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What Is Hiv Screening Test

When To Take A Rapid Hiv Test

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , everyone between 13 and 64 years old should be tested for HIV at least once in their life. People who have sex without condoms, have multiple sexual partners, or share drug equipment are at higher risk for HIV and should be tested more frequently, whether through regular or rapid testing.

If you think youve been exposed to HIV within the past 72 hours, contact your healthcare provider or medical professional about post-exposure prophylaxis, which is medication that can prevent HIV after a possible exposure.

After someone has been infected with the virus it can take about two weeks for HIV antigen to be detectable with current antigen tests, and more than three weeks to produce enough HIV antibodies to be detected by antibody tests. In a very small number of people, the process takes up to several months.

There are different window periods for different types of tests:

  • Antigen and antibody tests take blood from a vein, and can detect HIV between 18 and 45 days after exposure
  • Antigen and antibody tests done with blood from a finger prick can detect HIV between 18 and 90 days after exposure
  • Antibody tests can take 23 to 90 days after an exposure to detect HIV. Most rapid tests and self-tests are antibody tests. In general, antibody tests that use blood from a vein can detect HIV sooner after infection than tests done with blood from a finger prick or with oral fluid

What Is A False Positive Test

You can get a false positive HIV test. This is when a person who doesnt have HIV tests positive.

Newer tests like the fourth generation test are more accurate, but false positive and false negative results can happen for many reasons.

False positive results can happen if:

  • the testing sample is contaminated
  • the lab misreads or mislabels the test
  • youve been part of a HIV vaccine study

Keep in mind, testing blood versus saliva may also affect accuracy of results.

If you receive a positive result, your doctor or clinic where you were tested will recommend a second test to confirm results. This will guide next steps in the process.

How Does An Hiv Test Work

An HIV test looks for evidence of HIV in your blood or oral fluid. This evidence may be the virus itself, HIV antigens and antibodies, or just the antibodies. Additional testing will be needed to confirm the results if you test positive. If you test negative, this means that you likely dont have the virus. To trust the results, youll need to be sure that you took the test at the right time to detect the virus. It takes some time after youve been exposed to the virus for an HIV test to detect it.

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Hiv Tests For Screening And Diagnosis

HIV tests are very accurate, but no test can detect the virus immediately after infection. How soon a test can detect HIV depends on the type of test being used. There are three types of HIV tests: antibody tests, antigen/antibody tests, and nucleic acid tests .

An initial HIV test usually will either be an antigen/antibody test or an antibody test. If the initial HIV test is a rapid or self-test and it is positive, the person should go to a health care provider to get follow-up testing. If the initial HIV test is a lab test and it is positive, the lab will usually conduct follow-up testing on the same blood sample as the initial test. Although HIV tests are generally accurate, follow-up tests allow the health care provider to confirm the result.

Where Can I Get Tested For Hiv

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Your health care provider can give you an HIV test. HIV testing is also available at many hospitals, medical clinics, substance use programs, and community health centers. Use this CDC testing locator to find an HIV testing location near you.

You can also buy a home testing kit at a pharmacy or online.

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How Do Hiv Tests Work

There are two basic ways to get HIV test results:

Laboratory tests. For these tests, a technician takes a sample of your blood and tests it. Youâll get results within a few days.

Rapid tests. These tests provide results in about 20-30 minutes. You can get them done in a community clinic or take them at home.

What Do Blood Tests Show

Blood tests show whether the levels of different substances in your blood fall within a normal range.

For many blood substances, the normal range is the range of levels seen in 95 percent of healthy people in a certain group. For many tests, normal ranges vary depending on your age, gender, race, and other factors.

Your blood test results may fall outside the normal range for many reasons. Abnormal results might be a sign of a disorder or disease. Other factorssuch as diet, menstrual cycle, physical activity level, alcohol intake, and medicines also can cause abnormal results.

Your doctor should discuss any unusual or abnormal blood test results with you. These results may or may not suggest a health problem.

Many diseases and medical problems cant be diagnosed with blood tests alone. However, blood tests can help you and your doctor learn more about your health. Blood tests also can help find potential problems early, when treatments or lifestyle changes may work best.

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Hiv Screening: What To Know

An HIV screening test checks to see if youâve been infected with the HIV virus. About 1.2 million people in the U.S. have HIV. But about 1 in 7 people donât know their HIV status. Also, about 40% of new infections are spread by people who are unaware of their HIV status or havenât had a test.

