HIV Testing Today – What’s Different?

Although some forms of testing have been improved upon since the first tests were created in the 1980’s, not much has changed with HIV testing today. The original ELISA and Western Blot tests still apply, although now there are also methods of being able to swab the mouth to determine from saliva whether the conditions for HIV are present. The swab test is less intrusive, but may offer more errors that are possible.

HIV in Modern Times

What is most different about HIV testing today is there is far more awareness about what HIV is and how individuals can cope with it. Although no cure as of yet exists, awareness can help to prevent the possibility of HIV and with the right testing, you cannot only protect yourself but others as well, should you find out you are positive. The best thing you can do is arm yourself with knowledge to make sure that you and your partner(s) are tested regularly. If you are engaging in sexual activity with multiple partners, be tested regularly and always test yourself between partners.

Various Types of Tests

The two types of tests used include blood tests and nucleic acid testing. Blood tests take a few days to determine the results, but they are less likely to have errors than other methods. Nucleic acid testing is faster and will screen for certain elements, but depending on the situation, they might be more likely to have errors. However, using the nucleic acid testing will also mean you can have other things tested for that will help you to determine why you might have the symptoms that you do if you are having the test done due to symptoms.

Scientific Research

Every month new advances and techniques are being discovered and improved upon to help individuals to determine whether they have viruses like HIV. In some studies, viruses are actually being used to fight against the viruses of HIV and AIDS, which provide a spark of hope for individuals in the future. In addition, stem cell and nano research are lending other possible sparks of hope because some scientists and doctors are hoping that a combined attack using the two could stop AIDS and begin to repair the damage. Although this is only a hope at this time, it may be a possibility in the future that could slow down the effects of HIV.

Flaws in the Testing System

However, testing is still not completely accurate. Some individuals may test positive when they do not actually have HIV. Due to this, it is important to have tests verified and to make sure you understand your results thoroughly. If you have any doubts, get a second opinion, as when dealing with HIV it is a very serious matter. Although HIV testing today has made more advances with more on the way, the basic method of the tests will always need to be checked. The tests today can help many individuals, but it is important to remember that more advances are on the way.

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