Sunday, May 29, 2022

Where Can You Get Tested For Hiv Aids

If You Have A Negative Test Result Does That Mean That Your Partner Is Hiv

How to Get Tested for HIV – Episode 4

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.

Is Hiv/aids Different In Older Adults

A growing number of older people are living with HIV/AIDS. One reason is because improved treatments are helping people with the disease live longer. Nearly half of people living with HIV in the United States are age 50 and older. Many of them were diagnosed with HIV in their younger years. However, thousands of older people get HIV every year.

Older people are less likely than younger people to get tested, so they may not know they have HIV. Signs of HIV/AIDS can be mistaken for the aches and pains of normal aging. Older adults might be coping with other diseases and the aches and pains of normal aging, which can mask the signs of HIV/AIDS.

Some older people may feel ashamed or afraid of being tested. Plus, doctors do not always think to test older people for HIV. Some people may not have access to high-quality health facilities and services, which can limit their treatment options. By the time the older person is diagnosed, the virus may be in the late stages and more likely to progress to AIDS.

Remember, if you are at risk, get tested regularly for HIV.

For people who have HIV, it is important to start treatment as soon as possible after diagnosis. Treatment can help reduce the level of HIV in the blood to undetectable levels. When treatment makes HIV undetectable, the possibility of spreading the virus to a sexual partner becomes very low. This is known as treatment as prevention .

Know Your Partners Viral Load Count

For ART to be effective, your partner has to take the medication every day, at the same time each day. Skipping doses can cause the virus to replicate unchecked and possibly mutate into a form thats resistant to the medication. If that occurs, your partners viral load count may increase, which means there is a greater likelihood that the virus can be transmitted to you.

Encourage your partner to get their viral load tested at least twice a year, if not more often. If the results demonstrate undetectable levels of HIV, then Its pretty safe ,รข says Monica Gandhi, MD, MPH, associate division chief of the division of HIV, infectious diseases, and global medicine at University of California, San Francisco/San Francisco General Hospital.

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How Can Someone Test For Other Stds At Home

People can test for other sexually transmitted diseases , such as gonorrhea and chlamydia, using home testing kits. These tests usually consist of taking a urine sample or a swab from the genital area and sending it to a lab facility for testing.

The test should be repeated if a person received negative results, but theyre experiencing STD symptoms.

Another option is to have a healthcare professional order another test to ensure that the results are accurate.

How Can You Prevent Getting Or Transmitting Hiv Through Sex

Who Should Get Tested?

There are several ways to prevent getting or transmitting HIV through anal or vaginal sex.

If you are HIV-negative, you can use HIV prevention medicine known as pre-exposure prophylaxis or post-exposure prophylaxis to protect yourself. You can also use other HIV prevention methods, below.

If you have HIV, the most important thing you can do to prevent transmission and stay healthy is to take your HIV medicine , every day, exactly as prescribed. People living with HIV who take HIV medicine daily as prescribed and get and keep an undetectable viral load have effectively no risk of sexually transmitting HIV to their HIV-negative partners. Read more about Treatment as Prevention. There also are other options to choose from, below.

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Also Check: What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Hiv

What Does A Positive Hiv Test Result Mean

If you have a positive HIV test result, a follow-up test will be conducted. If the follow-up test is also positive, it means you are HIV-positive.

If you had a rapid screening test, the testing site will arrange a follow-up test to make sure the screening test result was correct. If you used a self-testing kit at home, a positive HIV test result must always be confirmed by additional HIV testing performed in a health care setting. If your blood was tested in a lab, the lab will conduct a follow-up test on the same sample.

If your follow-up test result confirms you are infected with HIV, the next thing is to take steps to protect your health and prevent transmission to others. Begin by talking to your health care provider about antiretroviral therapy . ART is the use of HIV medicines to treat HIV infection. People on ART take a combination of HIV medicines every day. ART can keep you healthy for many years and greatly reduces your chance of transmitting HIV to your sex partner if taken the right way, every day. Your health care provider will help you decide what HIV medicines to take.

If you have health insurance, your insurer is required to cover some medicines used to treat HIV. If you dont have health insurance, or you need help because your insurance doesnt pay for the treatment you need, there are Federal resources that may help you.

To lower your risk of transmitting HIV,

How Can I Know If I Have Hiv

The only way to know if you have HIV is to take an HIV test. Many medical groups recommend routine voluntary HIV screening of all patients aged 18 to 75 years of age as a normal part of medical care. The reason for this is that nearly one out of seven people infected with HIV are not aware that they have the infection.

Also Check: Can You Have Hiv Without Being Sexually Active

What Are The Types Of Hiv Tests

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.

Find Needle Exchange And Harm Reduction Programs

How to Get Tested for HIV | STDs

You can get free sterile harm-reduction supplies at over 35 needle exchange programs and over 370 access points across Ontario. Through these programs you can get:

  • safer-injection equipment including:

Through these programs, you can also:

  • safely dispose of both injection and crack smoking equipment
  • get condoms
  • get education and information
  • get referrals and counseling

Find the closest needle-exchange and harm-reduction program by contacting a public health unit near you or call the AIDS and Sexual Health Info Line toll free at 1-800-668-2437.

Read Also: What To Do If Hiv Positive

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.

When To Get Tested

Seek medical advice immediately if you think there’s a chance you could have HIV. The earlier it’s diagnosed, the earlier you can start treatment and avoid becoming seriously ill.

Some HIV tests may need to be repeated 1-3 months after exposure to HIV infection, but you should not wait this long to seek help.

A GP or a sexual health professional can talk to you about having a test and discuss whether you should take emergency HIV medicine.

