HIV and AIDS are often confused with each other. Half of the conversation falls under the confusion regarding the following steps after one realises one might have been infected with HIV.
What are some of the methods to test HIV?
HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is a virus that attacks cells that help the body fight infection, making a person more vulnerable to other infections and diseases.
HIV screening method can show whether a person has HIV or not. HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus. HIV is the virus that causes AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome). AIDS is the most advanced stage of HIV infection.
HIV testing can detect HIV infection, but it can’t tell how long a person has been infected with HIV or if the person has AIDS.
What are the types of HIV tests?
There are three types of tests used to diagnose HIV infection: antibody tests, antigen/antibody tests, and nucleic acid tests (NATs). The results of the three tests differ as each test has a different window period. The window period is the time between when a person gets HIV and when a test can accurately detect HIV infection.
3 types of Test
- Antibody tests check for HIV antibodies in blood or oral fluid. HIV antibodies are disease-fighting proteins that the body produces in response to HIV infection. Most rapid tests and home use tests are antibody tests.
- Antigen/antibody tests can detect both HIV antibodies and HIV antigens (a part of the virus) in blood.
- Nucleic Acid Test (NAT) look for HIV in the blood.
Some of these tests are not easily available in India.
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What is the treatment for HIV?
Treatment with HIV medicines is called antiretroviral therapy (ART). ART is recommended for everyone with HIV. People on ART take a combination of HIV medicines (called an HIV treatment regimen) every day. A person’s initial HIV regimen generally includes three HIV medicines from at least two different drug classes.
ART can’t cure HIV, but HIV medicines help people with HIV live longer, healthier lives. HIV medicines also reduce the risk of HIV transmission.
Please remember, some of these would be available in the clinic near to your place. Some might be available at the clinics nearby. ART centers also can provide for more some of these options.