Easy and Fast “HIV Test and Treat” Strategy
Under what circumstances should I get tested?
- After having oral, vaginal or anal sex with an HIV-positive individual or with someone whose HIV status is unknown
- After injection with syringes shared with others
- After having a surgery, piercing or tattoo with surgical instruments that have been used by someone else before
- After being sexually assaulted
What should I do when I suspect I am exposed to HIV?
Get tested immediately
What measures should I take after taking the HIV Test?
HIV Test Decision Chart
Methods to Test for HIV:
- Blood (most effective)
Three Biological Markers to Diagnose AIDS:
Our body produces proteins that fight diseases. Likewise, we react to HIV infections by producing HIV Antibodies. By testing for these antibodies in us, we will be able to tell if we have infected HIV. However, it takes about 3 – 12 weeks for our body to produce these antibodies starting from the time of infection. During this period (window period), the result of the HIV test can be affected.
Combination Tests (Antibody + Antigen Tests)
During the early phase of HIV infection (2 weeks after infection), our body produces a P24 protein that is detectable with the Antigen test. In this period, the patient is highly infectious. This test is highly sensitive and its specificity level ranges around 99.7% - 99.9%. However, the level of P24 proteins may decline after 4 weeks of infection because the antibodies we produce have joined the scene. Therefore, a combination of an antigen and antibodies tests can ensure a more significant result.
HIV RNA Tests
This test detects the actual HIV virus itself in the human body. Only after 1 – 3 weeks of exposure to HIV is long enough to carry out the HIV RNA Test.