While most people know about HIV, many still have questions surrounding the details of the disease. How do people get infected? What’s the difference between HIV and AIDS? When will I get my test results? We’re here to answer some of the questions and give you a little motivation to go get tested. It’s the only way to put your mind at ease.
What is HIV?
HIV, or the Human Immunodeficiency Virus, is a virus that attacks cells that help the body fight infections. This makes those who have been infected more susceptible to other infections and diseases. Most commonly, HIV is spread by unprotected sex or by sharing drug needles. If HIV is left untreated, it can lead to the disease called AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome). The CDC recommends that everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 get tested for HIV at least once a year as part of routine health care.
What can you expect from an HIV test?
If you decide to take the test in a health care setting, the health care provider will take either a blood sample or oral fluid. You might be able to get the results quickly, but most likely you will have to wait a few days to a few weeks. It the test does come back negative, and you haven’t had exposure for 3 months, you can be sure that you are not infected with HIV. If the test results are positive, you may need to get a follow up test to be sure you have HIV.
How do HIV tests work?
HIV.Gov states, most HIV tests, including most rapid tests and home tests, are antibody tests. Antibodies are produced by your immune system when you’re exposed to viruses like HIV or bacteria. HIV antibody tests look for these antibodies to HIV in your blood or oral fluid. It takes time for the body to produce enough antibodies for an HIV test to show that a person has HIV. 1
Also, the soonest an antibody test will detect infection is 3 weeks. Most (approximately 97%), but not all, people will develop detectable antibodies within 3 to 12 weeks (21 to 84 days) of infection. If you have any type of antibody test and have a positive result, you will need to take a follow-up test to confirm your result.1
Get tested. Put your mind at ease.
Getting tested for HIV is the only thing you can do to ensure you’re HIV-free. Whether you have your results or you’re still waiting, you can take supplements to support your overall health. Persona offers a better way to get vitamins for your specific needs. You can take our free 3 to 5-minute assessment to get personalized vitamin recommendations, or if you already know what you need, try our convenient Essential pre-packs. Feel free to reach out to our nutritionists if you have any questions about how supplements can help you on your wellness journey.
- HIV.gov. (2019). What Are HIV and AIDS?. [online] Available at: https://www.hiv.gov/hiv-basics/overview/about-hiv-and-aids/what-are-hiv-and-aids [Accessed 30 Jun. 2019].
- Fawzi WW, Msamanga GI, Spiegelman D, et al. A randomized trial of multivitamin supplements and HIV disease progression and mortality. N Engl J Med. 2004;351(1):23-32. [Accessed 30 Jun. 2019]
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