Ways & How

how to test for HIV

how to test for HIV

HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus; it is the virus that causes AIDS. Such a serious health threat should be given full attention and should not be taken for granted. This is exactly why it is important to know how to test for HIV. Like any type of virus, HIV wants to reproduce itself and spread. Once it reaches the T-cells of your immune system, it can spread to all parts of your body. When a person has HIV, the virus itself lives in that person’s blood and every body fluid that contains blood or white blood cells. With this, when a person is HIV positive, they can also transmit it to other people. Here are some of the many ways HIV can be transmitted: unprotected sexual acts or intercourse, transfusion of infected blood, transplanted organs from infected organs, breastfeeding, and sharing injection equipment. If you think you may be at risk, please don’t hesitate to get yourself tested. Here are some guidelines:

  1. HIV antibody test is the first test that you should undergo. If you have HIV, your body responds to this foreign entity by producing an antibody to fight it off.

    ntibodies can be present in your blood, saliva, or urine. Now, you want to have an HIV antibody test after the “window period.” This period is the time from the moment of possible HIV infection and when your body responds with antibodies. A false negative may result when you don’t take this into consideration.

  2. An antigen test or what is commonly known as P24 test is also another way to detect HIV. Antigens are known to be present on a foreign organism, which can initiate the production of the antibodies inside our bodies. In this case, P24 is the specific antigen that provokes an antibody response for HIV. This can be found in our blood serum. Although this test is rarely used for diagnostic purposes, it is a big component for the next test.

  3. The fourth generation test combined with the P24 test is known as one of the most modern HIV tests. These tests can detect HIV in its early occurrence and are very reliable.

  4. A Polymerase Chain Reaction Test or the PRC test is known as the most expensive text for HIV. This type of test uses the genetic structure of the virus to detect it as early as two to three weeks after the possible day of infection. This test is often used for babies whose mothers are HIV positive since they still retain the antibodies.

  5. A more convenient way is to do an HIV home sampling and HIV home testing. A home sampling kit includes extraction materials so you will be able to take a sample, which is usually blood. After which, you will give the sample to the laboratory. In the United States, Home Access Express HIV-1 Test Kit is the only FDA approved home sampling kit. On the other hand, a home testing kit will enable you to test your blood or saliva for a rapid antibody test. As of now, Uni-Gold is the only FDA approved kit. Any positive result on both kits is required to have a confirmatory test in a laboratory or a clinic.

Remember to never trust the initial test result. It is always for the best that you have a secondary confirmatory test done just to be very sure. HIV is not an easy infection to handle. Up until now, knowledge about this kind of disease is still the best prevention. Therefore, be sure you are up-to-date on the methods of how to test for HIV, and get tested regularly if you are sexually active.


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