HIV has a very dangerous reputation among diseases, making it a very well-known health issue. The HIV virus is known as one of the most dangerous viruses that humans can contract through negligible activities. HIV can never be cured, but you can always minimize the risks. 

Nevertheless, reducing the risks requires thorough examination of the virus. Raising awareness about HIV testing will help people understand the disease and reduce the risk of HIV.

An HIV infection is also known as human immunodeficiency virus. HIV mainly attacks our immune system and starts to weaken it over time. HIV infection targets the white blood cells, which are also called CD4 cells. Over time our immune system will start deteriorating, and we are more likely to get contaminated by other harmful diseases such as tuberculosis and other conditions. HIV testing is crucial, and people need awareness regarding it.

HIV has spread across the world and affected people in every corner. If we fail to care for HIV properly, it will progress to AIDS, also known as Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome. AIDS is more dangerous than HIV because it will take a harder hit on our immune system, leaving the affected person susceptible to more infections.

HIV infection is not a minor topic. HIV does not transfer from one person to another by hugs and handshakes but by having physical intercourse with the affected person, sharing syringes and needles, and more.

The Advantages of HIV Testing

HIV testing has a lot of benefits. We might not know, but we might be at risk of getting HIV. We might be physically involved with someone suffering from the disease without knowing about it. Therefore, HIV testing helps us understand our health better.

If we can diagnose or detect HIV early, we can get early treatments. Some treatments might even save our lives, considering HIV is a progressing disease and might later worsen and become AIDS. By detecting the disease early, a patient can mentally prepare to live with HIV and seek a professional’s help to minimize the risk.

Some people might test negative even after taking the test but might still be at high risk. In these cases, they can take medications such as PrEP. In addition to being given to HIV-positive individuals, it is also given to people at risk for HIV.

HIV testing also helps people stress less if they fear being infected. After getting the test results, things will be much clearer and help you understand your situation better.

What are the Different HIV Testing Methods?

To get HIV tested, you can always contact your nearest hospital and use the best-suited method. Some of the other HIV testing methods are:

Lab tests 

Laboratory-based tests in the hospital require you to draw your blood for further analysis. Your reports might take some time, depending on the health facility. You will receive a doctor’s consultation after your tests are back.

Rapid tests 

Rapid tests give you quick results. You must prick your finger for a blood or oral swab sample to take the test. The reports come back within minutes and are highly accurate. The use of rapid tests is common in areas that are underdeveloped and lacking in health facilities.

Home-based tests 

Home-based tests help you take the test at home and review the report online. Home-based tests come with a kit that might require collecting blood or an oral sample. After ordering it, you can send it back to the hospital. Your reports will be published online; you can access your accounts after posting them.

All these testing methods are 100% reliable. However, there is a period called the window period soon after exposure to HIV and taking the test. Therefore, sometimes during the window period, the test results might not be accurate. Consequently, you should take another HIV test to be 100% sure.

However, the tests are very accurate if you have already contracted with HIV. In most scenarios, you may be able to choose the best testing method for the best result.

Overcoming Barriers To HIV Testing

Some people have this misconception about not discussing anything related to HIV for several reasons. Health professionals must address the misconceptions and remove the associated stigma. It is important to eliminate the stigma and treat HIV as it should. Some of the ways to overcome the barriers to HIV testing are:

Awareness programs 

Educating the public about what HIV is and debunking the myths help people understand the disease better. Some people still believe HIV transfers by physical touch, but it is a myth. HIV misconceptions need to be clarified.

Advocating HIV policies 

It is important to advocate for HIV policies that protect people with HIV. Often healthcare and other institutes single out people suffering from HIV. We must create a supporting and encouraging environment for people fighting against HIV.

Counseling programs 

HIV patients can deal with their fears and cope with living with the disease by taking counseling classes. It can also help in removing common misconceptions about the disease.

Conclusion

In conclusion, there are still many misconceptions regarding HIV. Conducting different HIV-related workshops and awareness programs will help people understand the disease better, and they will also understand the need for HIV testing. We humans do not visit the hospital and get tested until the disease starts showing visible symptoms. But early prevention is always better than cure.

Outgoing people who have an active physical relationship, donate blood, or others should get HIV tested for their families and their safety. Even if a person gets diagnosed, there are still medications that will help them stay healthy. The importance of HIV testing is paramount to preventing people from unknowingly spreading the disease. Hence, prevention is always better than cure!

Categories: Health

Nicolas Desjardins

Hello everyone, I am the main writer for SIND Canada. I've been writing articles for more than 12 years and I like sharing my knowledge. I'm currently writing for many websites and newspapers. I always keep myself very informed to give you the best information. All my years as a computer scientist made me become an incredible researcher. You can contact me on our forum or by email at [email protected].