How To Test For HIV?
An HIV test can be used to determine whether someone has been infected with HIV – the causative agent of AIDS. In order to make an accurate statement, two tests are always carried out. The time of the investigation is also important for a meaningful result. Read more about how a quick test can detect HIV, what other testing procedures there are, and where you can have an HIV test done!
HIV test: When and where?
An HIV test is a blood test designed to confirm or rule out HIV infection. It is also called AIDS test. However, since HIV is detected in the test, the term HIV test is more correct.
If you are concerned about being exposed to unprotected sexual intercourse or a ruptured condom in someone with HIV, you should be tested. Even if you and her partner decide to have sex without condoms in the future, we recommend an HIV test for both.
The health department, the physician, various specialists such as gynecologists as well as AIDS counseling centers are the right contact points for this.
The physician or home surgeon will first consult you extensively about medical history. Then doctor takes your blood and sends it to a laboratory for further investigation. An anonymous HIV test is possible in AIDS counseling centers.
HIV test: Blood donation
HIV testing has been routinely used in United States, before a blood donation. This is to avoid the transfer of the HI virus to the recipient by a blood transfusion. Some people use blood donation as a regular HIV test, but this is not advisable: apart from the fact that an HIV test can only detect infection after some time after infection.
HIV Test: Standard Procedure
Normally, indirect tests are used to detect or rule out HIV infection. Two tests are made for a safe diagnosis:
In the first test, the patient’s blood is tested for antibodies against HIV. The body begins on average 22 days after infection with the formation of such antibodies. They are certainly present in the blood after three months and can then be detected in a so-called immunoassay. If antibodies against the HI virus are present, the result is a positive test result.
Due to the time window between infection and formation of the antibodies, a negative test can only make a statement about the time before the last three months. HIV negative does not mean that a fresh infection can be excluded.
The study on antibodies against HIV is called the HIV rapid test and is often mistakenly referred to as an AIDS rapid test. The HIV test duration is about 30 minutes. The patient usually receives the result after a few days.
After a positive test result in the first test, a second test is carried out for confirmation. Antigens of the virus are detected in the blood of the patient. Antigens are protein structures of the virus against which the antibodies are directed. Six weeks after HIV infection, the test becomes positive.
if a patient has been tested positively in both tests, he is considered to be HIV-positive.
HIV: PCR test
In individual cases, HIV infections are also detected by the laboratory via the genetic material of the virus in the blood (viral nucleic acids). The viral genome is detected by means of the HIV-PCR test.
PCR stands for polymerase chain reaction: The nucleic acids are first multiplied and then broken down by their properties. The genetic material is already detectable in eleven days after the infection in the blood, so that this method is used in newborns of HIV-positive mothers.
HIV test: Blood count is not suitable
HIV infection can not be detected by a simple blood count examination. In the blood count, the individual blood cells are determined in their number and compared with the normal values.
In the course of HIV infection, changes in the blood count may occur such as a drop in white blood cells (leukocytes). However, these changes are only suitable for monitoring the course of HIV infection. As an HIV test, a blood count can not be used.