It has been recommended that all the people in the age bracket of 16 to 64 should get tested for AIDS at least once during their regular checkups. It is not necessary that AIDS will affect the people that are sexually active only.
AIDS can spread through various means such as the blood transfusion, syringes and much more. The HIV is present in the fluids in the body, and any activity that leads to the transfer of fluids can lead to the infection of HIV.
If you have been infected with HIV, the virus will only show in the tests after 4-6 weeks. In some cases, it might even take longer. So it is better to get tested for HIV regularly. Numerous ways can be used to test for HIV.
They are given below:
1. Antigen/Antibody Test
The antigen and antibody test includes the testing of both antigens and antibodies in the person’s blood. The antibodies are created when the body is exposed to a foreign substance like a bacteria or a virus. Antigens are the bacteria and the viruses that lead to the formation of antibodies. Hence for the people who have HIV, an antigen p24 is produced and is detected. These tests are done in laboratories and are also available as home test kits.
NAT or the Nucleic Acid Testing is the test that looks for the HIV in the blood rather than checking the antigen and antibodies. This is the most accurate test than the others. The analysis is highly specific and very expensive. This is only done in the case of high exposures to the virus or to confirm the presence of virus in the body.
3. Home Tests Or Self-Tests
Home tests or the self-tests are easily available for the people to get tested for HIV easily. These rapid tests involve either the saliva or the blood of the person being tested. These tests are of various types such as the ‘rapid antibody screening test’ that gives the result in just 30 minutes. The ‘oral fluid antibody self-test is another test that gives the results in 20 minutes. Another way is to collect the blood sample at your home and mail it to the lab for being tested, and the results are available within 24 hours.
If the test results of any of these tests come positive, you will need to get another test done to confirm the presence of the virus in the body. If both the initial and the follow-up tests come out to be positive, it is a sure sign that you have been infected with HIV.
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