Thursday, July 18, 2024

When Should You Get Tested For Hiv

What Are The Types Of Hiv Tests

Doing It Reasons Why You Should Get Tested for HIV

There are three types of tests used to diagnose HIV infection: antibody tests, antigen/antibody tests, and nucleic acid tests . How soon each test can detect HIV infection differs, because each test has a different window period. The window period is the time between when a person may have been exposed to HIV and when a test can accurately detect HIV infection.

  • Antibody tests check for HIV antibodies in blood or oral fluid. HIV antibodies are disease-fighting proteins that the body produces in response to HIV infection. Most rapid tests and home use tests are antibody tests.
  • Antigen/antibody tests can detect both HIV antibodies and HIV antigens in blood.
  • NATs look for HIV in the blood.

A persons initial HIV test will usually be either an antibody test or an antigen/antibody test. NATs are very expensive and not routinely used for HIV screening unless the person had a high-risk exposure or a possible exposure with early symptoms of HIV infection.

When an HIV test is positive, a follow-up test will be conducted. Sometimes people will need to visit a health care provider to take a follow-up test. Other times the follow-up test may be performed in a lab using the same blood sample that was provided for the first test. A positive follow-up test confirms that a person has HIV.

Talk to your health care provider about your HIV risk factors and the best type of HIV test for you.

Hiv Transmission In Australia

In Australia, HIV is commonly transmitted through:

HIV is not transmitted by:

  • kissing, hugging, massaging, mutual masturbation and other body contact
  • social interaction
  • sharing food, dishes, utensils, drinking glasses
  • air, breath, or being coughed or sneezed on
  • mosquito, insect or animal bites
  • use of communal facilities .

It is perfectly safe to consume food and drinks prepared by someone who is HIV-positive even if theyre not receiving treatment.

People with HIV who are on treatment and achieve and maintain an undetectable HIV viral load cannot transmit HIV sexually.

Is There Anything Else I Should Know About Being Tested For Hiv

The decision to take the test and then wait for the results can be very stressful. If your test result is HIV-positive, you will have many decisions to make.

Even though it is stressful, you need this information to decide what is best for you and your family. Be reassured that there is support available if you find out you are HIV-positive during your pregnancy.

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When Should I Test For Hiv

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , everyone between the age of 13 and 64 years should get tested for human immunodeficiency virus at least once in their lifetime, and more often for those at higher risk. HIV testing is very important for individuals who are sexually active, particularly those who have multiple partners.

Regardless of your background, here are common reasons to consider for HIV screening:

  • If you recently had unprotected sex with a new partner, its a good idea for both partners to get tested for sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV.

  • The CDC recommends that every pregnant woman must be screened for HIV.

  • You should get tested before starting post-exposure prophylaxis in cases of sexual assault and occupational needle prick injuries.

  • You should get tested after completing PEP.

  • You should get tested quarterly while taking pre-exposure prophylaxis .

Certain groups of people are considered at a higher risk of HIV exposure and, therefore, should be tested for HIV at least once a year. These include:

  • People who have unprotected intercourse with multiple sexual partners, or who have unprotected intercourse with someone who has multiple sexual partners.

  • Sexual partners of people who are HIV-positive.

  • People who inject drugs intravenously or use shared needles, and their sexual partners.

  • People who already have tuberculosis or hepatitis.

HIV tests are strongly recommended for:

Standard testing:

Hiv Testing: Questions For The Doctor

How Often Should You be Getting Tested for HIV/STDs ...
  • HIV Testing: Questions for the Doctor
  • HIV is the virus that causes AIDS. If you have HIV , early treatment can help you live a long, healthy life.

    The only way to know if you have HIV is to get tested. Everyone ages 15 to 65 needs to get tested for HIV at least once. All pregnant women also need to get tested. If youre at higher risk for HIV, you may need to get tested more often.

    If you get tested at a doctors office or clinic, you can ask for a confidential test. This means the test results will only be available to people you allow to see your medical records. Some clinics offer anonymous HIV testing. This means that you dont have to give your name.

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    How Often Should You Get Tested

    Just getting tested once may not be enough. National guidelines from the CDC and other groups recommend retesting at least once a year for anyone at higher risk for getting HIV, including:

    • Men who have sex with men
    • People with more than 1 sexual partner
    • Transgender people who have sex with men
    • People who have recently had a sexually transmitted infection
    • People who use injection drugs

    The CDC also suggests regular retesting for some sexually active gay and bisexual men. About every 3 to 6 months.

    You should also get tested or retested if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

    Why Is Hiv Testing Important

    Knowing your HIV status can help keep youand otherssafe.

    If you are HIV negative:

    Testing shows that you dont have HIV. Continue taking steps to avoid getting HIV, such as using condoms during sex and, if you are at high risk of getting HIV, taking medicines to prevent HIV . For more information, read the ClinicalInfo fact sheet on HIV prevention.

