Human Immunodeficiency Virus or HIV is one of the most prevalent sexually-transmitted diseases in the world today. It has infected several millions of people – males and females, young and old. It does not choose its victims. It can affect all of us regardless of age, gender, nationality, social or economic status, and race.
Because HIV is notorious for being able to spread around fast, people are encouraged to undergo HIV tests once they suspect that they have the virus. HIV can be contracted via sexual intercourse, sharing of infected and used needles, blood transfusion of infected blood, and from an HIV-positive mother to her unborn. So those that belong to any of these categories should not think twice about getting tested for HIV.
There are actually two primary types of HIV tests. The first one is known as the antibody test. It is cheaper than the other type and is more widely used. The other type is known as the antigen test and it can detect the virus once it has infected a person. In the United Kingdom, there are three HIV test options available for the people there: home HIV tests, STD clinic HIV tests, and NHS screening.
Home HIV Tests
Home HIV tests are a kind of HIV screening test that was first introduced in the United Kingdom in 2006. It is conducted by acquiring a saliva sample of the patient that will be sent to the laboratory for analysis and examination. Before, undergoing a home HIV test did not offer any counseling after the result had been given. Nowadays, the process has changed and people who receive their results can talk to an STD expert regarding their condition – whether they turn out to be HIV positive or not.
There are also home HIV tests that need blood samples of the patients. This is actually a more reliable method of screening for HIV because saliva tends to not be able to provide enough traces of the virus in order to give a reliable result.
STD clinic HIV tests
In the United Kingdom, a private HIV tests cost around 100 pounds. They are done by setting up an appointment at an STD clinic so that patients can walk in and get tested privately by a licensed medical professional. The results from private HIV screening tests are very reliable as they employ and utilize the help of state-of-the-art lab equipment.
This HIV screening test can be done by visiting an NHS GUM clinic and avail of their free screening. You will be asked for a blood sample, and you will have to wait for the results for a few days. One good thing about NHS tests is that the clinic offers counseling services to patients who go there.