As per research, there is a huge number of people all over the world surviving with HIV. And every year a large number of people are getting affecting, thereby increasing the total number of affected people. Amongst them, a large percentage of people are not aware of the fact that they are affected by HIV infection. Timely screening and treatment help in decreasing the mortality rate and helps in preventing future transmissions. The early you do HIV screening, the earlier you can start the treatment.
Have a look at how early HIV screening is highly beneficial for patients.
A large number of people obtain health care services, years before they are diagnosed. But unfortunately, they do not go for a test for HIV. Because of this, most of them are diagnosis in the later stages when it is quite late for them to get the benefits of early treatment. One of the most prevailing therapies called Anti-Retroviral therapy is very effective when treatment starts even before the symptoms appear. The sooner you start the treatment; you are less likely to get sick due to all opportunities infections along with AIDS and HIV related cancers.
How is early HIV screening beneficial to others?
As far as the prevention methods are concerned with early HIV screening is very important? Those people who are not aware of their HIV status are more likely to transfer the virus than those who know about their HIV status. No matter how less the percentage of people who do not know about their HIV status, they are responsible for 70% of new HIV infections. This is the reason why it is important to know about your HIV status. Those people who are well aware have very little chance of getting themselves engaged in high-risk behavior.
When the treatment for HIV starts, the viral loads of these people’s stats decrease at undetectable levels. The chance of someone transmitting HIV when the viral load is very less; almost zero. According to data, Art decreases the rate of infection in a community if all HIV positive people are tested. When there is a decrease in the viral load of the community, it means a very less number of transmissions.
Now you must be thinking, what is HIV screening?
One of the most common ways of detecting HIV is through a blood test. The screening functions by detection of
3. Both antigens and antibodies.
The Antigens are seen in the blood that too in huge quantities just a few weeks after infection, and then they become undetectable after that. But the antibodies take about 6-12 weeks to appear in the blood and continue. An adverse outcome in the HIV Prep test means there is no infection, and a positive outcome means there is an infection. However, sometimes, when a person tests positive should be tested again to be sure about the first test.
The time duration for HIV to get detected in a test.
An HIV infection can’t be detected immediately. It takes about four weeks or sometimes, even more, to show up in the test. There are different kinds of tests, and they all take different time for detecting the recent infection. If you are exposed most recently, it is often recommended that you should do one test immediately and then the second one some weeks after that. Sometimes it even takes about three months for the antibodies to start showing up in the blood. Thus, when an HIV negative result comes when you test after three months of exposure is accurate. The negative result after 4-8 weeks is also a good sign that infection might not be there. To be very sure, a test should be done 12 months after exposure.
There are varied reasons to go for HIV screening as early as possible. It offers you control over your life, and thanks to the treatment, it helps in preventing you from becoming ill. It will also save your life. It is often recommended to test at least once a year if you are sexually active without protection and if also starting any new relationship.
Where can you go for HIV screening?
- Clinic: A large number of people prefer to go to a clinic or any hospital to do HIV screening. It is usually free or confidential or volunteered. You can never be forced to take the test. Various tests can be used to check your blood or any body fluids to check the infection.
- Antibody screening test: This is also called the ELISA test that searches for a protein that is made by the body while trying to fight for the HIV infection. It is done usually after 2-8 weeks later. IT is very accurate but can’t detect early infections.
- Antibody/ Antigen combination test: This test keeps the capability to screen for HIV infection as early as 20 days after exposure. It tests for the presence of an HIV antigen, also called p24, that usually show up 2-4 weeks after the infection. It also does a test for HIV antibodies.
- RNA test: This is a type of HIV screening that looks for the virus itself and can detect the infection as early as ten days after exposure. It is quite expensive, for which it is usually not the first test you are more likely to take. But if you think you are at high risk and have some of the HIV ARS symptoms, then you are recommended to go for this test.
- At home: Doing a test at home means performing the HIV test at home all by yourself and then obtaining the outcome at home. You can take a blood sample from your finger prick or else your saliva with a swab. There are several self-testing kits also available that have been developed to make the process of home testing easy as well as convenient. But you have to follow the instructions very carefully as a small error can also invalidate the whole test. In a home testing kit, you can get your outcome 10-15 min after you perform your test.
- Free HIV testing: Several places offer free, rapid, and confidential HIV testing. They have a friendly team that makes the process of testing very easy and fast.
If you are eager to know about your HIV status, or recently you think you have got exposed to HIV, then you can search for a good clinic or lab to get the HIV screening done. Take charge of your life today and go for an early HIV prep test.