Have you noted symptoms of HIV but are unclear about the status? Positive or Negative.
The spread of HIV and AIDS throughout the world and the deaths it has caused have made HIV a serious public health concern. Thus, community pharmacy worldwide is actively working towards finding effective HIV medicines and treatments.
With increased awareness and access to healthcare, early detection and proper management of HIV have become more feasible than ever before. In this comprehensive guide, we compelled an article on all you need to know about HIV testing to know your status accurately.
An Introduction to HIV and AIDS:
A virus called HIV attacks the immune system, specifically attacking CD4 cells (a type of white blood cell). When a person becomes infected with HIV, they may experience HIV symptoms like sudden weight loss, fever, night sweats, sore throat, and a few more. Aside from that, HIV detection is good at an early stage, since untreated HIV can lead to chronic asymptomatic AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome).
It’s important to remember that AIDS is the worst version of HIV. It can weaken your immune system making them more susceptible to various opportunistic infections and certain types of cancers that can cause severe illness.
Hence it is important for one who is living with HIV to take HIV early detection tests. The only way to know for sure if you have HIV is to get tested. So, without getting delayed speak to your health provider and take the right HIV medicines and treatment.
When an HIV and AIDS Tests Needed?
Here are some scenarios in which doctors highly recommend HIV testing results to ensure the patient’s safety.
- If you suspect you may have been exposed to the virus through unprotected sex or sharing needles.
- If you are engaging in high-risk behavior.
- If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant.
- If you experience any symptoms of HIV or AIDS.
- If you are in a relationship and want to ensure both you and your partner are healthy.
Overall, it is recommended to get an HIV screening test often, especially if you are at higher risk or have any concerns.
What are the Types of HIV Testing and Their Accuracy?
As the HIV symptoms and signs are not specific to HIV, they can be caused by other health conditions. Thus, in order to detect HIV/AIDS There are three types of tests mainly done to get accurate results. Have a look!
Antigen Test: One of the suggested tests commonly done for early HIV detection test is a rapid antigen test. It is possible to identify the presence of HIV antigens in the blood. An antigen/antibody test can usually detect HIV 18 to 90 days after exposure.
Antibody Test: The antibody test is another test for HIV diagnosis. Doctors recommend this form of HIV screening test to detect the existence of HIV antibodies. Results with a non-reactive/negative indicate that no HIV antibodies were found, while results with a reactive/positive indicate the presence of HIV antibodies.
Nucleic Acid Test (NAT): If a confirmatory test is required, NAT also known as DNA or RNA (Ribonucleic Acid) can be done. Using this test, you can diagnose HIV infection or determine the amount of virus present in the blood. NAT tests can also detect HIV in 10-12 days after exposure, but because of their high cost, they are used to detect HIV in high-risk individuals.
HIV is the most common STD (Sexually Transmitted Disease). In case you are concerned that you may be HIV positive, speak to your doctor without hesitation and start treatment as soon as possible.
Additionally, if you are searching for HIV medications and supplements that can help you manage HIV, get in touch with Scott Read Pharmacy – the best pharmacy in Houston to avail effective HIV medicines.