    If you are HIV positive:

    Testing shows that you have HIV, but you can still take steps to protect your health. Begin by talking to your health care provider about antiretroviral therapy . People on ART take a combination of HIV medicines every day to treat HIV infection. ART is recommended for everyone who has HIV, and people with HIV should start ART as soon as possible. ART cant cure HIV, but HIV medicines help people with HIV live longer, healthier lives.

    A main goal of ART is to reduce a persons viral load to an undetectable level. An undetectable viral load means that the level of HIV in the blood is too low to be detected by a viral load test. People with HIV who maintain an undetectable viral load have effectively no risk of transmitting HIV to their HIV-negative partner through sex.

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    Should You Consider Preventive Medication

    How quickly a person is able to see a healthcare provider after exposure to HIV can significantly affect their chances of contracting the virus.

    If you believe youve been exposed to HIV, visit a healthcare provider within 72 hours. You may be offered an antiretroviral treatment called post-exposure prophylaxis that can reduce your risk of contracting HIV. PEP is typically taken once or twice daily for a period of 28 days.

    PEP has little or no effect if taken more than

    Learn More About The Importance Of Knowing Your Status

    Mayo Clinic Minute: Why you should get tested for HIV

    Theres no shame in getting tested for HIV. In fact, did you know about 46% of adults in the U.S. have been tested for HIV at least once?

    If youre sexually active, knowing your HIV status gives you power. When you choose to get tested, youre not only caring for your sexual health and safety, but also that of your partners and community. Testing is safe, painless and private only you and your healthcare provider need to know.

    And while this may be, theres no need to worry about what others may think about your choice to get tested. By understanding how HIV testing plays a role in your sexual health, you can be a part of the mission to make HIV stigma a thing of the past.

    Even if you dont think you have HIV symptoms or have been exposed to HIV at any point in your life, you should still get tested at least once for the following reasons:

    To Be Responsible

    Be you where the change begins. By getting tested for HIV, youre taking matters into your own hands and choosing to help prevent the spread of the virus. Youre also protecting your family, partner, friends and community, and can even become a role model to inspire others to get tested and know their status.

    To Live a Healthy Life

    To Take Control

    Its Quick and Easy

    HIV testing is quick, easy and accessible. Whether you have health insurance or not, confidential testing is available for free or at a very low cost through most healthcare providers.

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    Why Is The Frequency Of Hiv Testing Important

    In Canada we are not doing well at diagnosing HIV and engaging people in treatment and care. According to recently revised 2014 estimates from the Public Health Agency of Canada , about 13,000 of the 65,040 people living with HIV in Canada are unaware of their HIV status.2 This represents about 20% of all people with HIV.

    The importance of testing for HIV so that people are aware of their HIV infection as early as possible cannot be overstated, particularly given recent advances in our understanding of HIV treatment. Advances in treatment mean that people with HIV can live almost as long and as healthily as people who are uninfected.3 But to get the most out of treatment, however, research shows it needs to be started soon after someone is infected with the virus.4 Research also now tells us that the consistent and correct use of antiretroviral treatment by people living with HIV to maintain an undetectable viral load is a highly effective strategy to reduce the risk of the sexual transmission of HIV.5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13

    How Can I Get Tested For Hiv

    You can get an HIV test at a doctor’s office or clinic or you can test yourself at home. There are different types of HIV tests. Some use a sample of your blood and some use saliva .

    How long does it take to get the test results?

    It depends on the type of HIV test you get.

    • Lab tests take from a few days to 2 weeks to give results.
    • Rapid tests give results in 30 minutes or less.
    • Home test results can be ready in 20 minutes or by the next business day.

    If you test positive, you’ll need a second HIV test to be sure. Find out more about the different types of HIV tests.

    Whats the difference between confidential and anonymous testing?

    When you get tested at a doctors office or clinic, your test results are confidential. This means they can only be shared with people allowed to see your medical records.

    If you’re worried about giving your name, you can get an anonymous HIV test at some clinics. This means that you dont have to give your name. Learn more about confidential and anonymous HIV testing.

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    Why Do I Need An Hiv Test

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 get tested for HIV at least once as part of routine health care. You may also need an HIV test if you are at higher risk for infection. HIV is mainly spread through sexual contact and blood, so you may be at a higher risk for HIV if you:

    • Are a man that has had sex with another man
    • Have had sex with an HIV-infected partner
    • Have had multiple sex partners
    • Have injected drugs, such as heroin, or shared drug needles with someone else

    HIV can spread from mother to child during birth and through breast milk, so if you are pregnant your doctor may order an HIV test. There are medicines you can take during pregnancy and delivery to greatly reduce your risk of spreading the disease to your baby.

    Responses To Std Testing How To Where Privacy And Cost

    3 Types of HIV Tests Available Today
  • Nancy

    Thank you so much for your help!Can I just go to the test location and pay for the test there?

