HIV is one of the dangerous diseases and there is still no cure for it. So, when is the most accurate HIV test? Here is the answer.
HIV can be spread through many different ways such as blood transmission, sex transmission, and mother-to-child transmission. If you have ever been in contact with HIV-infected people or suspect that you are infected, please go to medical facilities for prompt testing.
When Is The Most Accurate HIV Test?
HIV is a syndrome that weakens human immunity caused by the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). When entering the human body, the virus multiplies in large numbers and attacks the body's immune system including macrophages, T-lymphocytes, thereby reducing the patient's immunity leading to other harmful microorganisms that are in good conditions to grow or enter.
After entering the body, the HIV virus usually multiplies by 3 common types:
- Viruses multiply rapidly within the first week of infection. At this point, the virus begins to spread throughout the body, and may also remain in the cerebrospinal fluid before being detected in the blood.
- After about 3 to 6 weeks, the infection starts to show signs of decrease. Especially about 95% of people infected with HIV at this stage still feel healthy. Signs of infection are usually absent or not apparent. Some people with HIV infection in an early stage will only have some symptoms like the common cold. Therefore, if an HIV test is taken at this stage, it may not give accurate results.
- The third type is the silent infection. The HIV test, if desired, the most accurate results are usually 2-3 months after exposure to the HIV virus.
So when is the most accurate HIV test? Test results after 4 months of exposure are the most accurate. You can now have complete confidence in your doctor's results. If the test is negative, you can rest assured that you did not contract the disease. And vice versa, a positive result means that you are HIV positive.
In special cases, for newborns inherited from the mother, to know exactly, it is necessary to wait until the baby reaches 18 months of age (ie 1 and a half years) to be able to identify.
How Long Does It Take To Get An HIV Test?
Usually, when you get an HIV test, you can get a quick test result on the same day if done in the hospital. With more advanced and more specialized tests, the result may be longer. Different testing methods can have different times for the exact result (this will depend on which method your doctor will choose).
However, in order to be able to confirm whether the HIV test result is accurate or not, it is necessary to satisfy one of the following 2 cases:
- Case 1: test negative for 2 consecutive times. Each test is at least 3 months apart and the patient does not have any potentially infectious behavior arising during the above time.
- Case 2: tested negative once and in about 3 months after the first test, no more risky behavior arises.
However, due to the "silent" nature of the dangerous HIV virus, doctors always recommend that you get tested for HIV as soon as possible.
HIV Testing Methods
HIV testing has many different ways such as the antigen-only test (Ag), the antibody-only test (Ab), the combination test for antigens and antibodies, also known as the combo test or HIV Ag /. Ab combo, viral load test, … Among them, HIV Ag / Ab combo test is one of the most commonly used methods today.
Is The HIV Ag / Ab Combo Test Accurate?
The answer is yes, this test method is up to 90% accurate. Especially, this test allows finding HIV antibodies and HIV p24 antigen in the blood of testers.
Is The Combo Test After 6 Weeks Correct?
If conventional testing methods take 2-3 months to give accurate results, with the HIV test method the time is shortened. After 6 weeks it can be determined quite accurately whether you have HIV or not.
If the routine test is in the early stage of infection when the concentration of HIV in the blood is not high, the detection of p24 antigens is difficult, usually only detecting HIV antibodies when the virus has developed.
Is The Combo Test After 3 Months Accurate?
After 3 months of exposure, most HIV test methods give accurate results. Especially, the Ag / Ab combo test method will produce highly accurate results.
When To Get Tested For HIV?
Everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 should get tested for HIV at least once and consider them an integral part of the CDC routine health care – the Center for Prevention and Control of US epidemic recommended.
In particular, for those at high risk of HIV infection below, HIV testing can be done as soon as possible.
- A person who has had vaginal or anal sex with an HIV-positive person.
- Persons who have a gay relationship.
- Has ever sold sex.
- A patient has ever been treated or diagnosed with another sexually transmitted infection.
- The patient has been diagnosed or treated with hepatitis or tuberculosis.
- Sharing syringes and needles or other items such as medical cotton, water, … with others.
- People who have had sex with many people after the last HIV test.
- A person who has sex with someone with at least one of the above characteristics.
- In addition, pregnant women are also one of those who should be tested for HIV to be able to protect both mothers and children from HIV infection.
HIV Testing Process
HIV testing is done according to a specific protocol, most hospitals and medical facilities that conduct HIV testing follow this protocol. Please read carefully to avoid surprises when you first get the test.
If you test in a medical facility, you will be instructed by the medical staff about the necessary procedures to do the test. The basic steps usually include:
- Register to do an HIV test at the reception desk and get counseling sheets.
- The consultation sheet usually has the doctor's room number, you will go there and listen to the doctor's advice before the test.
- After requesting the test, the doctor will take the appropriate sample. Different HIV testing methods will have different sample requirements. It can be blood, body fluids, …. (the most common is a blood test).
- Next, the medical staff will check and process the test sample.
- Sample after checking is transferred to the laboratory for analysis and giving results to the patient.
- HIV test results will be filled in the form and reviewed for sure.
- Test result cards will be exported and given to you after a certain time for each method. If the test is fast, you can usually get the results in about 20-30 minutes.
- Once you have the test results, you can ask the doctor to advise you to better understand your test results.
HIV testing is essential and important when you suspect that you have an infection. Testing is done as early as possible during this time. In order to have accurate test results as well as receive the advice of highly qualified doctors, you should choose reputable units with modern equipment for testing.
Diag Medical Testing and Diagnosis Center is one of the reputable organizations for you to conduct HIV testing. Possessing modern equipment, high-quality technology to help shorten the time for testing and give accurate results. A team of highly skilled doctors with many years of experience helps to ensure a safe process of testing.
Diag is committed to protecting all customer information, ensuring your personal privacy. At Diag, you not only get accurate tests in a short time but also receive a comprehensive and dedicated health consultation.
With the above sharing about HIV testing in general and when is the most accurate HIV test. Hope to help you better understand the disease as well as choose the right time to test if you suspect that you are infected.
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The site cannot and does not contain medical advice. The medical information is provided for general informational and educational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional advice. Accordingly, before taking any actions based upon such information, we encourage you to consult with the appropriate professionals.