When tested for HIV, the individual may receive the result as reactive, nonreactive, or indeterminate. It is natural to feel apprehensive about what the test indicates. However, knowing about it as soon as possible is the best way to control the consequences.
Even early diagnosis of HIV infection may even allow the individual to stop transmission of the virus. Did you know? This is because the HIV test identifies the presence of the virus in the body, which is done in a simple way.
Did you realize how important HIV testing is to keeping people from having health problems? So, read on and ask your top questions about it!
What is the HIV test?
As mentioned, the test in question aims to identify the presence of the HIV virus in your body. Thus, the result can be reactive (positive), non-reactive (negative), or indeterminate.
In the latter case, the viral load in the body is so low that the HIV test cannot detect it. Also, there is less impact on bodywork compromise, as the existing load is not strong enough for this.
How is the HIV test done?
You will have already realized that the HIV test is essential to detect a serious illness. Therefore, this allows patients to have a better quality of life. To do this, the test is performed with the analysis of a blood or saliva sample.
The purpose of checking your blood or saliva is to look for antibodies that your body makes to fight HIV. Antibodies are proteins produced by the immune system in response to attack by bacteria, viruses, or other elements.
Each of them is attacked and defended against specific targets, such as the T-CD4+ lymphocyte, which is the target of HIV. So, the presence of these antibodies signals the existence of the virus. Therefore, to confirm the HIV test infection and viral load level, the doctor may refer other tests.
Where to get tested for HIV?
As you can see, getting tested for HIV is a simple process these days. This can occur at home or in any other comfortable setting, by the individual, using the home test kit.
In this case, the patient self-assesses by collecting oral fluid and blood. Then simply follow the instructions to interpret the given result. In any case, it is still necessary to have a professional confirmation, based on complementary tests, to have a definitive answer.
The other option for HIV testing is the more traditional one, scheduling a lab test. This can happen through the SUS, specialized medical laboratories or clinics. On the other hand, if you choose the first option, look for a Testing and Advice Center (CTA) or the Specialized Assistance Service (SAE).
When do specialists recommend getting tested for HIV?
There are risk behaviors to which the individual may be exposed. Therefore, this should link the alert to the need for an HIV test. This is valid for:
- people who are sexually active (even if they have the same sexual partner);
- biological accidents at work;
- patients diagnosed with tuberculosis;
- patient diagnosed with viral hepatitis;
- pregnant women during antenatal care;
- people in situations of sexual violence;
- spontaneous abortion;
- the most vulnerable population, such as sex workers, couples of people living with HIV/AIDS, drug users, prison population;
The recommendation is that the test be performed at least 30 days after exposure to any of the risks mentioned. Before this period, the virus may not be identified due to the window of immunity. It corresponds to the time that elapses between contact with HIV and the possibility of detecting it.
Also, consider that there is variation in the timing of the immune window, depending on the immune system of each individual. Therefore, 30 days may not be enough to detect the virus. Therefore, it is recommended to repeat the test after another 30 days.
It is especially indicated for those who present symptoms, such as fever, weight loss, diarrhea, excessive tiredness, night sweats, etc.
What to do with each HIV test result?
As you may have noticed, there are three possible results for the HIV test. Each of them has different meanings and demands specific behaviors from the individual. Please understand below!
It means that the HIV test was negative, and at the time of the test your body does not have the virus. However, as has been mentioned, if the patient exhibits risk behaviors or symptoms of infection, it is necessary to repeat the test after 30 days. After all, a non-reactive result does not necessarily mean that there was no infection.
This result shows that the individual was exposed to the HIV virus and became infected. In any case, doctors usually request additional tests to have a definitive answer. Still, if the result is confirmed, it is possible to control the problem and allow the patient to live well without reducing life expectancy.
This occurs with the help of antiretroviral drugs, which inhibit the growth of the virus in the body. Therefore, even if it is not eliminated, the immune system is strengthened and there are fewer risks for the development of AIDS-related diseases. This is the case of pneumonia or tuberculosis. These medications are available through SUS and can be taken with a doctor’s prescription.
The other possibility of HIV testing is indeterminate. In this case, the test failed to detect the problem, which may be because the viral load was too low. Other situations that lead to this result are pregnancy or recent vaccination. Therefore, you must repeat the test.
Were you able to clear up your main doubts about the HIV test? As can be seen, it is possible for the individual to live well and for a long time, even with confirmed infection, unlike what happened in the past. In this way, in many cases and after following the appropriate treatment, the virus becomes non-transmissible to other people. For this, it is essential to discover the diagnosis as soon as possible.
So, did you have any doubts about it? Is there something you want to share with us or with other readers on the subject? So feel free. It will be a pleasure to talk about it! And take the opportunity to subscribe to our newsletter to receive exclusive content and offers from WinSocial