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HIV/AIDS Screening Test, Diagnosis and Types

hiv testing

What is HIV/AIDS Screening Test?

A certain procedure where a sample of blood is extracted from an individuals’ vein and checked for a possible infection is what generally called an “HIV Screening”. This medical procedure has been acknowledged fully as the prevailing method to know an individuals’ condition and status. In the process, the test will look for immunoglobulin or antibodies, a certain protein produced in the blood while the body’s immunity fights illnesses or diseases.

It is a requirement to be aware of our status. And more importantly, making sure that we undergo the process as early as possible. After the screening, it’s either you’ll get a positive or negative result. If you are positive of the infection, you’ll likely receive urgent treatment involving ART or antiretroviral therapy. However, if you are negative, you’ll be advised to take precautionary measures to avoid possible infection in the future. For your reference, there are clinics worldwide that offer easy access and free screening that you can take advantage of.

Why is it necessary to undergo a screening involving HIV?

Getting screened at the earliest possible is not just a requirement but a necessity for all. This way, you will know your chances of HIV acquisition. Other than that, it prevents an individuals’ risk for acquiring the most progressive phase of HIV – being the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Once you are diagnosed early, you will have a greater chance to recover speedily.

Note that HIV screening is for everyone. Regardless of age, a person can be a candidate for infectious HIV. However, there is a specific basis that an individual must consider to get into this kind of process.

  • If you have been involved in sexual activities with different partners (male or female)
  • Male-to-male sex; a male individual engaged in sexual intercourse with another male individual
  • If you have been involved in unsafe sexual intercourse (failure to use condoms and other devices that prevents infection spread)
  • Engaged in contaminated drug shared injection; either syringes, needles, and other piercing equipment
  • Has prevailing sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)
  • Has hepatitis or tuberculosis; receiving treatment induced by the same infection

HIV Type Tests

The screening for this disease covers three distinct methods. While they may be different, these procedures have proven effectiveness in finding out someone’s medical condition. Understand all these types and select your best possible option.

Antigen/Antibody Test

This form of screening has the capacity to check for the infection succeeding an early exposure. If you prefer a type of test that tells immediate results, this might the right fit for you. Just like other tests, blood is extracted from an individual and will be followed through antibody examination, as well as the antigens. The result will be available after 20 minutes of checking.

Antibody test

Also termed as ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay), this form of testing refers to the inspection of antibodies to the virus. It is done by checking for a specific protein that the human body creates after the initial infection.

Nucleic Acid Test (NAT)

A form of testing that quickly inspects the virus inside the blood cells is what is medically termed “NAT” or nucleic acid test. While this test can give quick results, it is still expensive. However, regardless of the high cost, your medical specialist may still suggest this test if you are experiencing hostile symptoms and diseases.

If you prefer not to go to clinics, you can do the testing yourself. There are in-home kits that can be useful and can be purchased in different pharmacies and even online. To avoid the mistaken diagnosis, ensure that you follow the directives included with the kits.

Test Results

Positive Result

When you receive a result noting a reactive condition, that means you are positive about having the infection. If this occurs, you will likely get another screening to ensure an accurate diagnosis. The process is necessary as any test should be according to the guidelines for the said human immunodeficiency virus screening. Assuming that the result is the same as the first one, you will be clearly diagnosed with the infection. In conclusion, treatment will be given accordingly to ensure your safety.

Negative Result

When you receive a result noting a non-reactive condition, that means you are negative about having the infection. However, regardless of the result, you should still be wary enough of your health. Note that you are still a candidate for the disease, so make sure you are following the right ways to avoid its malignant effects. Aside from practicing different safety measures, you can also go to your physician and ask for a possible PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) treatment.

Get tested while it is still early. Move and visit the nearest hubs and clinics that offer testing for free. It is essential that you know your condition today to get medical therapy immediately.

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