Screening and diagnosis of HIV: What To Know?

Pick any HIV Clinic Singapore, you will find all the relevant equipment to completely screen and test the infection. This is mainly because of the fact that the only way to ensure if you are exposed to HIV or not is to get tested. It is so important that the CDC recommends people of ages 13 – 64 to get tested for HIV at least once as a part of healthcare. Testing for HIV doesn’t mean you have one rather it means you care about your health. Knowing your HIV status can provide you with the steps for a healthy relationship with our partner. As the statistics say, 1 in 7 people in the US are exposed to HIV but do not have any idea that they are infected. These cases are crucial. It is better to get tested and feel safe instead of not doing it and suffering.

Should You Get Tested?

No one wants to do anything without a reason. As the Government recommends, it is for the routine health care. You know your life and that way, you should also know if you need a test or not. Even after the test, if you see some bad turns in your life, you might want to take a test once again. Some people who are apparently at higher risks are advised to frequently take a test.

Most people who test positive for the infection are unaware of the same. Even if you have had a long term relationship and the only person whom you have intercourse with is your partner, you might want to check still if either of you, have had HIV. As for pregnant women, all of them should take a test. If you test negative, it is good to know that you are safe. On the contrary, relevant steps may be taken to keep the virus away from your baby through safer treatments.

The Screening Tests

Unlike people who are unaware think, the screening for HIV is not a scary thing at all. Here are some common screening tests to know.

Antibody Test – Known as Immunoassay in the medical terms, the test keeps a check on the antibodies to the virus. Your test will take place in a lab. On the off hand, you can also take a test at any testing center or a home kit. However, it is advisable that you do not take any tests at home instead consult professionals to do the same. These tests are done by either drawing drops of blood from a vein or some cells from the mouth or urine. Again, drawing blood here means a finger price while oral fluid is taken by swabbing the gums and the urine test, as usual. Comparatively, the blood test gives you more accurate results than the rest.

Antigen Test – This test is to check for the presence of p24, an HIV antigen. When you are first exposed to the virus, your body uses its antibodies to fight against the same and this means you have a high number of antibodies.

Post this, some follow up tests have to be taken. These are also known as a confirmatory test. These tests are usually done when the screening tests turn out to be positive. This can be used to detect the virus, the antibodies or confirm as to which type of virus you have.

How the Test is Performed

HIV testing is usually performed as follows:

  • Drawing blood from a vein
  • A finger prick blood sample
  • An oral fluid swab
  • A urine sample

The After Effects Of The Tests

After you take a blood sample, there are less likely chances that you would feel the pain. However, moderate pain can be expected. Some throbbing or slight bruises are very common and those fade away quickly. There is no discomfort that can possibly occur with the other two tests.

The Confirmation

Now, the positive result in the screening tests does not confirm the presence of any HIV infection. Consecutively, other tests are to be compulsorily done to confirm the same. This is applicable if you test negative in the screening too. The period between the infection and the appearance of antibodies is called the window period. Learn more about screening and testing by visiting any HIV Clinic Singapore and consulting with the professionals.