Ways & How

how to get an HIV test

how to get an HIV test

Once HIV is transmitted, the infection is automatic. The immune system immediately reacts to fend-off the invading virus. However, because HIV can go latent while it attacks the cells, the disease cannot be detected easily by the body’s immune system. Without early detection and antiviral medications, the infected person can become weak as the virus develops into AIDS. In order to detect the existence of the virus, it is indispensable to know how to get an HIV test. Individuals who are constantly exposed to the risk factors of HIV should undergo a series of HIV tests. The test results should not be viewed as a death sentence. Once the virus is detected at an early stage, the chances of slowing down the effects are very high. Read on below on how to undergo HIV tests correctly.

  1. Look for an HIV testing center. There are laboratory centers that offer HIV testing services. A particular center may be run by the government, privately-owned, or administered by an organization. In choosing a testing center, make sure it is reputable in terms of producing accurate and conclusive results.

    More importantly, the testing center must be accredited by the government.

  2. See a doctor. This is an option if the patient wants to undergo the test privately. The patient’s identity is kept throughout the procedure. Whatever the result of the test, only the patient and doctor will know about it. If the test yields a positive result, ask the doctor for possible treatments applicable in slowing down the progression of the disease.

  3. Blood Test. Blood testing is one of the procedures in detecting and confirming HIV infection. Once blood samples are collected, they are tested for traces of HIV antibodies. The test normally takes two weeks to complete. If you are in a hurry, a rapid test is a viable option and can be accomplished in twenty minutes. However, the initial result of the rapid test requires further confirmatory tests.

  4. Urine Test. Urine can also serve as a sample in detecting HIV infection. For the procedure, urine samples are screened for traces of HIV antibodies. However, the test result is not as conclusive as blood testing. Any result usually requires a further confirmatory test called a western blot.

    Oral Fluid Test. Using a special device, the patient’s saliva is collected from the mouth. According to Prof. Olaf H. Drummer at Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine and Department of Forensic Medicine, Monash University, Australia, “oral fluid (saliva) is excreted primarily by three glands: the parotid, sub-maxillary and sublingual and by other smaller glands.” The gathered oral fluids are then subjected to the western blot test to identify the existence of the virus.

    In terms of accuracy, Dr. David A Reznik, D.D.S. on hivdent.org said that, “data collected from hundreds of sites across the United States reveals that the use of oral fluid in rapid HIV testing is safe and easy to use, increases willingness for individuals to learn their HIV status, and has a high degree of accuracy well within the FDA’s expected range of performance (99.6 – 99.9 specificity).”

  5. RNA test. This HIV testing procedure traces the genetic material of the virus. The genetic material is then used in screening the blood for HIV antibodies. The accuracy rate of this testing procedure is very high because it can detect HIV antibodies that cannot be detected in other HIV tests.

  6. Do-It-Yourself HIV sample collection procedure. This involves the use of an HIV home testing kit to collect samples. The patient’s finger is pricked and the blood samples are placed in a specially treated card. The collected samples are then brought to a laboratory for formal HIV testing. The client is then given an identification number so he or she can be informed by phone regarding the test results. Clients who test positive are then advised to undergo further confirmatory tests. The only HIV home testing kit approved by the FDA is the Home Access HIV-1 Test System.

The ways on how to get an HIV test should not be overlooked, especially by those who are at a high risk of infection. HIV can only be tracked down through a series of tests such as the different procedures herein cited.


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