The most recent study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that in 2010, the estimated number of new HIV infections was highest among individuals aged 25-34 (31%, 14,500 [95% CI: 12,500–16,400]), followed by individuals aged 13-24 (26%, 12,200 [95% CI: 10,500–13,800]). These figures, while almost stable as the figures in the 2008 CDC report, still remain high.
Early detection is important to prevent the spread of HIV to uninfected individuals. An HIV test can be done an authorized medical laboratory as well as HIV/AIDS voluntary counselling and testing (VCT) sites. An HIV test involves seeing a doctor, trained counselor, nurse or other health professional in private. These professionals will be the ones to explain what the HIV test involves and what the result means and the consequential actions.
Testing for HIV too soon after potential exposure to the virus may give inaccurate results. There is a period of time (incubation period) during which HIV is not detected by tests even if the virus has already entered the body. Different types of tests have varying window periods. To be sure of how long a patient needs to wait, he or she should discuss the nature of the HIV test with a licensed medical laboratory staff and health care personnel.
HIV TEST PROCEDURES
Either a blood sample, taken from the arm or finger, or an oral fluid sample is taken from the patient. The test is always strictly confidential and medical laboratory staff and personnel do not let anyone except the patient claim the results. Even personal doctors are not told about the test without the patient’s permission.
Result time vary depending on the type of HIV test administered by the medical laboratory.
HIV TEST RESULTS
Individuals whom received a negative result can breathe easy. Tf the test result is positive your physician and counsellor will discuss and recommend treatment options.
Early detection is of the utmost importance, the longer a person remains unaware of their infection, the less likely it is that the treatment will work. Doctors can monitor patients’ health in order to provide the right treatment regimen at the right time.
IMPORTANCE OF AN HIV TEST
Patients who are aware of their HIV infection should, & can take certain steps and precautions to protect against the spread of the virus.
Patients that are HIV positive & thinking of starting a family should speak with their physician to learn about ways to protect their child from becoming infected with HIV through mother-to-child transmission.
Early detection of an HIV infection is vital for people to lead healthy lives. People who consider themselves as engaging in risky behaviour are advised to visit a medical laboratory and get tested annually.