When Is It Ordered
An HIV viral load test is typically ordered with a CD4 count when you are first diagnosed with HIV infection as part of a baseline measurement. After the baseline, a viral load test will usually be ordered at intervals over time, depending on a few different factors.
The following table summarizes recommendations* for the timing of viral load testing and CD4 counts:
|Your Clinical Status|
|With new HIV symptoms or start of new treatment with interferon, corticosteroids or cancer drugs||Every 3 months||Perform test and monitor according to health status|
*Adapted from Guidelines for the Use of Antiretroviral Agents in HIV-1Infected Adults and Adolescents, Table 4. Recommendations on the Indications and Frequency of Viral Load and CD4 Count Monitoring.
How To Prevent Hiv
For diseases that dont have any cure, it is always better to take self precautionary measures than worrying to get tested for STDs after unprotected sex. Unlike other diseases, there is no vaccine to cure HIV/AIDS infection. The following are some of the methods to prevent HIV
- Regular HIV testing
- Practice safe sex use a new condom every time while having vaginal or anal sex
- Always use a new and clean needle to inject the drugs and while blood donation/transfusion
- Sharing the knowledge of HIV to your sex partners and encouraging them to get tested.
What Is It Used For
An HIV viral load test may be used to:
- Check how well your HIV medicines are working
- Monitor any changes in your HIV infection
- Diagnose HIV if you think you’ve been recently infected
An HIV viral load is an expensive test and is mostly used when a quick result is needed. Other less expensive types of tests are used more often for diagnosing HIV.
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What Is A Hiv Rna Early Detection Test And How Does It Work
Within the first several weeks after you have been infected with HIV, the virus may not be detected in your blood stream. This period is called the window period.
With earlier tests, the window period used to be around 3 months. The 4th generation test has reduced that to 4 weeks.
Thats still too long. Although the virus cannot be detected you can still infect others.
There is, however, a more sensitive test that can detect the virus in the earliest stages after infection around 9-11 days after initial exposure.
Its called the HIV RNA early detection test.
How Hiv Rna Early Detection Tests Work
HIV RNA test is one of the HIV tests which is used to detect the presence of the HIV RNA in your body cells if you are infected. The HIV virus is a kind of virus which stores its genetic information in RNA rather than DNA like most other viruses. It infects the body cells after exposure and begins to replicate within them. In the acute stage of the infection, the viral load can get as high as 100,000 or more copies per ml of a sample.
There is no need to overly worry about False Positives or False Negatives, because the actual viral load count will be compared to the minimum count required to have a positive result. Like with any clinical test we provide, your results will be reviewed by an actual Physician, and the best recommendations will be given to you.
The RNA testing is carried out using the PCR technique whereby any DNA or RNA in the sample collected is copied and read, making it a quite highly accurate testing method with an accuracy of 99.89% for both HIV types 1 & 2. The longer you wait, the higher the accuracy of the test.
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What Is An Hiv Viral Load
An HIV viral load is a blood test that measures the amount of HIV in your blood. HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus. HIV is a virus that attacks and destroys cells in the immune system. These cells protect your body against viruses, bacteria, and other disease-causing germs. If you lose too many immune cells, your body will have trouble fighting off infections and other diseases.
HIV is the virus that causes AIDS . HIV and AIDS are often used to describe the same disease. But 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 you have HIV, you can take medicines to protect your immune system, and they may prevent you from getting AIDS.
Other names: nucleic acid testing, NAT, nucleic acid amplification test, NAAT, HIV PCR, RNA Test, HIV quantification
Hiv Rna Pcr Is Performed After 6 Weeks
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About Our Hiv Rna Test
*Please note that while most tests take 1 to 3 business days to return results, the HIV RNA test is a specialized test, therefore results may take 2 to 4 business days*
The HIV RNA test is used for early detection of HIV. Compared to standard HIV tests which measure antibodies your body produces to fight HIV, the HIV RNA test detects the genetic material of the virus itself. The HIV RNA test determines if you are reactive or non-reactive .
The recommended window period for the HIV RNA test is:
- 9-11 days post potential exposure.
The human immunodeficiency virus is a sexually transmitted disease that attacks immune cells in the body and it can lead to AIDS . As the virus replicates, it compromises the bodys ability to fight off infection. HIV is spread through sexual intercourse, as well as blood-related methods like intravenous drug use.
