What is the HIV test?

An HIV test uncovers the presence of HIV in the body. Usually utilized HIV tests recognize the antibodies produced by the body’s immune system as a form of response to HIV, as it is considerably simpler (and less expensive) to identify antibodies than the HIV virus itself. Antibodies are created by the body’s immune system in response to a disease. For the vast majority, it takes about three months for the antibodies to grow. In uncommon cases, it can take as much as six months. Amidst this “window period” of initial infection people are at their most contagious.

How long after likely exposure should I wait before getting an HIV test?

By and large, it is prescribed that you wait for up to three months after likely exposure before getting an HIV test. In spite of the fact that HIV antibody tests are exceptionally sensitive, there exists a ‘window period’ of 3 to 12 weeks, the timeframe between infection with the HIV virus and the presence of measurable antibodies to the virus. On account of the most sensitiveanti-HIV tests presently recommended, the timeframe is around three weeks.

This period might be longer with the use of less sensitive tests. During the window time frame, individuals infected with HIV do not have antibodies in their blood that can be identified by an HIV test. However, the individual may already harbor abnormal amounts of HIV in body liquids, for example, blood, semen, breast milk, and vaginal fluids. HIV can be transferred to other people all through the window period despite the fact that an HIV test may not indicate that the person is infected with HIV.

Why would it be a good idea for me to get an HIV test?

Having knowledge of your HIV status has indispensable advantages. Firstly, in the event that you are HIV positive, you can make fundamental strides before symptoms start to show to get care, treatment, and support services, possibly extending your life for a long time. Furthermore, in the event that you know you are infected, you can adopt all the required precautions to keep the spread of HIV to other people. Thirdly, your health care services provider may prescribe it, for instance on the off chance that you are pregnant and need to protect your unborn baby. It might likewise be prescribed by your health care services provider if you’re poorly, so as to get a more precise medical evaluation.

Where can I take a test?

There are many locations where you can get an HIV test: a local health center, a private doctor’s office, a community health department, family planning clinics, hospitals, and places particularly set up for the testing of HIV. Always make sure that counseling is available wherever you would be doing your testing. In a few communities, home-based-testing and counseling are accessible and normally includes counseling for couples and support for a nonviolent post-test revelation of results.

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