What You Need to Know about HIV Testing
We had so much to tell you about STD testing that we decided to shorten the segment to the topics that are rarely addressed. Here are the basics you need to know about testing for HIV.
Many people who have HIV don’t know they’re infected. Fortunately, HIV can be tested and detected in both females and males. While there is no cure for HIV, it’s manageable with drugs that help slow down the damage it does to the immune system. These days, many people live a long time with HIV. Unfortunately, HIV can lead to AIDS which can be fatal. You can learn more about HIV in an upcoming segment on viral STDs.
When it comes to HIV testing, there is a window period that needs to pass before antibodies can be detected. Just keep in mind that even though someone may not yet be diagnosed, if they have the virus, they can transmit the virus to other people.
Over 90% of newly infected people have positive results by 4-5 weeks, and over 95% by 6-8 weeks. However, testing again at 3 months and sometimes even later is recommended by some experts if the risk of exposure or likelihood of infection is particularly high. The commonly used HIV test is one in which blood is taken. There’s a rapid blood test—that produces results in about 20 minutes—and a rapid test that uses swabs of oral fluid.
To learn more and to find an STD testing site near you go to HIVTest.org.
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