The HIV RNA test will detect HIV 1 genetic material in the blood sample. HIV-1 is the most common strain of the HIV virus found in the U.S. HIV-2 is not widely seen outside of Africa.
Because it takes time for detectable antibodies to develop, the HIV RNA test reduces the time between infection and detection to help diagnose an HIV infection sooner than the HIV 4th Generation test. The HIV RNA test is the most accurate and sensitive HIV test on the market and is the only FDA-approved early detection HIV test.
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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Ask A Laboratory Scientist
This form enables patients to ask specific questions about lab tests. Your questions will be answered by a laboratory scientist as part of a voluntary service provided by one of our partners, American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science. Please allow 2-3 business days for an email response from one of the volunteers on the Consumer Information Response Team.
Discusses Physiology Pathophysiology And General Clinical Aspects As They Relate To A Laboratory Test
Currently, 2 types of HIV, HIV type 1 and HIV type 2 , are known to infect humans. HIV-1 has been isolated from patients with AIDS, AIDS-related complex, and asymptomatic infected individuals at high-risk for AIDS. Accounting for more than 99% of HIV infection in the world, HIV-1 is transmitted by sexual contact, by exposure to infected blood or blood products, from an infected pregnant woman to fetus in utero or during birth, or from an infected mother to infant via breast-feeding. HIV-2 has been isolated from infected patients in West Africa and it appears to be endemic only in that region. However, HIV-2 also has been identified in individuals who have lived in West Africa or had sexual relations with individuals from that geographic region. HIV-2 is similar to HIV-1 in its morphology, overall genomic structure, and ability to cause AIDS.
Multiple clinical studies of plasma HIV-1 viral load have shown a clear relationship of HIV-1 RNA copy number to stage of HIV-1 disease and efficacy of anti-HIV-1 therapy. Quantitative HIV-1 RNA level in plasma is an important surrogate marker in assessing the risk of disease progression and monitoring response to anti-HIV-1 drug therapy in the routine medical care of individuals living with HIV-1.
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Test Frequency And Turnaround Time
HIV-1 PCR turnaround time is up to 10 days from receipt by PHO Laboratory. Testing is performed once or twice a week.Specimens for HIV-2 PCR are referred to National Laboratory for HIV Reference Services in Winnipeg. Turnaround time is up to 14 days from receipt by PHO Laboratory.STAT HIV-1 PCR testing may be considered on an individual basis for specific circumstances in consultation with a PHO Microbiologist . The PHO Microbiologist can be contacted through the PHO Laboratory’s Customer Service Centre at 416-235-6556 / 1-877-604-4567. STAT samples must be shipped separately from routine specimens in a clearly marked package indicating STAT and handled in accordance with the Canadian Biosafety Standards and shipped in accordance with the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations. Failure to ship separately will delay testing.
Testing Process For Hiv Rna
The testing process for HIV RNA is convenient and simple. If you are looking to be tested, then follow the steps below.
- Locate your testing center close to you by entering in your zip code.
- Fill out the form with your information and make your payment.
- You will get an email that has a Lab Requisition Form that has a testing code. The address of your testing center will also be included.
- Print out the form and testing code and take it to the testing center.
- Get tested in just 5 minutes using a small blood sample.
- You will receive your results in 1-2 days.
- If your test is positive, you will have a consultation with a doctor over the phone.
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More Information About Hiv Rna Testing
Does this HIV RNA test use blood or urine?
The HIV RNA Early Detection Test is a blood test. A small blood sample will be drawn by our lab technicians tocomplete the test.
What do I need to do to prepare for the test?
No fasting or preparation is necessary.
When is the right time to take the HIV RNA Early Detection Test?
The HIV RNA Test for Early Detection is conclusive as early as 9-11 days post-exposure. We are the only onlineSTD testing service that provides this FDA-approved HIV RNA Early Detection test. This test looks for thepresence of HIV RNA in the plasma of patients. It can detect acute HIV infection without the presence ofantibodies in the blood, making the HIV RNA testthe most sensitive and accurate HIV RNA Early Detection test available on the market today.
What will the test results say?
If your results are negative, HIV was not found. If your results are positive, HIV was found in yourbloodstream. If the initial blood test result is positive, a confirmation test will be completed on the sameblood sample to confirm the result at no additional cost. A positive result for the HIV virus does notmean that you have AIDS.
What Is Hiv Rna Pcr Testing
PCR stands for ‘Polymerase Chain Reaction’ which is a testing method that extracts and amplifies the genetic material of an organism. This tests for the presence of the viral RNA of HIV 1, so the window period is shorter compared with other types of HIV and STI testing. This means it can provide the earliest possible indication of infection.
