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.
Hiv Testing And Your Rights
Testing for HIV is voluntary and can only be done with your informed consent, except in exceptional circumstances.
Before you are tested, you will be provided with information about what is involved. what the results might mean for you, and how to prevent HIV transmission in the future. All people who request an HIV test must receive this information from the test provider.
Under Australian and Victorian law, it is unlawful to discriminate against anyone who has HIV. Test results, and details on whether someone has been tested are strictly confidential. It is illegal for any information about a person being tested or a person with HIV to be disclosed without their permission.
Should Pregnant Women Get Tested For Hiv
CDC recommends that all pregnant women get tested for HIV so that they can begin taking HIV medicines if they are HIV positive. Women with HIV take HIV medicines during pregnancy and childbirth to reduce the risk of mother-to-child transmission of HIV and to protect their own health. For more information, read the ClinicalInfo fact sheet on Preventing Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV.
Appendix A: Ethical And Professional Considerations
Policy concerning the ethical and professional roles and responsibilities of care providers is informed by the providers’ respective institutional code of ethics as well as the professional colleges under which they are governed.
The following is designed to complement, not supersede, existing codes of conduct or jurisdictional health policies and regulations or any applicable laws and regulations of the jurisdiction.
Hsv1 & Hsv2 Incubation Periods
The herpes simplex virus can cause sores to appear around the mouth, genitals, and other areas of the body. These sores are both irritating and highly infectious, and direct contact with them is one of the main methods for transmitting herpes. Because the virus can spread through kissing, skin-to-skin contact, and oral, anal, and vaginal sex, it is very common. Herpes comes in two forms: HSV-1 and HSV-2, which are sometimes known respectively as oral herpes and genital herpes, despite that neither type of herpes exclusively affects a single region. Many unknowingly carry herpes infections without issue, but there is treatment available to manage extreme cases for those who need it. It is best to wait 4-6 weeks after the potential first exposure to be tested. 9)
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Who Is At Increased Risk For Becoming Infected With Hiv
People who engage in high-risk behavior like having unprotected vaginal or anal sex, people who have another sexually transmitted infection, people with multiple sexual partners, people who use or share intravenous needles to inject drugs, uncircumcised men, or people who have sexual contact with a known HIV- positive partner are the most at risk for contracting HIV. Additionally, pregnant women infected with HIV can pass the virus to their child during pregnancy.
Planning For Hiv Testing
Providing extended counselling, while preferred, may act as a barrier to testing for both the care provider and the testing client. The considerable resources and time required to conduct extensive risk assessments and pre- and post-test counselling have limited the ability of care providers to offer HIV testing. Behaviour-based risk assessments may also deter individuals from accessing testing, as such practices may involve revealing sensitive personal information. Both providers and clients may feel uncomfortable discussing such topics and, consequently, may avoid testing. The result is “missed opportunities” to diagnose those unaware of their HIV infection and link them with the treatment, care and support they need.
Providing sufficient information and supportive resources in conjunction with HIV testing does not necessarily require expertise in counselling or therapy. The level of support required in any given testing situation is highly dependent on the type of test and the testing client. While some clients may require comprehensive counselling, others may only need an abbreviated discussion supplemented with information resources such as brochures or websites.
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How Confidential Are Hiv Test Results
Your HIV status, like other medical conditions and test results, is protected by the HIPAA Privacy Rule and cannot be shared with friends, family, or employers without your written permission. Your HIV status may be shared with your healthcare providers who have a “need to know” in order to treat you. Also, in order to determine the incidence of HIV and to provide appropriate prevention and care services, all new cases of HIV are reported to state and local health departments.
Certain testing centers provide either anonymous or confidential HIV testing and counseling. The FDA has approved one home testing device that allows you to remain anonymous and to get confidential results. You can also contact your state, county, or city health department to find out where testing may be available.
Cost And Health Insurance
Most insurance plans, including Medicare and Medicaid, will cover the cost in full as part of the Affordable Care Acts essential health benefits.
It is important to note that, while point-of-care tests are typically covered by insurance, at-home test kits may not be. Check with your insurance provider to better understand your benefits in this regard.
If you are uninsured, you can find low- to no-cost testing sites through the GetTested locator offered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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How Hiv Is Not Spread
The HIV virus is NOT spread through “casual contact.” Some ways HIV/AIDS is NOT spread are:
- Normal day-to-day contact like shaking hands, being in the same room or hugging.
- Sharing plates, cups or silverware with someone who is HIV positive.
- Using a phone or toilet seat after someone who is HIV positive.
- Sharing a swimming pool with someone who is HIV positive.
So far no other family members of HIV infected children have gotten the virus from casual contact.
Should You Get Tested For Hiv
Everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 should get tested for HIV at least once. If your behavior puts you at risk after you are tested, you should think about being tested again. Some people at higher risk should get tested more often.
If your last HIV test result was negative, you should get an HIV test if you answer “yes” to any of the questions below about your risk since that test:
- Are you a man who has had sex with another man?
- Have you had sexanal or vaginalwith an HIV-positive partner?
- Have you had more than one sex partner?
- Have you injected drugs and shared needles or works with others?
- Have you exchanged sex for drugs or money?
- Have you been diagnosed with, or sought treatment for, another sexually transmitted disease?
- Have you been diagnosed with or treated 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 don’t know?
Sexually active gay and bisexual men may benefit from more frequent testing .
If you’re pregnant, talk to your health care provider about getting tested for HIV and other ways to protect you and your child from getting HIV.
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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.
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.
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What Happens If I Test Positive For Hiv
If your initial test is positive for HIV antibodies, then additional testing is required to confirm that the first one was accurate. Sometimes this involves a second blood test.
