dont have HIV can also make decisions about sex, drug use, and health care that can protect them from HIV. For people at risk for HIV, taking HIV medicine called pre-exposure prophylaxis is highly effective for preventing HIV.
Different Testing Methods For Different Stds
Medical experts agree that routine STD testing anytime there is a change in sexual partners or activities is a strong first defense against the spread of STDs.
THE ONLY WAY TO KNOW IF YOU HAVE AN STD IS TO GET TESTED.
Being tested during the correct time frame is important for ensuring accurate test results and the windows of time for getting tested for an STD will vary depending on the type of STD being tested for. The reason some tests should be taken earlier or later have to do with how the current testing technology detects an STD infection.
STD tests either look for antibodies or genetic materials . Antibodies are what the body naturally produces to fight off an infection. Antibody tests will look for antibodies that are specific to the type of disease being screened for and can require longer waiting periods before testing due to the amount of time it takes the human body to manufacture enough antibodies to be detected in a blood or urine sample. Tests that screen for genetic materials will look for the actual virus or bacteria in the testing blood or urine sample and will generally be accurate in a shorter amount of time, but a sufficient amount of time will need to pass for enough genetic material to be detectable in a test.
You May Like: Is Hair Loss A Symptom Of Hiv
Who Is At Higher Risk And How You Can Reduce Your Risk Of Getting Hiv
Some populations are more affected by HIV than others. This is due to a mix of social and individual factors which affect a persons ability to avoid HIV infection and make decisions that keep them healthy.
Populations that are considered to be at a higher risk of getting HIV include:
- gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men, including trans men
- African, Caribbean and Black communities including men and women from parts of Africa and the Caribbean where HIV is endemic
- Indigenous peoples
- people who inject drugs
- at-risk women , including trans women
You can reduce the risk of HIV transmission by:
- always using a condom when having sex
- not sharing needles or other drug using equipment
- using HIV medications
- Whether you have HIV or are at risk, HIV medications can reduce transmission of HIV if taken consistently and correctly.
Can Hiv Be Prevented
There is currently no vaccine to protect you against HIV, but avoiding high-risk activities such as having unprotected sex and sharing needles for injecting drugs can help to prevent its spread.
While there is no vaccine, the CDC and the World Health Organization recommend that individuals without HIV infection but at high risk for it consider taking pre-exposure prophylaxis , a daily pill to help prevent infection. For people taking PrEP consistently, the risk of HIV infection was significantly lower compared to those who didn’t take it.
If you have HIV, early diagnosis of your infection is important to prevent its transmission to others and to allow evaluation, monitoring, and treatment. Healthcare workers can protect themselves from HIV infection by following universal precautions, such as wearing gloves and avoiding needle sticks.
Post-exposure prophylaxis is another strategy for preventing HIV. PEP is taking antiretroviral medication after recent possible exposure to the virus. PEP should only be used in emergency situations and must be taken within 72 hours of possible HIV exposure. Talk to your healthcare practitioner or emergency department doctor about PEP right away if you:
- Think you have may been exposed through sex
- Think you were exposed through sharing needles or other works for injecting drugs
- Were sexually assaulted
- Are a healthcare worker and think you were exposed to HIV at work
Read Also: Hiv From Semen
If I Test Positive For Hiv What Follow
If you are HIV-positive, follow-up tests may include the following:
- HIV viral load testingmeasures the amount of HIV in the blood. It is performed when you are first diagnosed to help determine the status of the disease and is ordered at intervals to monitor the effectiveness of therapy.
- CD4 countmeasures the number of CD4 T-cells in the blood. It is ordered when you are first diagnosed to get a baseline assessment of your immune system and it is done at intervals to monitor therapy and the status of the immune system.
- HIV antiretroviral drug resistance testing, genotypicordered when you are initially diagnosed to determine whether the particular strain of HIV that you have is resistant to certain antiretroviral drug therapies. This testing is also ordered when treatment is changed or when there is evidence of treatment failure.
A Note About Treatment
While theres currently no cure for HIV, treatments have come an incredibly long way since the virus was first identified. Due to advances in treatment, people living with HIV can have long, healthy lives.
There are now many types of antiretroviral drugs available to treat HIV. According to the National Institutes of Health , taking antiretroviral medications each day as directed can reduce viral load to undetectable levels in 6 months or less .
Not only can having an undetectable viral load keep the immune system healthy, but it can also prevent transmission of HIV to others. People with an undetectable viral load have no risk of transmitting HIV to their partners via sex.
You May Like: How Long Does It Take For Hiv To Show