How Soon Can A Blood Test Detect Hiv
The window period is when a person is first exposed to HIV and when the virus will show up on types of HIV blood tests.
The window period can last 10 to 90 days, depending on their bodys immune response and the type of test that theyre taking.
A person may receive a negative test result during the window period even though theyve contracted HIV.
A person can still transmit HIV to others during this window period. Transmission may even be more likely because there are higher virus levels in a persons body during the window period.
Heres a quick breakdown of the types of HIV tests and the window periods for each.
How Soon Will Get The Result
Some types of HIV test give a result very quickly. Services that offer rapid testing will take a blood sample using a finger-prick test this will give a result within minutes. The same goes for self-testing kits. With other types of test that require the sample to be sent to a lab, the results may take a few days.
Introduction And Guiding Principles
A request was made by the Federal/Provincial/Territorial Committee on AIDS for the Public Health Agency of Canada to develop guidelines on HIV testing that reflect the realities facing care providers and their clients, as well as advances in HIV testing policy and practice. To inform the development of this guide, the Agency commissioned a literature review and consultations with key stakeholders, including people living with HIV/AIDS and other affected populations, academics, nurses, physicians, professional associations, non-governmental organizations, policy-makers, community workers, and legal and ethical experts. As a result, the recommendations outlined in the guide are based on the most up-to-date evidence and expert opinion.
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Getting A Result Quickly
Many services offer rapid testing, which means a finger-prick test that will give you a result within minutes.
A self testing kit ordered online and done at home will normally give you a result up to 15 minutes, depending on the kit.
A blood sample taken at a testing centre will be sent to a lab, with results ready within a day or up to a week later.
If you use postal testing, the lab will normally contact you a week or so later with your result.
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.
- Some community-based organizations.
- Mobile testing vans and community events.
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.
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How Soon After Risky Sex Can You Be 100% Sure You Are Clear Of Hiv
There is no single correct answer to this question. One recommended strategy is to get tested 2-4 weeks, 3 months, and 6 months after a risky exposure. Using a sensitive antigen/antibody HIV test, of those who are infected, most will test positive at 1 month almost all will test positive at 3 months and the rest will test positive at 6 months. If you have any symptoms that may be caused be acute HIV infection, you should be retested immediately, with an HIV viral load test included. Newer and more sensitive HIV tests make it more and more likely that HIV will be detected at earlier time points.
If you have been taking PrEP, tell your provider that when you are getting tested because PrEP may affect the ability of the HIV tests to detect early HIV infection.
Remember, if you have had risky sex, you may want to start PEP to prevent HIV infection. You should start this as soon as possible after the possible exposure to HIV, and ideally within 72 hours of the exposurecall your VA provider or go to an emergency room or urgent care clinic.
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.
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.
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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.
When You Should Take An Hiv Test
What testing service you should use, and which type of test, depends on when you might have been exposed to HIV. Signs of HIV infection dont show up in the blood right away. It normally happens within four weeks of infection, but can be longer.
If you think you might have been exposed to HIV in the last 72 hours , its possible to take post-exposure prophylaxis to help stop an infection from happening.
If your risk was recent, then your test provider will probably advise you to take a test immediately, followed by a second one a few weeks later. The second test will pick up any infection the first one may have missed.
If your risk was in the last three months, make sure you tell the person testing you, as it may affect the type of test youre given.
A self test is not guaranteed to pick up an infection thats occurred in the previous three months. If you think youve been exposed in the last three months, you should get a test in person.
Very occasionally it can take up to three months for antibodies to appear in the blood, so an HIV negative result is only totally accurate if three months have passed between the test and the last time a risk was taken. However, a negative result four to eight weeks after taking a risk is a very good sign that HIV infection hasnt happened.
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Where Can I Go For Hiv Testing
You can get tested for HIV and other STDs at your doctors office, a community health clinic, the health department, or your local Planned Parenthood health center. You might want to get your HIV test at a place that also has HIV counseling .
You can either get an anonymous” or “confidential HIV test, depending on the laws in the state that you live in. Confidential” testing means your name is on the test, and the results go in your medical records. Your doctors and insurance company may also see the results. If you test positive, your results are sent to your local health department so they know the rates of HIV in your area. But your results are protected by privacy laws, so nobody else can see them without your permission.
“Anonymous” testing means your name isnt on the test. Youll get an ID number that youll use to find out your results. Your results wont go in your medical records, and they wont be sent to your insurance company or the health department youre the only one who will know them.
STD testing, including HIV testing, isnt usually automatically part of your regular checkup or gynecologist exam you have to ask for it directly. Be honest with your nurse or doctor so they can help you figure out what tests are best for you. Dont be embarrassed: your doctor is there to help, not to judge.
How Much Does An Std Test Cost
How much you pay for STD testing depends on where you go, what tests you need, your income, and whether or not you use health insurance. It costs anywhere from $0-250, depending on which STDs youre getting tested for, and whether or not you have symptoms or need an exam.
You can probably get STD testing for free or at a reduced price if you have health insurance. STD testing can also be free or low cost with Medicaid and other government programs. And some health centers including many Planned Parenthood health centers give free or low-cost STD tests, depending on your income.
