How Do HIV Tests Work?

There are main blood tests for HIV that people want to take because it is thought those tests are more reliable. These are the ELISA test and the westerns blot test. The ELISA test checks the level of immune cells in the body, which are also known as the autoimmune cells and then finds if you have a level that could mean you have HIV, the Human Immunodeficiency Virus. There are also other things that are able to set off this test such as different types of viruses including simply everyday viruses such as the common cold.

The Nucleic Acid Test

You then have the nucleic acid tests, which are tests for viral patterns and oral fluids. This can tell them if you have a virus as well. While drawing blood and then testing it is the norm for ELISA, the nucleic acid tests are taken orally with use of a cotton swab. They take a sample and then test it. While the blood tests take, time the nucleic test is a fast paced test you can take in approximately twenty minutes and you will not have to wait as long for results. Although there is some thought that the test might not be as reliable.

The Urine Test

There are also urine tests and it tests antibodies. If you have a lower antibody level than usual, more than likely you have something that is affecting you. This can mean that you have HIV and will need further testing to make sure that you do not have a less severe problem and to confirm the diagnosis. This is also a very fast paced test. So is the urine test, as well as the nucleic acid tests and these are used frequently for free testing clinics and anonymous testing.

How is HIV Spread?

The different ways that a person can get HIV include through sexual intercourse with a person who is infected with HIV, through using the same drug needle as a person who is HIV positive, through a transfusion of blood that was infected, form a mother to her child and through transplanted organs. While many of these ways of being infected have been guarded against, it is always a good idea to have an HIV test before sexual activity, when switching partners and while in between partners. You may also want to get HIV testing done after a transplant of an organ or after a blood transfusion.

While many hospitals do have these tests done on the blood before the transfusion and on the person afterwards, it is always a better felling to take the test and know that you are safe. In addition, if you are not safe you can be treated immediately rather than having to wait and only find out once the symptoms are worse. When you have been infected with HIV, you will have it for the rest of your life. If HIV is caught much earlier you are able to seek treatment faster and slow the effects, giving you a chance to live longer.

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