When you are first diagnosed you will probably experience strong emotions. During this time, do not try to cope on your own. Seek support by speaking with your doctor, or contact your local community organisation. They have trained peer workers available to help you through the initial stages of a positive diagnosis, but also through your journey of living well with HIV.
Part of testing best practice includes pre- and post-test counselling. Post-test counselling is important, regardless of the outcome. If you test positive, counselling can provide emotional support, further information about living with HIV, and referrals to support services.
If the test is negative, counselling can provide education about HIV and how to reduce your HIV risk in the future. are community organisations that provide support and advocacy for people with HIV. Peer workers are also available to help you navigate living with HIV.
If you have recently been diagnosed with HIV, visit Next Steps for more information.
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.
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What Information Is Collected When Someone Gets An Hiv Test From A Healthcare Provider Or Community Worker
Non-identifying information collected when a person has an HIV test may include age, sex, city of residence, name of the diagnosing healthcare provider, country of birth, ethnicity, and information detailing the HIV-related risk factors of the person being tested.
Whether the name of the person being tested is collected is determined by the testing option: nominal , non-nominal , or anonymous testing. Nominal and non-nominal testing are widely available in Canada. Anonymous HIV testing is available in some, but not all, provinces.
Nominal testing, or name-based testing, is available across Canada and often takes place within clinics, offices of healthcare providers and hospitals. When a person has a nominal HIV test, the HIV test is ordered using the persons name. If the test is positive, the result is reported to public health authorities using the persons name and the test result is also recorded in the healthcare record of the person being tested.
Non-nominal, or non-identifying testing, is also available across Canada and often takes place within clinics and offices of healthcare providers. If a person has a non-nominal HIV test, the HIV test is ordered using a code or the persons initials or an alias , not their full or partial name. If the test is positive, the result is reported to public health using the persons name in most provinces. The test result is also recorded in the healthcare record of the person being tested.
When Is It Ordered
Several organizations recommend routine screening for HIV:
- The Centers for Disease Control , American College of Physicians , and the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommend that anyone between the ages of 13 and 64 and pregnant women be screened for HIV at least once.
- The CDC and American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommend that all pregnant women be screened. Repeat testing in the third trimester may be done for women at high risk. A woman who wants to make sure she is not infected with HIV before getting pregnant may opt to get tested
- The American Academy of Pediatrics advises that all sexually active youth be screened, and that youths between 16 and 18 years old who live in high risk areas be offered HIV testing at least once, regardless of sexual history.
For additional details on screening recommendations, see the articles for Teens, Young Adults, Adults, and Adults 50 and Up.
Annual screening is advised for those at high risk for HIV and is recommended when an individual:
- Has had unprotected sex with more than one partner since the last HIV test
- Is a man who has had sex with another man
- Has used street drugs by injection, especially when sharing needles and/or other equipment
- Has exchanged sex for drugs or money
- Has an HIV-positive sex partner
- Has had sex with anyone who falls into one of the categories listed above or is uncertain about their sexual partner’s risk behaviors
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.
What Happens When You Go For A Test
Normally, testing involves taking a small sample of blood from your finger or your arm, or an oral swab. This is where you rub the testing pen along your gums to collect cells from your mouth.
How long it takes for HIV test results to come back will depend on the type of test you are taking. If youre taking a rapid test, you will be given your results within 20 minutes. Other types of tests will be sent to a laboratory and it may take between a few days and a few weeks for you to receive a final result.
Tests these days are very reliable, but if your result comes back positive, you should have a second confirmatory test to double check your result. If this is also positive, you will get an HIV diagnosis, after which you can start treatment.
Remember, HIV treatment these days is very effective and people with HIV can live long and healthy lives just like anyone else.
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When Can Each Test Be Used
Viral load can sometimes be detected within a week, p24 on average by day 16 and antibodies by day 25. However, these are average results a lot of people take longer.
A test that misses half of infections is not very useful.
So a 4th generation antigen/antibody test is recommend four weeks after exposure because it will detect 95% of infections.
Validating the timing of viral load , p24 and antibodies is difficult. Tests can only be checked against blood samples from the same people before and after infection. These are usually people who regularly donate blood .
Some of these people catch HIV without knowing it. When this picked up in blood screening, these samples are used for testing new HIV tests.
This is why it is impossible to give the percentage chance that a test will be accurate for each day. The tests have been checked on a limited number of samples. These sample reflect the large range of individual responses.
On average, viral load tests with a cut-off of 50 copies/mL detect infection about 7 days before a p24 antigen test and 12 days before an antibody test.
These relative times are only used when comparing new tests. They are not good at setting an absolute cut off at 14 days or 19 or 41 days etc.
Figure 13 shows the time ranges after an exposure. Very rarely an antibody response may take longer. Even more rarely an infection may not make antibodies. These people have positive viral RNA and DNA.
Should You Get Tested For Hiv If Youre Pregnant
All pregnant women should be tested for HIV so that they can begin treatment if they’re HIV-positive. If a woman is treated for HIV early in her pregnancy, the risk of transmitting HIV to her baby can be very low. Testing pregnant women for HIV infection, treating those who are infected, and treating their babies with antiretroviral therapy after delivery have led to a big decline in the number of children born with HIV.
The treatment is most effective for preventing HIV transmission to babies when started as early as possible during pregnancy. If pregnant women are treated for HIV early in their pregnancy, the risk of transmitting HIV to their baby can be 1% or less. However, there are still great health benefits to beginning preventive treatment even during labor or shortly after the baby is born.
Learn more about how to protect yourself and your partners, and get information tailored to meet your needs from CDC’s HIV Risk Reduction Tool .
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