Why Might People Living With Hiv Get Tested For Hiv
Because we connect with every single person who tests positive at one of our locations, we always ask why people get tested for HIV if theyve already been diagnosed in the past.
It happens for many reasons: People may test with a partner they havent yet disclosed to, they may have mental health concerns that come into play, or they need a letter of diagnosis to access services . Sometimes its because they are confused about the kind of information an HIV test will provide.
Now that weknow undetectable equals untransmittable , some people may have the misconception thatif youre undetectable, you will no longer test positive for HIV. They may think that if they test HIV-negative on an HIV test, theyll be able to show this to their sex partners as a way to prove that theyre undetectable and untransmittable. Or, they may think it will be easier to tell partners theyre HIV-negative rather than undetectable and uninfectious.
If you are living with HIV and have an undetectable viral load, you will still test positive for HIV. But, if you are living with HIV, have been taking HIV medications every day as directed, have a durably suppressed viral load and have been undetectable for at least six months, you will not transmit HIV to sex partners. You are not infectious. Thats the meaning of U=U.
Heres why you will still test positive for HIV even if you are undetectable.
Hiv Testing In A Health Care Setting Or Lab
If you take a test in a health care setting or a lab, a health care provider or lab technician will take your sample . If its a rapid test, you may be able to wait for the results, but if its a laboratory test, it can take several days for your results to be available. Your health care provider or counselor may talk with you about your risk factors, answer any questions you might have, and discuss next steps with you, especially if your result is positive.
- If the test comes back negative, and you havent had an exposure during the window period for the test you took, you can be confident you dont have HIV.
- If your HIV test result is positive, the lab will conduct follow-up testing, usually on the same sample as the first.
What Are The Treatments For Hiv/aids
Currently, there is no cure for HIV infection or AIDS. However, there are therapies that can improve immune function, reduce the risk and/or frequency of opportunistic infections, and prolong life. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Panel on Antiretroviral Guidelines for Adults and Adolescents 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.
Recommended Reading: Does Nba Youngboy Have Hiv
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 To Interpret Your Results
Once you receive your test results, it might seem overwhelming at first. But take the time to interpret your test results to have a full understanding of your status. The summary for your HIV 1/2 Ab/Ag Test will most likely include the name of the test, a result, reference range and flag.
The result indicates reactive, non-reactive, detected, not-detected or a value. If you see a value, this is a numerical measurement that is compared against the reference range to determine if the sample is normal or abnormal.
The flag value will indicate whether your test came back normal or abnormal. Normal ranges indicate you are not infected and an abnormal result could mean a possible infection.
For more detailed information, visit our Sample Test Results page to learn more about interpreting your results.
Recommended Reading: How Long Before Hiv Turns Into Aids
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.
How Does The 4th Generation Hiv Test Work
The fourth generation test is different because its a combination test thats more advanced. It can detect both HIV antibodies and the p24 antigen, which is associated with HIV. Testing for p24 allows earlier detection and diagnosing of acute HIV infection.
For a fourth generation test, youll have a small sample of blood drawn from a vein with a needle. You might feel a small sting from the needle. It takes a few minutes to take the sample. Once the sample is collected, itll be tested in a lab.
Results are available in a few days or in some cases, a few weeks.
You May Like: Does Hiv Cause Hair Loss
Importance Of Hiv Testing
If you have the virus, finding out quickly means you can start treatment right away so you can feel better and live a long, full life. You can also take steps so you don’t pass HIV to other people.
Where Can I Get An Hiv Test
Depending on where you are in the world, there are a number of places that you can get tested for HIV. The best first step is to search online for “HIV testing, plus your location. This will generally give you a good idea of where to go, or at least give you a starting point.
If you have limited internet access, its always worth asking local sexual health charities or health professionals what is available in your area. They should be able to direct you to somewhere where you can test for free. The image below has some examples of the types of places that might offer HIV testing.
Also Check: Does Jania Have Herpes
If You Have A Negative Test Result Does That Mean That Your Partner Is Hiv
No. Your HIV test result reveals only your HIV status.
