Usually an HIV test is a strictly voluntary procedure. However, there are circumstances when it is simply necessary to be tested for HIV infection.
In the eyes of society, testing for HIV still looks unusual and even strange. Perhaps your friends and relatives, having learned about your plans to undergo testing, will suspect you of “bad” behavior. But in vain. Because HIV testing is, first of all, a sign of taking care of your health.
HIV testing is in most cases voluntary. There are times when an HIV test is required.
Free HIV testing west hollywood should be given to anyone who begins to have sex. It is optimal to find out the HIV status of a partner even before entering into an intimate relationship with him. If this could not be done, then you need to be tested for HIV infection 3 months after the onset of sexual activity. The same applies to the situation of changing the sexual partner. If for a long time the sexual partner is always constant, then there is no need for periodic HIV testing.
Examination after dangerous situations
In a situation of accidental sexual contact with a partner whose HIV status is unknown, an informative determination of antibodies to HIV in the blood is possible only after three months. The first three months after HIV infection lasts a period of “window”, when antibodies to the virus are just beginning to be produced and their level is below the threshold value determined by test systems.
A similar situation is with a suspected infection through the blood, for example, when injecting drugs with an unsterile syringe. After dangerous situations from the point of view of HIV infection, with negative results of the first examination, it is advisable to take repeated tests every three months for a year.
If there are signs of illness
Sometimes a blood test for HIV is necessary for clinical reasons – for example, if a person has a pronounced immunodeficiency or there are clinical signs that suspect HIV infection or AIDS. Inspection is also recommended when identifying sexually transmitted diseases, hepatitis B or C, tuberculosis.
Representatives of some professions
Representatives of a number of professions that directly come into contact with blood and biological fluids — doctors, laboratory assistants, and medical sisters — should be tested annually for HIV infection. In addition, medical workers at AIDS centers who are constantly in contact with HIV-positives need to be examined.
Contact with HIV positive
Testing is especially important for people who are in contact with HIV-infected people, including at home. People who have regular sex with an HIV-infected person should be tested every three months, even if they use the condom on a regular basis.
After blood transfusion and transplantation
Patients who receive blood components transfused (especially red blood cells) should have an HIV test done after three months. The same applies to those to whom donor organs and tissues have been transplanted.
Examination of pregnant
Pregnant women also need to be tested for HIV in the early stages – when contacting an antenatal clinic. If the result is negative, the test is repeated in the third trimester of pregnancy to exclude the period of the “window”.
Examination of children born to HIV-positive women
As for children born to HIV-infected women, it is not advisable to conduct a blood test for antibodies to HIV during the first 12-18 months. The fact is that during pregnancy, maternal antibodies to HIV are transmitted with blood to the fetus and remain in the child’s blood for up to 18 months, even in the absence of HIV infection. Thus, newborns either perform PCR diagnostics of HIV, or after 18 months – an analysis of antibodies to HIV.
Examination of representatives of risk groups for HIV infection
People at risk for HIV infection – homosexuals and commercial sex workers – should be tested for HIV every three months, regardless of whether they use a condom during sexual intercourse. Drug users also need to be tested regularly, every three months, including for those who use non-injection forms of drugs.
Repeat and further tests for HIV infection are determined by a specialist based on the results of the initial examination, clinical data and depending on the situation.