What is HIV Testing?

HIV tests are employed to detect the existence of the human immuno-dysfunctioning virus, the disease that causes acquired immune deficiency syndrome, in infected blood, fluid, tissues, and cells. These tests can also detect antigens, antibodies, or DNA. It is a medical test that is usually performed by health care workers and educators in high-risk communities to identify people who may be at a higher risk of contracting HIV. An HIV test kit can be used at home to confirm if one has been tested negative.

A positive HIV test result means that the person does have HIV infection but cannot develop any form of AIDS yet. Being HIV positive does not mean that one has already developed AIDS. A negative result indicates that one has been tested negative for a previous form of the disease called Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), but is still eligible for getting this treatment. This allows those at risk of contracting HIV to obtain the proper medication at an earlier age.

There are many ways to get an HIV test at home. Those who regularly visit the doctor for regular checkups can avail of an at-home HIV test kit when ordering their regular health care treatments. A few insurers offer at-home HIV screening options for their insured patients. If the patient visits the doctor at least once in six months, he or she can ask for an HIV test kit.

For those who have recently tested negative for HIV but do not want to go through a painful HIV treatment process, there are other options. One can still get an HIV test at home, even if one is not currently negative. There are at-home HIV testing kits available for purchase in some drugstores and on the Internet. These kits are usually pre-boxed with special instructions for use. They give a definite result within minutes after receiving a blood sample.

For HIV positive people who do not wish to wait for medical procedures to get tested, there are some self-testing options available. For those who do not want to participate in a clinical trial or do not have time to take a test drive, one can purchase an at home HIV testing kit. Kits usually come with detailed instructions for use. The first step in the process is to collect a blood sample. This blood sample is then sent for testing to a local lab. Results can be read immediately or sent back to the patient for a pre-defined period.

For those who are HIV positive but do not wish to wait for a positive HIV test result to determine whether they need to get tested, they can purchase an at home kit from a drug store. There are many brands of at home HIV testing kits that can be purchased online or at brick and mortar stores. Kits available online usually come with detailed instructions for use.

A home HIV test can only determine if one has contracted HIV if results are received after the recommended follow up period. This period is three to four weeks after positive test results have been received. Once the HIV test is positive, pre-employment screenings and counseling can be arranged. People who test negative should still receive instruction on how to safely act in the event of a serious health crisis, such as a needle transfer. They should also be educated about HIV and AIDS and be given information about safe sex practices.

Positive test results can be life-changing for some people. Being able to set and forget test results allows them to go about their daily lives confident that they do not have a sexually transmitted disease. HIV testing is no longer a mandatory procedure, but something many individuals feel strongly about. If someone does not test negative immediately following a positive test result, they should be vigilant about testing themselves regularly to ensure they are not contracting a disease.