Planned Parenthood works to provide you with the services you need, whether or not you have health insurance. If youre worried about cost, check with your local Planned Parenthood health center, local health department, or other community health center to see if they can hook you up with STD testing that fits your budget.
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How Healthcare Providers Can Facilitate Hiv Screening
Healthcare providers should take an active approach to HIV screening, as earlier diagnosis and treatment leads to better health outcomes. Individuals with positive results should be linked to treatment and care. Those with negative results may benefit from counselling on risk reduction and prevention measures.
Testing Is Convenient And Inexpensive
Under the Affordable Care Act, insurers must cover HIV screening without a copayment. Ask whether your doctor can administer the test in his or her office. Some community health centers, substance-abuse programs, and hospitals offer free testing. You can find a testing site in your area using this CDC tool.
Keep in mind, Chan says, that although the test itself should be covered without a copay, an office visit to get the test may require one or may count toward your deductible.
Many clinics use a rapid HIV test, which will give you a result in about 30 minutes.
You can also test yourself at home using a kit you can buy at a retail pharmacy . The OraQuick HIV test, which has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration, usually costs about $40. It involves an oral swab and returns a result in around 20 minutes.
Because most HIV tests check for antibodies the body produces to fight the virus, and these can take time to build up in your system, no HIV test is accurate right after you may have been exposed. For a blood test at a doctors office, it may take three to 12 weeks for it to be accurate. For an at-home saliva test, youll need to wait at least two to three months.
Even if people get tested right after an exposure like condomless sex, they should reach out again three months later, Singh says.
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Who Will Know The Results Of My Testing
It depends on where you get your testing. Testing sites have different privacy rules. Ask about privacy rules at your testing site so you understand whether anyone else will know you got tested or see your results.
If you go to an anonymous test site, only you know the results. No written record of the test result is kept.
If you go to a confidential test site, the results will go in your medical record. Positive results are sent to the state or local health department. Your insurance company will have access to your results. Depending on the state you live in, your parent or guardian may be contacted.
Who Should Test For Hiv
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 exchange money or goods for sex or drugs.
- People who already have tuberculosis or hepatitis.
HIV tests are strongly recommended for:
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Testing Outside Of The United States
Rapid tests that have been approved for HIV home testing outside of the United States include:
- Atomo HIV Self Test. This test is available in Australia and has been approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration , the countrys regulatory agency. It tests for HIV in 15 minutes.
- autotest VIH. This test is only available in certain parts of Europe. It tests for HIV in 15 to 20 minutes.
- BioSure HIV Self Test. This test is only available in certain parts of Europe. It tests for HIV in about 15 minutes.
- INSTI HIV Self Test. This test launched in the Netherlands in 2017 and can be purchased everywhere except the United States and Canada. It promises results within 60 seconds.
- Simplitude ByMe HIV Test. This test launched in July 2020 and is available in the United Kingdom and Germany. It tests for HIV in 15 minutes.
These particular tests all rely on a blood sample taken from the fingertip.
None of them have been FDA approved for use in the United States. However, the autotest VIH, BioSure, INSTI, and Simplitude ByMe kits all have CE marking.
If a product has CE marking, it complies with the safety, health, and environmental standards set forth by the European Economic Area .
Recommendations For Hiv Testing
The purpose of this chapter is to make recommendations on who should be tested for HIV, and at what interval. The chapter also presents recommendations for increasing opportunities to offer HIV testing by integrating HIV testing with testing services for related infections and explores other possible occasions that evidence suggests may be effective in identifying undiagnosed cases. Additional provider and client resources, other HIV testing guidelines, and guidelines for HIV testing in specific contexts are provided in Chapter Five.
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Anonymous Hiv Testing Clinics
You can choose to get an anonymous HIV test, which means you are not required to use your real name.
You will get counselling before and after testing. Counsellors will give you information about HIV-AIDS, answer your questions and provide support to help you understand and deal with your test results.
Anonymous testing clinics:
Should I Wait To Take An Hiv Test
If you think youve been exposed to HIV, seek medical advice as soon as you can. The doctor or nurse you speak to will be able to advise you about when and how to get tested, so it wont have to be a decision you make on your own.
In some cases, it might be appropriate to get tested more than once. You may be advised to take an early test, and then a second test over 45 days later after the potential exposure.
An early test may show a positive or a negative result, and require confirmation from a second.
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How To Get An At
If youd rather test for HIV at home, there are self-test kits available.
An HIV self-test is an antibody test that can be used at home or in a private location, the CDC says. With an HIV self-test, you can get your test results within 20 minutes.
You can buy tests online or in-person at pharmacies. Local clinics may also offer at-home tests for free or at a reduced cost.
When you get your at-home test, you should follow the directions for how to use it included with the test. If you dont follow the directions as described, the test may not work and the results may not be reliable.
You can locate an at-home HIV test near you by entering your ZIP code into the tool at cdc.gov/hiv/basics/hiv-testing/hiv-self-tests.html.
How Much Will It Cost
As required by the Affordable Care Act, HIV screening is covered by health insurance without a co-pay. This includes most Medicaid programs. If you dont have health insurance, some testing sites may offer free tests or offer tests on a sliding fee scale based on income. Use CDCs Get Tested to search for free testing resources.
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