HIV Testing & Types of Tests

Getting tested for HIV is very important. HIV testing/ HIV screening is the only way one can know if they have the virus. There are a few types of tests that can be done on the blood or body fluids to determine if someone is infected with the virus. Despite that most times, the virus cannot be spotted immediately because it takes a while for the body to produce antibodies.

Early detection means one can commence treatment right away and in so doing live a long full life. Additionally, it may also save other people’s lives because one can take steps to ensure the virus is not passed on to other people. This is especially important for pregnant women so they do not pass on the virus to their unborn child.  

Everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 should get tested for HIV at least once. Furthermore, if you are at high risk of contracting the virus then you should get tested at least twice per year.

Director of Health Promotion and Prevention (N.F.P.B), Nickeishia Barnes shares more on Sunrise. Watch it here:

There are two main types of HIV tests. Laboratory test- where a lab technician takes a sample of your blood and tests it and the results are given within a few days. A rapid test is the other which provides the results in about 20-30 minutes. This can be done at a community clinic or at home.

Some tests are anonymous, meaning your name is not tied to the result while others are confidential meaning your information is attached to the result, and it is protected by privacy laws.

A positive test result means there are traces of HIV in your body. Your healthcare providers never diagnose HIV based on a single test result. If you had a rapid test, get a standard lab test to confirm it. If you had a lab test, more detailed tests of your blood could confirm your diagnosis.