Anti-HIV medicine called post-exposure prophylaxis may stop you becoming infected if taken within 72 hours of being exposed to the virus.

Read Also: How Long Does It Take To Get Hiv Test Results

How Is Transmission In The Workplace Prevented

The Centers for Disease Control recommend using routine practices to protect workers at risk from HIV exposure. This approach stresses that all situations involving contact with blood and certain other body fluids present a risk. Routine practices outline the use of barriers to prevent workplace exposure to HIV and other viruses. These barriers include the use of:

  • engineering controls such as retractable needles
  • safe work practices and administrative controls
  • protective equipment such as gloves, gowns or aprons, masks, and protective eye wear.

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Side Effects Of Hiv Treatment

HIV Tests: Uses, Side Effects, Procedure, Results

People on current HIV treatments may experience mild side effects including:

  • tiredness and fatigue
  • skin rashes.

If you are on treatment, see your doctor every 3 to 6 months.

Regular blood tests are necessary to make sure your treatment is working and not causing serious side effects. It is recommended that you also get tested for STIs and talk to your doctor about your sexual health and overall wellbeing. Ensure you are having routine screening for cancers and keeping your vaccinations up to date.

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Whats Next If The Test Is Negative

If a person gets a negative test result and its been more than 3 months since they may have been exposed, they can be fairly certain that they do not have HIV.

If its been less than 3 months since exposure, they should consider taking another HIV test at the end of the 3-month period to be sure. During that time, its best that they use condoms during sex and avoid sharing needles.

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.

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Is There A Cure For Hiv

There is no cure for HIV. But if you acquire the virus, there are drugs that help suppress the level of HIV in the body and prevent its spread to other people. Doctors use a combination of drugs called HAART to treat HIV/AIDS. Although it is not a cure, HAART has greatly reduced the number of deaths from HIV-related complications in the United States. HIV has become like a chronic disease, and people living with HIV receiving successful treatment can live a long and healthy life.

How Do I Know If I Have Hiv

HIV: Why Get Tested

The only way to know for sure if you have HIV is to get tested. You cant tell if you have HIV just by the way you feel, because most people who get HIV dont have any symptoms for years.

Testing is a good idea if youve had unprotected sex or if your partner tests positive for HIV. You should also get tested if youve shared needles with anybody . If youre pregnant, get tested for HIV at your first prenatal visit.

Luckily, HIV testing is pretty easy and painless. The best part about getting tested for HIV? Once you get it over with, it can really put your mind at ease. And if you DO have HIV, its best to find out right away so you can take medicines to help you stay healthy and lower your chances of spreading HIV to others.

Read Also: How Do You Know If You Got Hiv

How Do The Tests Work

Most HIV tests use a blood sample, either from a blood draw or finger prick. Others use saliva , but this is a little less accurate than blood tests.

Some HIV tests look for the virus itself. But most look for the antibodies for HIV. Antibodies are part of the immune system and fight infections. When someone is infected with HIV, the body creates antibodies to fight HIV.

Testing results may be available that day or can take longer come back.

Where Can You Get Tested For Hiv

You can get an HIV test at many places:

  • Your health care providers office
  • Health clinics or community health centers
  • STD or sexual health clinics
  • Your local health department
  • Substance abuse prevention or treatment programs

Many pharmacies and some community-based organizations also offer HIV testing.

HIV testing is covered by health insurance without a co-pay, as required by the Affordable Care Act. If you do not have health insurance, some testing sites may offer free tests.

These places can connect you to HIV care and treatment if you test positive or can discuss the best HIV prevention options for you if you test negative.

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

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How Much Do Hiv Tests Cost

Unlike rapid tests, blood tests for HIV are covered by Medicare, which means your doctor can order the test free of charge for you.

If you are not eligible for Medicare, you may also be able to claim some of the testing costs through private health insurance. Check with your provider to see if youre eligible.

What Should I Do If My Test Is Negative

Healthy You Healthy Hennepin

If your test result is negative, youll probably breathe a big sigh of relief. But dont let down your guard. Its important to protect yourself in the future. Talk to your healthcare provider about whether PrEP is right for you. The PrEP daily pill can reduce your risk of getting HIV from sexual contact by 99%. For IV drug users, it lowers the risk by 74%. PrEP is very important if you are HIV negative and in a stable monogamous relationship with HIV positive partner.

Even if you take PrEP, its still smart to practice safer sex. Always use a condom to reduce your risk of getting HIV and other STDs.

Read Also: How Would You Know If You Have Hiv

Why Should Someone Get Tested For Hiv

If someone is infected with HIV, it’s important to know because:

  • Starting medicines right away can keep a person stay healthy for a long time.
  • There are ways to stop the spread of HIV to others, such as using a condom and taking medicines.
  • A pregnant woman who is infected can get treatment to try to prevent passing HIV to her baby.

Another reason to get tested is peace of mind: A negative test result can be a big relief for someone who is worried about being infected.

What If Your Test Is Positive

If your HIV test is positive when you test at home, see your doctor or health care provider as soon as possible. Your doctor will perform further testing and make treatment recommendations as necessary. Although there’s no cure for HIV and AIDS, a number of drugs are available to help keep the virus in check and help you stay healthy.

This summary is intended for general informational purposes only, and should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. You should read product labels. In addition, if you are taking medications, herbs, or other supplements you should consult with a qualified healthcare provider before taking any over-the-counter medication as they may interact with other medications, herbs, and nutritional products. If you have a medical condition, including if you are pregnant or nursing, you should speak to your physician before taking these products. Consult a healthcare provider immediately if you experience side effects.

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