HIV is feared by a lot of people because of all the adverse effects it does to the human body. They say that once you get infected with it, you are going to be infected with it for the rest of your life. It is something that will be part of you until you pass on.

How does HIV affect the body?

HIV, which means Human Immunodeficiency Virus, enters the body to primarily attack the immune system. It assaults the cells and tissues and weakens them. As a result, the body’s immune system becomes susceptible to other diseases.

It takes some weeks before the body can release HIV antibodies to battle with the virus. This is the right time to get an HIV test. If you undergo an exam before that period comes, there is a very high chance of getting an inaccurate result. It is advised that you wait for a few weeks until enough antibodies are at war with HIV.

How to conduct an HIV Test

HIV tests are for the purpose of detecting the HIV through the presence of HIV antibodies. There are many types of HIV tests, depending on your needs. If you want to know more about how to test for HIV, read further and take note of the important points.

Most HIV tests need a patient’s blood sample for analysis. There are others that require cell samples from the inside of the mouth, by the cheek region. The ELISA, or Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay Test, is one of the most popular and widely-used methods. It checks the presence of HIV antibodies in a patient’s sample and will give the result between a few days and a few weeks.

Another method is called the rapid HIV testing. It is used by many because of its ability to provide accurate results in a shorter period of time. Unlike the ELISA, which takes days (and sometimes, even weeks), the rapid HIV testing takes less than 30 minutes. Yes, you read that right. Less than 30 minutes. So if you do not want to wait so long, having sleepless nights, wondering if you have the disease or not, you better opt for the rapid HIV testing.

Finally, there is a good option offered to people who value their privacy so much. The home HIV testing has become popular in recent years due to its convenience. All you need to do is buy a testing kit from a drug store. Alternatively, you can check on the internet and look for it in online shopping stores. The kit comes with instructions on how to do the test on your own. You will need to get a sample of your blood, saliva, urine, or cells from inside your cheeks. After that, you have to send the sample to a credited laboratory for analysis. You can contact them after three to seven days to know the results.

Upon knowing your results, consult with a doctor and talk about what your options are. HIV positive patients will have to undergo treatment and several other tests to make sure the virus is controlled. If you receive a negative, you will still have to take medication just to make sure that the infection does not do any more harm.