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Get The Facts About HIV Screening Tests

HIV Screening Test
HIV Screening Test
Photo by David McNew/Getty Images

HIV is also known as the human immunodeficiency virus. It is the virus that can cause AIDS. There are screening tests that can determine if one has been exposed to this virus. There are also several facts that one should know about these tests including the following:

Reasons To Take These Screening Tests

These screening tests should be taken whenever one believes there is a chance that they may have been exposed to the HIV virus. Exposure to this virus can occur if one has ever had the following, according to the website, WebMD:

• Several Sexual Partners
• Unprotected sex (even if it was with one partner)
• Taken drugs through an injection
• Had any transmitted disease in the past such as hepatitis, herpes, or TB
• Had sex for money
• Had sex with a person who had been previously exposed to the HIV virus

Types Of Screening Tests That Are Available

When a person is exposed to HIV, the person will begin producing what is known as immune attacking antibodies in their body. Simple antibody tests can show if these antibodies are then present in the person. These antibody tests can be taken through blood tests, urine samples, or saliva testing. However, these antibodies may not show up for six to twelve months after exposure. Therefore, repeat testing is considered necessary.

Rapid HIV tests can give a person results in twenty minutes. This is usually known by blood or saliva. Yet, if the person is tested negative during a rapid HIV test, the doctor will still generally want to do follow testing later, just in case the antibodies haven’t had time to grow.

Home testing is known through a simple draw of blood through the tip of one’s needle. Then the blood is sent into a lab. However, to get true results one should do follow up testing again in three to six months.

HIV Treatment

Treatment for HIV will vary depending on the count of CD4 protein count present in the body. A CD4 protein is a type of infection fighting white blood cell the body has. Treatment will also be accordance to one’s overall health and the amount of HIV in one’s body. The higher the amount of the virus the more intense treatment will be for the patient. This amount of HIV is also known as the viral load in the body. This viral load will be tested every couple of weeks in the beginning of treatment.

The doctor will also do a variety of other testing before prescribing medication for the HIV. This can include:

• Complete blood work
• Tests for infections
• Cholesterol testing
• Urine testing
• STD testing

Once all the tests come back, then the doctor will begin a medication regime for the patient. That regime will be catered to the patients CD4 protein, viral load, and any other health information.

Medication will continue throughout the patient’s life. It may be adjusted periodically as well.

Many people who has HIV can long and productive lives. However, they must stay on top of their health care needs. They must take steps to remain healthy, which includes following their medication schedules and trying to eat as healthy as possible.

For more information on the HIV screening test on can go to: WebMD.

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