HIV tests are medical screening method of determining if you have the human immunodeficiency virus or HIV. HIV infection is a medical condition that slowly destroys our immune system such that it makes it hard for the body of an infected person to fight infections. HIV can be spread through blood transfusion, needle sharing, through sexual contact either oral, vaginal or anal sex as well as through the transmission of the virus by a pregnant woman to her fetus.
If you and your partner think that both of you have been exposed to HIV, it is wise to subject yourselves to HIV tests. The chances of an infected person to develop the AIDs disease is lesser if HIV is detected at its early stage. If you know you have HIV after obtaining the results of your HIV tests, proper medical care can be given for you to keep you from developing AIDS. If your HIV tests are negative, then you can start protecting yourself as well as your partner by adapting the necessary practices for HIV prevention.
HIV tests are available so as to determine existence of HIV antibodies which are produced by the immune system to try to fight the HIV infection. The presence of HIV antibodies confirms the presence of HIV in your body.
An RNA test is a kind of HIV test that directly detects the virus. However, RNA testing is more costly and is not a common test just like the antibody test. RNA testing is more advantageous since it can detect HIV much earlier than the antibody tests which is about 9 to 11 days after infection.The window period of developing HIV antibodies after being infected is 3 months that is why the HIV antibody test can turn out to be accurate only at 3 months after you have been infected by the HIV virus. HIV can still be passed to other persons even during the window period.
Blood and oral swabs
HIV tests may be blood and oral swab types. Urine tests for HIV detection are rarely used. Blood is drawn from your body and is tested for HIV infection in a laboratory. Results are obtained after about a week. An oral swab type of HIV test is a rapid type of HIV testing by which an oral swab, a finger prick or a blood from your vein is used. The results can be obtained after 20 minutes. However, follow up tests are required after a person has subjected himself or herself to rapid HIV testing. You can test for HIV even at your home through the blood or oral swab test.