HIV is not necessarily transmitted every time you have sex. Therefore, taking an HIV test is not a way to find out if your partner is infected.
It’s important to be open with your partner and ask them to tell you their HIV status. But keep in mind that your partner may not know or may be wrong about their status, and some may not tell you if they have HIV even if they know they’re infected. Consider getting tested together so you can both know your HIV status and take steps to keep yourselves healthy.
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.
Also Check: How Long Does It Take For Hiv To Become Aids
Timing Of Virological Testing
Infants and children can be infected with HIV during pregnancy, during delivery and post partum through breastfeeding, or through sexual or parenteral exposure. Infants infected in utero usually have detectable HIV at birth and progress to disease more rapidly. Infants infected at or around delivery may take a short time to have detectable virus. Therefore, the sensitivity of NAT depends on time of acquiring infection and the timing of the test , and the sensitivity of all methods of virological testing are therefore lower at birth. In infants with in utero HIV infection, HIV DNA and RNA can be detected in venous blood specimens obtained within 48 hours of birth. However, in infants with peripartum acquisition of HIV, HIV DNA and RNA are not detected in early venous blood specimens but become detectable at or after 1 to 2 weeks of age . By six weeks of age, almost all infants infected prior to, at, or around birth can be identified by NAT or Us p24 Ag testing.
What Is A Window Period
All HIV tests have a window period. This is the period of time between when a person has been exposed to the virus and when a test can detect its presence in their body. If a person with HIV is tested before the window period has passed, it can produce false-negative results.
HIV tests are more accurate if theyre taken after the window period has passed. Some types of tests have shorter window periods than others. They can detect HIV sooner after exposure to the virus.
Don’t Miss: Does Nba Youngboy Still Have Herpes
Hiv Ag/ab 4th Gen Rapid Test
The OnSite HIV Ag/Ab 4th Gen. Rapid Test is a lateral flow immunoassay for the qualitative detection of antibodies to anti-HIV-1 and 2 viruses and HIV-1 p24 antigen in human serum, plasma or whole blood.
- 4th Generation HIV test to detect p24 in addition to IgG and IgM for early detection
- Requires only 5 µL of specimen
- Use serum, plasma or whole blood
- Results available within 15 minutes to allow prompt action to be taken at the point of care
- Performance validated with BBI low titre panel and Chinese FDA HIV Ab panel
- Individually sealed foil pouches containing:
- One cassette device
Window Periods And Accuracy
The window period is the time immediately after infection, during which tests cannot always detect antibodies or p24 antigen, and so may give a false negative result. It is hard to say exactly how long the window period for any test lasts, as there are variations between individuals and it is a difficult topic to research . Nonetheless, it is estimated that the median window period for fourth-generation tests is 18 days, with half of all infections being detected between 13 and 24 days after exposure. While occasionally this period will be a little longer, 99% of HIV-infected individuals would be detectable within 44 days of exposure.
Therefore, UK guidelines state that an antibody/antigen laboratory test will detect the great majority of individuals who have been infected with HIV four weeks after specific exposure.
Something the immune system can recognise as ‘foreign’ and attack.
Fourth-generation laboratory tests are extremely accurate. The key measures of accuracy are sensitivity and specificity . In terms of sensitivity, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention review identified four studies of two different assays, with sensitivity always above 99.7% for established infection. A Health Protection Agency evaluation found that nine out of the ten tests they evaluated had a sensitivity of 100%, while a French evaluation found that ten of twelve tests had a sensitivity of 100%. The lowest sensitivity was 99.8%.
Read Also: Do Nba Youngboy Got Herpes
What Guidance Will I Get Along With My Results
We aim to deliver full, comprehensive results in a timely manner . If you do have questions about your results, however, our care counselors are standing by ready and willing to assist. We can even put you in touch with a physician should you require additional assistance and/or prescription medication.
Other Tests Used In Hiv Treatment
The CD4 T-cell count is not an HIV test, but rather a procedure where the number of CD4 T-cells in the blood is determined.
