The Differences in HIV Tests

The differences in HIV tests stem from how the tests are examined and how they are administered. Some tests can be administered by an individual when he or she is on their own, while others require the assistance of a professional medical establishment that will not only be able to perform the test, but accurately determine the results through a lab and doctor. In addition, some tests can take only a few minutes while others may take a great deal of time to have the results returned to the individual who underwent the test. Each of these differences should be examined before deciding which test is best for an individual to take.

How Long Will it Take to Get the Results?

Another difference is the length of the tests. The blood tests like the ELISA and Western Blot test can take several hours or even days based on whether a clinic or doctor’s office has to send the blood out to a lab to be tested. However, other tests will only take a matter of minutes and some individuals may have their results within half an hour. If an individual wants to have his or her results in minutes, the ELISA and the Western Blot tests may not be the best ones to decide on. However, if he or she wants accuracy, they by far are the best choice.

The ELISA tests and the viral coding tests allow individuals to be tested through their saliva or urine. This is noninvasive, and for individuals who do not like needles, especially given the current situation, it might be the best option for them. For some individuals, they have a lifelong fear of needles that no amount of counseling can cure. For these individuals, the ELISA method of swabbing the mouth or using urine is the only option they can take. In addition, it may be the only option that some doctors recommend, depending on the situation the individual is in currently.

Counseling May Be Necessary

Recommendations and counseling through doctors is also another thing that is different when individuals take HIV tests in a doctor’s office. A doctor-recommended psychologist or counselor can then step in and assist any individual who is having a hard time adjusting to taking the test or in receiving the results. This difference in particular may assist individuals, especially if emotionally they are unable to cope with the situation they are in. Counseling not only can help with coping, but also may help the individual find a way to relate the information to a significant other or family members.

Home-Testing Pros and Cons

Anonymity through home self-tests is possible because you do not have to give your name, and some administered tests by medical professionals will have results that insurance companies insist on knowing. Although a doctor is supposed to inform any individuals who are being tested prior to testing, this is not always told directly but can instead be found in the contracts that are signed when admitted for the test. Medical confidentiality is given to all patients regardless of circumstances, but for some individuals, their insurance companies insist they have a right to know the results.

The Bearing on Location

Furthermore, where a test is taken will also have an impact on the type of test available. For instance, Europe and other areas around the world will administer different tests, as they feel they are more accurate. However, in the United States, individuals can have the ELISA, home self-tests, or the viral coding tests. This not only provides more opportunities and possibilities for individuals themselves to choose from, but it provides individuals the ability to choose for their infants or children what tests they want given.

Testing as Joint Venture

Individuals can also take tests together if they believe that one or more of them might be infected with HIV. In this instance, when an individual believes that he or she may have given it to his or her partner, they will then be able to share results with his or her partner. Not only can the individual be tested right away but the partner will have the results the same day too, which may help him or her protect his or her life. This is also beneficial if a mother finds out she has HIV and wants to have her infant tested for it as soon as the child is born. The many differences in the tests and possibilities can help individuals when they need to be tested.

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