How Is This Test Different From Other Hiv Tests
As the HIV RNA PCR test is more sensitive, the window period is shorter and it can be used 12 days after exposure, as compared to 28 days for conventional Antibody/Antigen Testing.
However, only a few laboratories in Singapore are equipped to run this test. Hence HIV RNA PCR testing is more expensive than conventional HIV tests and can take up to 2 weeks for results to come back.
What Is The Treatment For Hiv
If tested positive for HIV, do not panic. Keep calm and react accordingly as per the stage of your HIV infection. You are lucky if you had detected the infection at an early stage, you can get diagnosed and treated. But, there is no cure for advanced AIDS/HIV infection. Anti-retroviral drugs are used for HIV treatment. This treatment is called antiretroviral therapy. Anti-retroviral drugs help in controlling the virus and reduce the symptoms exhibited.
This therapy plays a vital role not only for the treatment of severe HIV infection but for people being treated for Hepatitis B or C, and people having low CD4 cell count.
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The Cost Is The Hiv Rna Test Affordable
For a long time, one of the main reasons that people did not select the HIV RNA test was the high costs associated with the tests. As DNA and RNA sequencing technologies have advanced, this type of test has become far more budget friendly. The exact cost will vary depending on whether you select the plain HIV RNA test or choose to get other tests alongside the HIV RNA tests. The cost can be a little lower when you get the HIV RNA test as part of a bundle, but in general, it is under $180.
Hiv Rna Testing Process
The HIV RNA Testing process is very simple and convenient. Below are the steps youve to follow to get tested.
- Find a test center near you by entering your zip code.
- Enter your information & make a payment.
- Youll receive an email containing a Lab Requisition Form with a test code. The address of the test center you chose is also included in the email.
- Take your Lab Requisition Form or your test code to the testing center.
- Get tested in 5 minutes. A small blood sample will be required.
- Your results will be delivered to you in 1-2 days
- If your test comes out positive, get post doctor consultation over the phone.
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Hiv Rna Early Detection Test
Our clinicians recommend the HIV RNA Early Detection Test if you think you may have been recentlyexposed to the HIV virus. STDcheck.com offers the only FDA-approved HIV RNA Test on the market. RNA is the geneticmaterial that makes up certain viruses, like HIV. This HIV test searches for the genetic material of HIV rather thanantibodies or antigens to it, allowing for earlier detection . OurRNA-based test is the most accurate HIV test available today. Taking our HIV Test is a simple process just providea small blood sample at a lab near you and be on your way in minutes. With morethan 4,500 conveniently located testing centers nationwide,there is one in your area. Get tested for HIV today with this specialized test and know your status. Typical resultsfor HIV RNA are available within 2-4 business days.
All laboratory testing, including STD tests, accuracy rates are measured in terms of sensitivity and specificity. OurFDA-approved HIV RNA Early Detection test has a sensitivity rate of 100% and a specificity of 99.83%.
What Are Hiv Symptoms
Many people who have HIV may not experience symptoms weeks, months, or years after infection. According to the CDC, nearly 40% of new HIV infections are transmitted by people unaware they have the virus. Symptoms may start out mild and flu-like. While the viral load of HIV in the blood increases, the individuals CD4+ count will start to fall. This makes the individual vulnerable to infections and opportunistic illnesses like tuberculosis and candidiasis.
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What To Expect If You Have Hiv
HIV is no longer deadly like it used to be a few decades ago. Once you are diagnosed, you will start taking antiretroviral therapy. This medication helps to keep HIV counts down and maintain levels of white blood cells. In addition to maintaining health, the right medications also drastically reduce your chances of passing it on.
You may not notice many symptoms of HIV at all. In the early weeks, people might experience typical flu-like symptoms, such as chills, aches, fevers, and a sore throat. However, it is fairly common for HIV to be entire asymptomatic. With the right treatment, your chances of progressing to AIDS are slight.
Is Less Than 100% Accuracy Of A Test Important
Nothing in science is 100% absolute. That is why there are multiple testing methods and confirmatory tests available. However, the most important part of tests are the interpretation of the results by trained Physicians.
Our laboratory results are reviewed by Physicians for clinical relevance.
If a test needs to be repeated or re-tested by a different modality, it will by suggested by our Physicians to ensure you get the best possible results.
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