HIV Rapid Tests (Antibody blood tests)
Antibody tests are among the most common type of HIV tests. These are also known as an HIV Rapid Test as the results can be determined within the 30 minutes, if there is an available lab onsite. If samples are sent to a lab, it typically takes a couple to receive your results.
How it works: lab techs draw blood or take a swab of cells from the mouth, and then have the sample analyzed at the lab.
Note: it can take up to 3 months after the initial infection for a positive result – sometimes even longer. Usually if there’s a confirmation, they’ll test again just to be sure.
HIV Early Detection Tests (Combination Tests)
Combination – or early detection tests – can detect both HIV antibodies and HIV antigens in your blood. It’s the recommended test for HIV testing these days, but some practices solely run antibody tests.
If You Have Tested Positive for HIV or AIDS
These days, there are many more medications available to fight the advancement of the infection than in previous years. HIV medicines can keep people’s immune systems healthy for many years than we once thought possible.
Even the ability to transmit HIV to others can be reduced with medicine. HIV (ART) medication reduces the amount of HIV cells found in the blood. It’s a tactic called “viral suppression” that’s not only good for the infected person’s overall health, but it also decreases the chance of passing the virus on.The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has a lot of great resources available for those with a positive HIV diagnosis.
Does that mean if you have a partner with HIV, you either have to accept that you’ll contract HIV or will have to practice abstinence? Not quite. Thanks to modern medicine, there are multiple preventative measures that help fight HIV in partnerships where one party has the virus and one does not.
- The (PrEP) is a regimen of daily HIV medicines to prevent HIV infection if you’re high risk. For example, if your partner has HIV, your doctor may recommend PrEP as a preventative measure.
- There’s also (PEP) which is a regimen of HIV medications taken after potential exposure to the virus. PEP may prevent infection after engaging in a risky behavior like unprotected sex with an HIV-positive partner. Every second counts in this prevention method, so skipping pills can have serious consequences.
End the Stigma
HIV/AIDS had played a major role in American society since the 1980s. From the AIDS crisis to the development of medications that help manage HIV, we’ve come a very long way.
Anyone can get HIV, and it’s important to take precautions, as well as support people who are infected with the virus. Although HIV is a life-changing diagnosis, many people lead happy, productive lives with HIV.
Do your part to help prevent HIV and get testedAnd see what your city or local municipality is doing to celebrate National HIV Testing Day on June 27th so you can support the cause.
At GoHealth Urgent Care, we offer HIV testing at all centers. Select your location below to find a center near you: