When Should I Get Tested For Hiv – About HIV | YOU AND I CAN STOP HIV | HIV Testing | Treatment of HIV | Living with HIV Testing for HIV
If you have regular sex, it’s important to get regular checkups to make sure you don’t have STDs or HIV.
When Should I Get Tested For Hiv
Most people get HIV from people who don’t know they have HIV. You may be having sex with someone who doesn’t know they have HIV – or you may think you don’t have HIV and have sex without condoms.
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HIV and STD screenings are called sexual health screenings. Sexual health screenings are part of taking care of yourself and your sexual partners—and it’s good for our entire community. STD rates are high in our community and HIV rates are on the rise. The more we test for HIV and STDs and get treatment, the faster we will reduce the rates of HIV and STDs in our community.
If you’ve had unsafe sex or shared injecting or tattooing equipment, ask your doctor or clinic for an HIV test as well. Regular STD and HIV testing means you can be diagnosed soon after infection.
Then you can get treatment before you get too sick and tell your sexual partners so they can get tested too.
If you are in a relationship, it is important to continue using condoms to prevent STDs and HIV until you are both sure that neither of you has an STD or HIV.
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If you can, it’s a good idea to talk to your partner about whether either of you will have sex with other people. If one of you has had unsafe sex with someone else, you may need to use a condom again until both of you are tested for STDs and HIV.
For complete blood tests, your doctor or nurse takes blood from a vein and sends the sample to a laboratory. The laboratory performs the test and reports the result to the doctor. If the test shows that you have HIV, your doctor will explain what this means. They will talk to you about starting HIV treatment pills and explain that you need to be extra careful with condoms every time you have sex. In some places they can also do ‘rapid tests’ for HIV – see below.
See this fact sheet for more information about testing for HIV, hepatitis B and C, and STDs.
You can get tested for HIV at your GP, health service or Aboriginal clinic. You can also get your local doctor to arrange an HIV test.
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Sexual health clinics offer free and confidential testing services. Some people are embarrassed to ask their family doctor for an examination. Sexual health clinics test for STIs and HIV all the time, and you may find it easier to talk about your sex life or drug use with a clinic health worker than with your family doctor or the Aboriginal Health Service.
Some doctors, sexual health clinics and community services offer rapid HIV tests. Rapid tests are called so because the test is easy and quick. A small amount of blood is usually taken from a finger prick. Then you wait about twenty minutes in the doctor’s office or clinic and get the result.
Rapid HIV test results are not conclusive. If your rapid blood test is “reactive,” it just means you may have HIV.
You will then be given a full blood test in the laboratory to determine if you have HIV. If you have HIV, the lab will tell your doctor.
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If you have been infected with HIV only in the past few months, it may not show up on an HIV test.
If you have had unsafe sex or shared needles in the three months before the test, it is important to get tested again in three months to double check that you are HIV free.
The laboratory that tests your blood will tell your doctor the result of your HIV test. They must not tell anyone else.
All medical information your doctor has about you is confidential. If you have been diagnosed with HIV, this information is also confidential. Doctors can generally only tell other people about your medical condition if you tell them they can, or if you give “consent” to share the information.
Hiv Testing, Sti Testing
All HIV cases are counted by state and territory health departments. Your doctor will tell the health service that someone has been diagnosed but will not tell them your name.
The health department needs to know the number of new HIV cases to ensure that people with HIV get good health care. Data on the number of people infected with HIV and how they became infected with HIV are also important for research. Collecting this information means that community health services can be funded to educate the community about HIV prevention and support people in our community living with HIV.
If you are diagnosed with HIV, your doctor will talk to you about telling your sexual partners to get tested for HIV. With this, we want to ensure that they too do not have the HIV virus. This is called “contact tracing” and can be done without mentioning your name. We’ll just contact your sexual partner and let them know it’s time to get tested for STIs.
Contact tracing is not about making accusations. You may have acquired HIV from one sexual partner and may have transmitted HIV to another sexual partner before you were diagnosed. The purpose of contact tracing is just to ensure that as many people as possible who might have HIV are tested and treated.
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See Better to know for advice on the different ways you can contact your sex partners – including how to do it anonymously. According to the CDC, about 1.1 million people in the United States are living with HIV, and about 56,300 people become infected each year. In addition, 20% of the population is unaware that they are infected. Early detection and treatment of HIV is important because it reduces patient mortality and prevents future HIV transmission. The sooner you are diagnosed with HIV, the sooner you can start treatment.
Most people infected with HIV receive health services in the years before they are diagnosed, but unfortunately are never tested for HIV. In fact, more than 33% of HIV-positive people are diagnosed in the later stages of the disease, when it is too late for them to reap the benefits of early treatment. Antiretroviral therapy (ART) is very effective if started early, before symptoms appear. The earlier you start treatment, the less likely you are to get opportunistic infections, HIV-related cancers and AIDS.
HIV screening is very effective in terms of prevention efforts. Those who do not know their HIV status are three times more likely to transmit the virus compared to those who are aware of their HIV status. The 20% of the population who do not know their HIV status are responsible for 50 to 70% of new HIV infections – so knowing your HIV status is vital. Studies show that people who are aware of their HIV infection are less likely to take risks.
When people start HIV treatment, their viral load drops to undetectable levels. The risk of someone passing on HIV when their viral load is undetectable is almost zero. In addition, ART helps reduce the viral load at the population level of people in the community. Data show that effective ART can reduce infection rates in the community if all HIV-positive people are treated. A reduction in viral load in the community means less HIV transmission.
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The most common way to detect HIV is through a blood test. The HIV test works by detecting:
Antigens are usually found in the blood in large quantities for several weeks after infection and then become undetectable. On the other hand, it can take 6 to 12 weeks for antibodies to be detected in the blood and to continue.
A negative result means that there are no signs of infection, while a positive result means that there is an infection. Someone who tests positive, however, should be tested a second time to make sure the first test is accurate.
HIV infection cannot be detected immediately. It usually takes four weeks or even longer for HIV to show up in a test. There are different tests and they all take different lengths of time to detect a recent infection. If your potential exposure was recent, it’s recommended that you get tested right away and then get another one a few weeks later.
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Very rarely, it may take more than three months for the antibodies to show up in the blood. So a negative HIV result three months after the risk was accepted is usually accurate. However, a negative result four to eight weeks after exposure is also a good sign that HIV infection has not occurred. To be absolutely sure, a second test should be done 12 months after exposure.
There are many reasons to get tested for HIV. Testing puts you in control of your life, and thanks to treatment, it can prevent you from becoming seriously ill. It can even save your life. Maybe your HIV status is not
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