HIV Testing

HIV testing is used to determine if you are infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). HIV is a virus that weakens your body’s immune system, making it difficult to fight infections and certain cancers. If HIV is not treated, you will eventually become very ill and may die.

HIV testing can be done easily with a small sample of blood taken from a vein or even from saliva or a finger prick. These tests screen for antibodies that your immune system produces after being exposed to HIV. If the tests are positive, the result needs to be confirmed with further tests.

After being exposed to or infected with HIV, it takes many weeks or even months for HIV antibodies to develop in a person’s immune system. Yet a person with HIV in the system can be infectious or contagious up to several weeks before testing positive for the HIV antibody. During this window of time, a person with a negative HIV test can transmit or infect others through exchange of bodily fluids during sex or sharing needles or other drug works.

Our goal is to detect the presence of HIV as early as possible to prevent the spread of the disease. Testing for Aptima HIV will detect the presence of the virus earlier and therefore is much more likely to prevent the spread of HIV. The Aptima HIV is being used here and is believed to be the most cutting edge and superior assay for the detection of HIV.

Ideally, testing every 2 weeks would be the best way to identify infectious diseases and further decrease the risk of HIV and STD exposure but the expense of testing and time consumption make it less feasible. The best way to prevent the spread of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) such as gonorrhea and chlamydia is to collect urine and perform Aptima HIV testing as frequently as possible.