Research shows that routine HIV screening can help curb the virus from spreading. Also, if HIV is not caught early and treated, it may lead to AIDS.

Hiv Testing In A Health Care Setting Or Lab

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If you take a test in a health care setting or a lab, a health care provider or lab technician will take a sample of your blood or oral fluid. If itâs a rapid test , you may be able to wait for the results, but if itâs 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 rapid test result is positive.

  • If the test comes back negative, and you havenât had an exposure during the window period for the test you took, you can be confident you donât have HIV.
  • If your HIV test result is positive, the lab will conduct follow-up testing, usually on the same sample as the first.

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What Does The Test Measure

HIV tests detect the presence of the HIV virus genetic material, antigens, and/or antibodies. If these substances are detected, the test returns a positive result for HIV.

There are three types of HIV tests available:

  • Antibody test: The body produces antibodies after an HIV infection. It can take weeks to produce antibodies, so HIV antibody tests can only detect HIV from three to 12 weeks after infection.
  • Antigen/antibody test: Foreign substances that activate an immune response, antigens appear before the body produces antibodies. So antigen/antibody tests can detect an HIV infection earlier than antibody tests, within two to four weeks of becoming infected.
  • HIV viral load test: In addition to detecting an HIV infection, viral load testing can detect how much of the virus is in the blood. Although this type of testing can detect an HIV infection earlier than other HIV tests, its very expensive and is typically only used when someone has symptoms or a possible exposure to HIV.

Testing Sites And Policies

HIV testing is offered at CDC-funded testing sites and in other public and private settings, including free-standing HIV counseling and testing centers, health departments, hospitals, private doctor offices, STD clinics, and mobile testing units. The overall positivity rate at CDC funded test sites was 0.9% in 2019. The positivity rate for new diagnoses was 0.4% but was substantially higher for certain sub-populations . Among CDC-funded testing sites, non-health care facilities have a higher rate of clients testing HIV-positive than do health care and correctional facilities.

All states/territories have moved to HIV name reporting where a persons name is reported to the state if they test HIV positive. The state then reports the number of unique positive HIV tests to CDC . This is considered confidential HIV testing. There is also anonymous HIV testing offered at some testing sites where identifying information is not collected/reported.

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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.

Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection: Screening

Free and Anonymous HIV Testing Available

Recommendations made by the USPSTF are independent of the U.S. government. They should not be construed as an official position of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Pregnant persons The USPSTF recommends that clinicians screen for HIV infection in all pregnant persons, including those who present in labor or at delivery whose HIV status is unknown. A
Adolescents and adults aged 15 to 65 years The USPSTF recommends that clinicians screen for HIV infection in adolescents and adults aged 15 to 65 years. Younger adolescents and older adults who are at increased risk of infection should also be screened.See the Clinical Considerations section for more information about assessment of risk, screening intervals, and rescreening in pregnancy. A

Abbreviations: ACOG=American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists AIDS=acquired immunodeficiency syndrome ART=antiretroviral therapy CDC=Centers for Disease Prevention and Control HIV= human immunodeficiency virus STI=sexually transmitted infection.

For a summary of the evidence systematically reviewed in making this recommendation, the full recommendation statement, and supporting documents, please go to .

  • View the Clinician Summary in PDF

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Hiv Testing Outside Of A Health Care Setting Or Lab

If you get an HIV test outside of a health care setting or lab you will likely receive a rapid HIV test.

  • If the test comes back negative, and you havenât had a possible exposure during the previous 3 months, you can be confident you donât 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 locator to find a health center near you.

Learn about the different places where you can get an HIV test.

Where To Get Tested

Where you get tested for HIV depends on whatâs available in your area, how much you can spend, and your preferences. Among the places that offer testing are:

  • Health clinics and community health centers
  • County health departments
  • STD and sexual health clinics
  • Family planning clinics
  • Substance abuse treatment and prevention programs
  • LGBTQ+ health centers
  • Private doctorsâ offices

Testing through local health departments and college health centers is often free. Some nonprofits also offer free or low-cost testing.

If you test positive, these organizations can help you get treatment. If you test negative, they can tell you about ways to prevent HIV infection.

At-home testing kits are available online and at pharmacies without a prescription. They generally offer you access to telephone counseling before and after testing.

To find out where you can get tested, check or, or call 800-CDC-INFO .

