If you suspect a possibility of being infected with HIV, you can now do a home test, meaning there is no need to drive to the nearest hospital anymore. HIV tests aim to check the presence of HIV in your body through blood or saliva. HIV tests can be done by checking for HIV antigen that develops after 12 weeks after contracting the virus.
HIV Home Test
To do a home test for HIV antigen, you start by swabbing your upper and lower gums using the home test kit approved by the Food and Drug Administration. If the result is positive, then seeing a doctor is your next move. This test can be done every three months especially if you are at high risk of having HIV infection.
HIV diagnosis doesn’t end by checking if you are infected with HIV. If your test returns positive, then you will have to go through a series of tests again to determine the current stage of your infection. Among the things that need to be constantly checked are:
- CD4 count – this white blood cell needs to remain above 200 because once it gets lower, the infection can become AIDS
- Number of viri in your bloodstream – this will measure the number of virus in the blood
- Virus resistance towards medicine – the test will determine how much the virus is responding to the drugs you are taking or if it is not affected all anymore because it has developed resistance to HIV medicines
- Complications – while on HIV medications, you will have to go through tests to make sure that your body is not suffering from any complications due to the weaker immune system. Among the common complications being checked are: Tuberculosis, Hepatitis, Toxoplasmosis, Other Sexually transmitted infections, Liver or kidney damage and Urinary tract infection.
Associated Cost of HIV Diagnosis
The cost of undergoing HIV diagnosis and treatment is not a cheap one and if you are a regular working employee, you might find that it costs an arm and a leg. Among the help that you can get while undergoing such diagnosis and treatment can be:
- Private insurance – most individuals have private insurance as provided by their employers (private employers) or insurance they are paying personally. According to the law and the new Affordable Care Act (ACA), insurances must provide you with the insurance you need regardless if you are having a pre-existing condition.
- From the government – there are government provided agencies that can help individuals if they don’t have the means to do so. In the US, Medicaid provided medical help to those who cannot afford to pay a private insurance. There are agencies and non-government organizations as well that caters to people who cannot afford to pay for their medication needs.
At the slight chance of having HIV infection, do not waste time and have a test as soon as you can. Since the home test is now available, there is no reason for you to miss it every three months. If HIV infections get diagnosed as early as possible, then killing or slowing down would be a lot easier plus complications can be prevented.