An individual can take an HIV rapid test for early detection of the human immunodeficiency virus or HIV. This test can inform patients if they need to undergo certain types of treatment like the antiretroviral treatment.


Several years ago, patients had to wait for a long time before they can get their test results back. They will have to take a series of tests, send the acquired blood or urine samples to a laboratory that had the right kind of tools and equipment, and follow-up on the findings many times.  Doing all these was what they had to do before, but today is a different case.


The United States’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or CDC and the Federal Drug Administration of FDA have approved the use of HIV rapid tests to all the citizens of the country, between the ages of 13 and 64. It supports the advocacy that people should have the choice to take an HIV test where and when it is convenient for them.


Photo credit: www.made-in-china.comToday, HIV rapid tests are available everywhere --- at any doctor’s clinic, hospitals, and other health institutions. There are even products sold online.


Now, the question that begs to be asked is, “Are those reliable? How accurate are they?”


The rapid tests that you can get at health care clinics and facilities can tell you whether you have HIV or not in less than half an hour. A person from the medical field will be there to help you all throughout the process.


The HIV test kits available online, on the other hand, have varying feedbacks from their consumers. Some of them are manufactured by pharmaceutical companies that claim that these are for real. The test kit contains some sort of a manual where you can read the instructions on how to proceed with the test. Most of these will require samples of certain body fluids (urine, saliva, etc.), and you can wait for the result in about a week. If you are uncertain with doing it on your own, you can ask the assistance of a trained medical person.


Although home test kits have earned varying opinions from people, many still use them because of the privacy they are able to provide patients. At first instinct, individuals who think they are HIV positive will not want the whole world to know that they have the disease. They want to be spared from all the humiliation and embarrassment of being caught in waiting in a hospital corridor to get an HIV test.


HIV, indeed, is something that we should not just take no notice of. It is an issue that encompasses a big sector of the society. It has been around for so long now. HIV awareness should be raised so that people will know how and why to prevent it.