Statistics show that in Europe every 3rd HIV-infected person does not know about his/her HIV status. How and where is it possible to implement HIV testing?
- A person may carry out HIV/AIDS test at home. It is the simplest way of HIV/AIDS testing. The material for the study is blood or saliva. The test determines the presence of virus antigens or antibodies to them. The time required for the study is 20-30 minutes. In case of HIV-positive test result, a patient should visit AIDS center to undergo complete tests and get a consultation with a doctor. About 5% of tests provided at home are considered as false.
However, do not forget to perform the second test in a couple of weeks after the first express test. Antibodies appear in the blood not immediately, but only after the incubation period of 3-6 weeks. During this period a person is already a HIV-infected, but the tests do not detect antibodies to the virus yet.
- Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is the analysis to detect HIV on the early stages. This type of analysis reveals the virus antigens in the blood. PCR shows the presence of the virus within 10 days after infection. However, the accuracy of this analysis is lower than analysis for antibodies detecting. The diagnosis of HIV infection is not based on PCR results.
There are types of HIV analisis basing on the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). It is the method of using antibodies and color change to identify a substance. ELISA method includes such types of HIV analysis:
- Anonymous and confidential HIV tests. Specialists in the AIDS centers provide people with consultation before and after the test. After the test the experts give recommendations on the HIV prevention and HIV infection treatment (if necessary).
- HIV test is possible to undergo in any medical center. HIV test is necessary before any surgery. Pregnant women and blood donors have to undergo the ELISA analisis. The results of the blood analysis are ready within 5-10 days. After receiving the test results a person gets a certificate of HIV status.
- People also may take the HIV test in any private laboratory. A person may make the HIV test anonymously. But is a person needs a HIV status certificate, s/he should take the HIV test providing a passport. HIV testing in such laboratories usually takes 1-2 days.
If the HIV test has given a positive result, a person must make an immunoblot test. This method of HIV testing detects antibodies of the different virus proteins. The immunoblot test is necessary for receiving the most accurate diagnosis of HIV infection.
People should remember that HIV and AIDS can be prevented. Lead a healthy lifestyle and avoid unprotected sex.