A CD4 count does not check for the presence of HIV. It is used to monitor immune system function in HIV-positive people. Declining CD4 T-cell counts are considered to be a marker of progression of HIV infection. A normal CD4 count can range from 500 cells/mm3 to 1000 cells/mm3. In HIV-positive people, AIDS is officially diagnosed when the count drops below 200 cells/Î¼L or when certain opportunistic infections occur. This use of a CD4 count as an AIDS criterion was introduced in 1992 the value of 200 was chosen because it corresponded with a greatly increased likelihood of opportunistic infection. Lower CD4 counts in people with AIDS are indicators that prophylaxis against certain types of opportunistic infections should be instituted.
Low CD4 T-cell counts are associated with a variety of conditions, including many viral infections, bacterial infections, parasitic infections, primary immunodeficiency, coccidioidomycosis, burns, trauma, intravenous injections of foreign proteins, malnutrition, over-exercising, pregnancy, normal daily variation, psychological stress, and social isolation.
This test is also used occasionally to estimate immune system function for people whose CD4 T cells are impaired for reasons other than HIV infection, which include several blood diseases, several genetic disorders, and the side effects of many chemotherapy drugs.
Don’t Miss: How Did Nba Youngboy Get Herpes
What Are The Symptoms Of Hiv Infection
Symptoms of the initial HIV infection can mimic those of influenza and other viral infections. The only reliable way to tell if someone is infected is to get tested. Many people with HIV do not experience symptoms for years after the initial infection or have symptoms that are very similar to symptoms of other illnesses. For more, see this CDC web page: HIV/AIDS Basics.
Hiv Testing Outside Of A Health Care Setting Or Lab
If you are tested outside of a health care setting or lab you will likely receive a rapid HIV test
- If the test comes back negative, and you havent had a possible exposure during the previous 3 months, you can be confident you dont have HIV.
- If your test result is positive, you should go to a health care provider to get follow-up testing. Counselors providing the test should be able to answer questions and provide referrals for follow-up testing as well. You can use the HIV.gov locator to find a provider near you.
Also Check: How Long Does It Take To Be Hiv Positive
Screening Donor Blood And Cellular Products
Tests selected to screen donor blood and tissue must provide a high degree of confidence that HIV will be detected if present ” rel=”nofollow”> sensitivity is required). A combination of antibody, antigen and nucleic acid tests are used by blood banks in Western countries. The World Health Organization estimated that, as of 2000, inadequate blood screening had resulted in 1 million new HIV infections worldwide.
In the US, the Food and Drug Administration requires that all donated blood be screened for several infectious diseases, including HIV-1 and HIV-2, using a combination of antibody testing and more expeditious nucleic acid testing . These diagnostic tests are combined with careful donor selection. As of 2001, the risk of transfusion-acquired HIV in the US was approximately one in 2.5 million for each transfusion.
What Is The 4th Generation Hiv Test
The fourth generation HIV test, also called an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay test, is a more complete screening that can identify acute HIV. This is the time when the virus is multiplying rapidly and youre more likely to pass the infection.
In the first few weeks after exposure to HIV, your body produces an antigen known as p24. This protein is only present in people who have acute HIV infection. It triggers your immune system to respond.
The fourth generation tests can identify both HIV-specific antigen p24 and HIV antibodies with a blood sample.
The fourth generation tests require a blood sample thats sent to a lab for testing. Blood testing done by a lab is the most accurate type of test.
There are many products approved for fourth generation testing, including:
- ADVIA Centaur HIV Ag/Ab Combo Assay
- Elecsys HIV Combi PT
- Genscreen ULTRA HIV Ag-Ab
- VITROS HIV Combo Test
The healthcare clinic or doctors office you visit for an HIV test can tell you more about the exact test they use.
tests that can test for the presence of HIV. HIV testing can be done by drawing blood from a vein, a finger stick, or taking an oral swab of fluid.
Tests can measure antibodies, antigen/antibody , and theres also a nucleic acid test . The NAT test can identify HIV and viral load . It can tell if you have HIV within around 10 to 33 days of exposure.
Older tests like the third generation tests arent reliable until about 3 months after exposure to the virus.
Don’t Miss: How Fast Does Hiv Spread