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What Do Your Hiv Test Results Mean

If youâve 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 providerâs 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.

Types Of Hiv Tests And Their Window Periods

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There are three types of HIV tests: nucleic acid tests , antigen/antibody tests, and antibody tests,and they all have different window periods:

  • Nucleic Acid Test âA NAT can usually tell you if you have HIV infection 10 to 33 days after exposure
  • Antigen/Antibody TestâAn antigen/antibody test performed by a laboratory on blood from a vein can usually detect HIV infection 18 to 45 days after exposure. Antigen/antibody tests done with blood from a finger prick take longer to detect HIV .
  • Antibody TestâAn antibody test can take 23 to 90 days to detect HIV infection after an exposure. Most rapid tests and self-tests are antibody tests. In general, antibody tests that use blood from a vein detect HIV sooner after infection than tests done with blood from a finger prick or with oral fluid.

Ask your health care provider or HIV testing counselor about the window period for the test youâre taking and whether you will need a follow-up test to confirm the results. If youâre using a self-test, you can get that information from the materials included in the testâs package.

If you get an HIV test after a potential HIV exposure and the result is negative, get tested again after the window period. Remember, you can only be sure you are HIV-negative if:

  • Your most recent test is after the window period.
  • You havenât had a potential HIV exposure during the window period. If you do have an exposure, then you will need to be retested.

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How To Get Tested

HIV tests are conducted at doctors offices, medical clinics, and many community-based organizations. Taking an HIV test does not typically require a doctors orders, although HIV tests may be ordered by a doctor as part of a routine health screening. has lab testing available which can be completed at a local lab.

Importance Of Hiv Testing For Prevention Of Hiv Infection

People with HIV who know their status can get HIV treatment and remain healthy for many years. Studies show that the sooner people start HIV treatment after diagnosis, the more they benefit. HIV treatment reduces the amount of HIV in the blood , reduces HIV-related illness, and prevents transmission to others. People with HIV who take HIV treatment as prescribed and get and keep an undetectable viral load will not transmit HIV to their sex partners.

People who get tested and learn they dont have HIV can make decisions about sex, drug use, and health care that can help prevent prevent HIV. Taking HIV medicine called pre-exposure prophylaxis is highly effective for preventing HIV.

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White Blood Cell Count

White blood cells are a subset of cells produced in bone marrow whose primary role is to fight infection. A white blood cell count is one of the panel of tests included in the CBC that measures not only the total number of leukocytes but also the different types of white blood cells in a blood sample, namely:

Within the context of HIV, an elevated WBC typically means that your body is fighting an infection. Other tests can then be performed to pinpoint the cause.

An elevation of certain white blood cells may indicate a specific type of infection or an allergic inflammatory response. For example, higher than normal eosinophils may suggest a parasitic infection like toxoplasmosis, while elevated basophils can develop in people with a hypersensitive drug reaction.

A decrease in white blood cells may be the result of HIV medications , a minor viral infection, or a major opportunistic infection like tuberculosis.

CD4 T-cell lymphocytes are a type of white blood cell that HIV preferentially targets and infects. For this reason, they serve as the primary marker of your immune status if you have HIV.

Hiv Self Test Kits Are A Great Way To Make Sure Youre Staying Safe

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You can get the first test done at home, then send the results to your doctor. Its important that you get your first test done as soon as possible, because the earlier you know about an infection, the easier it is to treat it.

A lot of people are worried about whether or not they have hiv. If you have questions about testing for hiv, or if you need an easy way to do it yourself, this kit could be perfect for you!

The world of HIV testing kits has been a wild ride. In the past few years, weve seen a lot of innovation in this area and the emergence of new companies that specialize in providing self-testing products at home but very few companies succeeded

The HIV self test kit is a simple way to find out if you are infected with the virus that causes AIDS. The testing at home is done through saliva, and there are no side effects. The tests are easy to do, and you can get your results online in just a few minutes.Weve been testing our own blood for HIV since the early 90s. Weve found that doing it at home is the easiest way to get accurate results, and were proud to offer a self-test kit for just small price Rs 599 in india thats less than half what most labs charge!

You may think that you are protected from HIV, but it is possible to contract the virus if you have unprotected sex.

HIV self test kits are a great way to keep your mind and body healthy. Test yourself before you go to the doctor, and be confident that you know what is going on with your body!

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