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Things You Should Know About HIV Testing?

HIV Testing

Whether one is infected with HIV or not is something we come to know about only after doing an HIV test. We know HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is a deadly virus that causes AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) – the most advanced staged of the infection. Clearly, the test is helpful for doctors to know whether someone has HIV infection. But yes, such a test won’t confirm whether one has AIDS, or for how long one is infected.

Why HIV testing?

You must be wondering why this test is done? Well, the answer is to know the HIV status and ensure safety of one self and also of others that we care for. Without doing the test, one cannot be sure of being HIV-free and that is the reason it holds significance.

Here are reasons and utility of doing the test –

  • The test can confirm that you are not affected by HIV

  • It helps you assess your medical condition and then take the right steps

  • It helps people know whether they are infected with HIV

  • Irrespective of the result, the test is helpful towards encouraging you to protect your health

  • After knowing your health, you can stop risks of transmission of HIV

  • You can detect the infection and start medication in a timely manner

  • Everyone should get tested for HIV at least once and those at high risk should get tested at least once a year

Risk factors for HIV infection

The best way to not get HIV infected is by having complete knowledge about it. Secondly, you should be aware about the risk factors of this infection to take the right steps. Clearly, the more you know the less prone you are to the risks of contracting HIV.

Let’s look at risk factors of HIV infection –

  • Unsafe sex with anyone increases the risk of infection

  • Not using a condom for vaginal or anal sex is one of the major risk factors

  • Indulging in sexual activity with HIV-positive individuals or with those whose HIV status you’re not sure about

  • Sharing drug equipment/ instruments with others

  • Using common needles or syringes for injecting drugs

  • Those with sexually transmitted disease (STD) or hepatitis or tuberculosis (TB) are at greater risk

  • Having sex with people carrying HIV risk factors

Benefits of home HIV tests

Earlier it was not possible to get yourself tested but the scenario has changed a lot these days. You can buy an HIV test kit and get yourself tested at home. Doing the test at home means you get the benefits of comfort and privacy.

Here are some of benefits of home HIV tests –

  • Such tests let you know your HIV status even without leaving the comfort of the home

  • You can identify the infection and then get yourself treated during the early stages

  • Home tests provide instant results and thus, you can be sure of infection within minutes

  • You can HIV test yourself at home, detect the infection at early stage and stop others from getting infected

  • You don’t have to seek a doctor’s appointment as the HIV test kit will do the job