When to test for HIV is a question asked by many people who are HIV positive. Although people living with HIV can take several precautions to prevent spreading the virus to others, the reality is that they could still infect others if they do not abstain from sexual intercourse. The best way to prevent being infected with HIV is to abstain from sex. You can also test for HIV anytime, and most often the test you use can be done at home with a urine test, spit test, or blood test. Other tests also look for an antibody to the HIV virus or for its antigen.
These tests determine your current state of health and can accurately tell you whether or not you have been infected with HIV. Most health organizations recommend that HIV testing be done at the first sign of symptoms. In other words, if you develop any of the new HIV infections that have recently developed in the world, it is recommended that you be tested as soon as possible. Early testing is the best way to prevent serious diseases such as Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) and cancer.
In most cases, the patient will be sent to a local testing center where an analysis of their blood sample will be taken. Some professional HIV tests use a special machine called a Gene Expression Amplification System (GSA) to collect a blood sample from the patient. The sample is then returned to the clinic for analysis. Once analysis is complete, the physician will make a decision about treatment. However, when testing for HIV, patients should be aware of what type of results to expect.
When a person has been diagnosed with HIV infection, he or she may become prescribed a combination HIV therapy. This medicine is used to suppress the virus and help people with the disease control it. People who take this medication must have regular blood testing appointments with their doctors. Sometimes the HIV-infected person will have to go on a special diet. However, it is recommended that people who have recently been diagnosed with HIV infection should not stop taking their medicine immediately.
In some cases, health care providers may recommend testing for HIV in pregnant women. Pregnant women who have not taken preventative measures to avoid becoming infected with HIV should get tested at the first prenatal visit. A pregnant woman’s HIV antibodies may change during pregnancy and affect her baby’s development. If you plan to get tested for HIV, talk to your doctor about the different HIV tests that are available.
Some pregnant women also begin to feel an increased viral load test result. This means that her body is producing more virus than normal. If you notice a difference in your blood or in the HIV test result, you should report any unusual symptoms to your doctor. If you test positive, you may need a follow up visit with your provider. You may be given medications to lower your viral load test results.
Men who have sex with other men will need to get tested for HIV even if they are not having intercourse. Men who don’t have sex with a partner will need to get tested for HIV before engaging in sexual activity. Men can find out their HIV status through rectal exams. Health care providers will conduct a basic rectal exam when you are getting tested for hiv.
Some health care providers offer special HIV tests for individuals who do not have sex during their single lifetime. For example, in New York State, a person who has had one sexual partner and does not have a history of STD can take an HIV test to determine whether they may have an HIV infection. This test is called a negative result. It will take several weeks to get the results.