  • It was simply excellent, Three day turnaround, electronic convenience for getting results and ordering tests, and no wait time at the lab either. I was in and out within 10 minutes.

    Thanks for posting this!

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    How Do People Get Hiv

    HIV is passed from one person to another:

    • through sexual intercourse ,
    • through blood , and/or
    • from mother to baby.

    Most women with HIV have been infected through sexual intercourse. Many did not know their partner was HIV-positive.

    If you use drugs or get a new sexual partner while you are pregnant, or do not totally trust your partner, you should be tested for HIV, syphilis, and hepatitis B at the beginning and near the end of each pregnancy. No one will think badly of you if you ask to be tested again. They will know you are trying to do the best thing for your baby.

    Reasons Why You Should Get Tested For Hiv/aids

    One of the many resources we are able to provide to the tri-state is access to free hepatitis C and HIV testing. You may feel nervous about getting tested, but the reasons to test far outweigh the reasons to avoid it! Heres a few reasons why you should look into testing:

  • Youre in a new relationship and need to know your status. If youve just entered a new relationship, getting tested helps protect your partner as well. Testing for HIV regularly, and knowing your status, means that you can look after the sexual health of your partner, too.
  • You know someone who also wants to get tested. This is a perfect opportunity for you to get tested. You can offer one another moral support.
  • Its been a while since you were last tested. Whether its been a few months or several years, if youve had unprotected sex, its a good idea to get checked.
  • Youre having flu-like symptoms. If no one else around you has been sick or is currently sick and you are vulnerable to the disease, dont rule out HIV. If you do test positive, early treatment is best to help with managing symptoms. While there is currently no cure for HIV, it can be controlled and managed with medication.
  • You may be at risk without knowing it. Knowing your status is the best way to help prevent the spread of the disease. The CDC estimates that about 1.1 million people live with HIV in the U.S., but about 1 in 7 dont know they are infectedyou can be HIV positive for a decade or more before experiencing any symptoms.
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    An Ounce Of Prevention

    Testing for HIV is important, but so is prevention.

    According to the CDC, abstinence and monogamy with an uninfected partner can limit the risk of HIV, and “consistent and correct use of latex condoms is highly effective in preventing sexual transmission of HIV.”

    But those are not the only strategies that can help protect you against HIV.

    Last year, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, an independent expert panel that makes recommendations to the government and medical organizations about preventive care, recommended that anyone at high risk for HIV use pre-exposure prophylaxis .

    PreP is a regimen of daily medications that can reduce the risk of HIV infection.

    Additional reporting by Lauren F. Friedman

    Who Else Should Get Hiv Tests

    HIV Testing

    The CDC recommends that everyone between ages 13 and 64 get tested at least once even if you have no risk factors for HIV. Other people who should get tested at certain times or regularly include:

    Pregnant women. HIV can be passed from mother to child in the womb. HIV testing is part of pregnancy care, but you have to agree to do it. If you test positive, antiretroviral therapy can protect your unborn baby from getting HIV. This works extremely well if you start treatment early.

    People in a high-risk group. Get tested at least every 12 months if you inject drugs, work in the sex trade, have multiple sex partners, or do anything else that puts you at a higher risk.

    If you are a sexually active gay or bisexual man, consider testing every 3 months. This is especially important if you donât know whether or not your partner or partners have HIV. Most infections happen in men who have sex with other men, and many donât know if they have HIV or not.

    CDC: âTesting,â âHIV Risk Reduction Tool: The Window Period,â âHIV Risk Reduction Tool: Post-exposure Prophylaxis for Preventing HIV after Exposure,â âAn Opt-Out Approach to HIV Screening,â âHIV and Gay and Bisexual Men.â

    NAM AIDSMap : âFalse negative results on HIV tests.â âHIV Testing Overview,â âHow Can You Tell If You Have HIV?â

    San Francisco AIDS Foundation: âThe Questions about PrEP.â

    GMHC: âHIV/AIDS Basics,â âThe GMHC Testing Center.â

    Avert: “When to Get Tested for HIV.”

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    What Support Is Available

    If you receive an HIV diagnosis, you can find help. Your healthcare provider can recommend support groups and counselors.

    If someone tells you they are HIV-positive, they are telling you because they trust you. The time right after diagnosis can be very tough. You can support them in many ways:

    • Be a friend. While they may not be ready to talk about their diagnosis right away, show them you care by treating them as you did before.
    • Listen. Your friend may just need someone to listen to their concerns and fears. Be there for them.
    • Learn about the disease. The reference section of this article has additional information to learn about the condition.
    • Encourage them to seek treatment. Your friend may not realize they have options available. They do, and they can get treatment. Help them find it and stick to it.
    • Get help for yourself. While it will be a challenging time for your friend, you may need some support too. Talk to others a counselor, for example about any concerns or anxieties you may have.

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