Photo credit: www.sthk.nhs.ukStudies have shown that the number of people infected with HIV has continually increased over the years. In the United States alone, they say that more than 300,000 are infected with the virus and unaware that they have it. HIV is one of the fastest-spreading illnesses today, and people should be aware of how not to contract it.

 

Medical researches have introduced several different ways to diagnose HIV. Some of these methods require state-of-the-art, modern technology that costs a lot of money. Others are more in the convenient side of things, enabling anybody to perform the test and get the results back in a much shorter time period.

 

HIV Rapid Testing is among these “others” that many people prefer. In Rapid HIV testing, one can know whether he or she is HIV positive or negative in less than an hour, compared to the other methods that may take at least one week.

 

There are two main types of rapid tests, and they are the blood HIV rapid test and the oral HIV rapid test. The former requires a small amount of blood sample from the patient for evaluation, while the latter is recommended for those that are afraid of needles because it only needs an oral mucosa or saliva sample.

 

Even though HIV rapid testing presents several advantages, there are people that are very uncertain about its accuracy and precision. The doubt comes from the fact that it takes only 20 to 30 minutes to generate a result from these rapid tests. Well, for everybody’s information, a rapid HIV test works by finding traces of HIV antibodies in the immune system, and not by detecting the virus itself. It has been proven by medical experts to produce results that are as precise as the more costly method called ELISA. It is 99% accurate and less than 3 out of every 1,000 tests performed are considered false positives. Now, if you want a second or a third opinion after undergoing a rapid test, you can always take another rapid test or opt for the others such as the Western Blot or Elisa that utilizes many modern tools, equipments, and facilities.

 

There is a window period that should be observed before taking an HIV test, and it is three months. Doctors say that the HIV antibodies will only come out and develop after three months upon the beginning of infection. If you get tested before that window period, there is a chance that you will receive a false negative result. The bad thing about that is that you may get a negative result even though there really is HIV in your system. The virus has just not been there long enough to trigger the release of sufficient antibodies to fight them.

 

HIV testing is available in various hospitals, clinics, and health care facilities. There is no need to have second thoughts when it comes to preserving our health. Get tested now before it is too late.