What is the first test used for detecting HIV?
Approximately 1.2 million Americans are infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and more than 150,000 of them are unaware. Approximately forty percent of new HIV infections each year are transmitted by undiagnosed individuals.
It is sensitive to be tested in order to be certain.
Who Ought to Be Tested?
According to the CDC, everyone aged 13 to 64 should be tested for HIV at least once. All pregnant women should be tested as early as feasible in their pregnancies.
If you have any of the following risk factors, you should be screened annually:
- You have had sexual contact with another man.
- You’ve had multiple sexual partners since your previous HIV test.
- You used intravenous drugs and shared needles.
- You traded sex for drugs or cash.
- Another sexually transmitted disease has been identified.
- You had sexual contact with a person whose sexual history is unknown or who has HIV.
- Other factors can raise your risk of HIV, so ask your physician how frequently he or she recommends you be tested.
This is the initial HIV test that is administered. If the findings indicate that you are HIV-positive, you will need a second test to confirm it.
Two frequent screening tests include:
The antibody test is the most prevalent HIV screening test. It searches for disease-fighting proteins (antibodies) your body produces if you have HIV rather than the virus itself. They are detectable in the blood, urine, and saliva. It can take between 3 and 12 weeks to produce enough antibodies to detect HIV infection.
This screening test is also known as a combination or fourth-generation antigen/antibody test. It looks for HIV antibodies as well as a portion of the virus (called an antigen) in your blood. This test can detect the presence of HIV in your blood between 2 to 6 weeks of exposure.
Read Also: How To Ace Your Assignment With Online Help?
Nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT): This test draws blood from a vein to detect real viruses in the blood. It can detect the presence of HIV in the blood as early as 7 to 14 days after infection. However, this test is costly and is not used frequently for screening unless you have recently had a high-risk exposure or a probable exposure and have early symptoms of HIV infection.
The FDA has authorized two home HIV tests that detect antibodies. However, there are more than two on the Internet. If you purchase a test online, choose one of the following FDA-approved options:
- You prick your finger to obtain a blood sample, which is then sent to a laboratory. If the result is affirmative, the sample is immediately subjected to a second test. You can call on the following business day to obtain your findings, including the follow-up test.
- This test provides “quick results.” It includes a test stick and a test tube containing fluid. You use the stick to swab your gums, then place the sample in the test tube. You get results in 20 minutes. If you test positive, you will require additional testing at a clinic or physician’s office.
The second examination must be a blood draw. The following are used to confirm a positive screening test result:
- This test is used to determine whether an individual has HIV-1 or HIV-2. It helps your physician choose how to treat your specific virus.
- The HIV -1 nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT) can detect the presence of HIV in the blood as early as 7 to 14 days after infection.
- Western blot (or immunofluorescence indirect assay): As with the screening tests, this examines if your body has produced antibodies to combat the infection.
Why Be Examined
Don’t let anxiety about taking an HIV test prevent you from doing so. Regardless of the outcome, it can help you make informed decisions about your body and health:
If you test positive, treatment can begin. Consult your physician regarding antiretroviral therapy (ART). This requires a daily cocktail of HIV medications. Although it cannot cure HIV, it can help you live a longer, healthier life.
If you test positive, you have the ability to safeguard others. ART aids more than just the individual with HIV. If you take the medication as prescribed, you can reduce the chance of transmitting the virus by as much as 96 percent. Those with HIV should always use a condom during sexual activity and never share needles if they inject drugs.
If you test negative, you can take precautions. A negative result can serve as a reminder of the need of using a condom, especially when you consider that 1 in 8 HIV-positive individuals are unaware of their status.
If you are HIV-negative but fear you have just been exposed to the virus, consult a physician about post-exposure prophylaxis, or PEP. You can take HIV medications that can help prevent infection if you begin them within 72 hours of becoming infected
Healthcare coverage and HIV
You can determine your HIV status without cost. Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA or Obamacare), most insurance plans provide HIV testing at no additional cost for those ages 15 to 65 and anyone at increased risk of HIV. Additionally, several clinics offer free HIV testing.
If you are concerned that a positive HIV test result will prevent you from obtaining health insurance, the ACA guarantees that you cannot be denied coverage or dismissed from coverage due to your HIV status.
Read Also: Hospitality and hotel management in brief