Of all the Sexually Transmitted Diseases, HIV/AIDS stands out as the most discussed transmitted infection because of the fact that it is carcinogenic (cancer-causing) and very deadly. HIV is the first stage of the infection that eventually leads to Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) over time and as well cause so many opportunistic diseases as it progresses.
With proper management, HIV may not progress to AIDS; this can only be achieved when it is detected early by a proper personal diagnosis with the rapid HIV test kit.
What is rapid HIV test?
Since it is very important to continuously have a check-up for HIV, especially those with a high risk of contracting the infection, the rapid HIV test comes in handy for people in that category. These people include:
- Professional sex workers
- Those who keep multiple sex partners and engage in unprotected sex
- Those who share sharp objects, e.g. needles, syringes, etc.
- Those who have had a previous sexually transmitted infection, e.g. syphilis, hepatitis, gonorrhea, etc.
Rapid HIV test is good news, especially for the above-mentioned individuals. For the sake of express clarification, it is important to state that Rapid HIV Test is the kind of test that can be performed in the comfort of one’s home with an immediate result which explains the reason why it is referred to as ‘rapid.’
The Science behind Rapid HIV Test
On exposure to the viral infection (HIV), the body produces antibodies in response to the infection as a way of fighting the infection. The produced antibodies are specific and different from antibodies produced for other infections. Rapid HIV test identifies the presence of antibodies in the blood plasma of the affected individual. In other words, the presence of antibodies indicates the presence of the infection.
Steps to performing rapid HIV test
The test usually does not last more than 20 minutes as it is a very quick and simple test. The procedures include:
- Getting the rapid test strip from an online store or nearby pharmacy
- Taking a blood sample from one’s self or asking for the help of a trusted friend to assist. After this, keep the collected blood sample in an anti-coagulated bottle (to prevent clotting of the blood).
- By nature, the blood cells will settle, thereby leaving the plasma on the surface after the blood has been left undisturbed for some minutes.
- Pick some of the floating serum and add a drop or two on the indicated sample part of the test strip.
- Wait for some minutes and watch out for the result. The double line indicates the presence of HIV antibodies while single line indicates the absence of HIV antibodies. Just as stated earlier, the presence of antibodies shows that the individual has the infection.
N.B: During the window period of the infection, the test will read negative even if the virus is present in the bloodstream. Worthy of note also is that the whole blood can also be used for the test; it’ll only take a longer time to perform the test and in addition, urine can also be used for the test.
Advantages of Rapid HIV Test
The following are the advantages presented by the use of Rapid HIV test.
- It is easier to perform as it does not require complicated procedures.
- It is faster to perform.
- It reduces the phobia (fear) of testing for HIV.
- It encourages confidentiality since it can be done and read privately.
- It makes it possible for immediate management of the infection.
- It can be performed and used by anyone since no license or special equipment is needed.
Other Types of HIV Test
Apart from rapid HIV test, there are other tests that may be carried out for the diagnosis of the viral infection, they are:
- Early HIV test. The early HIV test can be conducted within 7-14 days after probable exposure to the virus. This test causes a reduction in the window period so that the HIV antibodies can quickly be identified in the body.
- Standard HIV test. The standard HIV test takes up to 5 days before the result will be ready. It is performed in the laboratory on a blood sample from the individual.
Don’t just die in silence; get the kit and follow these easy steps today for rapid HIV test if you think you have been exposed to the infection. An earlier diagnosis of the infection makes it easier to manage and prevent the transmission of AIDS. Even if you test positive to the rapid HIV test, see your physician as soon as possible for immediate prescription of retroviral drugs.
Management of health has been made easier with help of medical science and one just needs to tap into the knowledge in order to live a healthy life even after the infection