What is an HIV test?
The only way to know if you have HIV is to get tested. The test for HIV is not an AIDS test. This test detects antibodies to HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. The body of the infected person produces antibodies to fight HIV infection. If the results of HIV antibody positive, means that HIV has on the body.
When should I be screened?
You must wait about three months after possibly having contact with HIV before testing. Because HIV antibodies can take weeks to appear in the test, the results of newly infected people may still be negative. During this waiting period, it is important not to do anything that might expose it again. Do not have sex, or if it does, make sure you use a latex condom every time. Do not inject any drugs, but if you do not use the same syringe or needle used another person. If you have to share these things with others, be sure to clean them with bleach and water well.
Why should I get tested?
Many people do things they later regret. Perhaps you feel that way now. Maybe something else happened that now affects your health. In situations how are you, get tested and see the negative result may make you feel much better.
It is important to know if you have HIV. If the test is positive, it can take steps to ensure they do not inadvertently infect their loved ones or others. Knowing you have HIV also can help you make the necessary changes to protect their own health. There is no cure for HIV, but recent advances in medicine offer clear benefits in early treatment. People with HIV can live a long and healthy life if they seek help early.
Where do I go to get tested?
In the city or county where you live there are probably several centers where testing can be done free or low cost. Many local health departments, family planning clinics, substance abuse programs and other organizations offer HIV testing sponsored by the New York State Department Health. These centers provide confidential testing (where you give your real name) or anonymous testing (where they have to give your real name). You can also ask your doctor test. To find a place to make HIV screening near you, More Information: Call 866-934-8693 or log onto mytestresults.com to get your test results. Call 311 for more information on AIDS/HIV and other Sexually Transmitted Diseases. Visit the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene www.nyc.gov
What happens when you go to get tested?
In testing centers DSHS, a counselor will talk with you about the test. You will be asked to express their concerns. Why do you think there’s a chance you have HIV? When you do the test, you take a small amount of blood from the arm or finger. In some centers until you take a sample from inside the mouth. Then, this sample is sent to a lab for testing to be performed. You may have to wait two weeks or more to see the results. Talk to your counselor about when to return and make sure you go to find out the results. In HIV testing centers funded by DSHS, the results can only be given in person, not by phone or mail.
What does it mean if the result is negative?
A negative test result means no HIV antibodies were detected at the time of the test. But if in the past three months had any sexual contact without a condom or used the same needle to someone else, you will have to be tested. Talk to your counselor and tell the truth about any risky behavior and when you may have to return to be tested again. A negative test result does not mean that HIV is immune to HIV. If you have sex without protection or use the same needle as someone else, you can still become infected in the future.
What does it mean if the result is positive?
The test for HIV antibodies is very accurate. Any positive test is repeated and confirmed before you report the results. A positive result means you are infected with HIV. It is not a death sentence. People with HIV can live in good health for many years without any sign of disease. You will be encouraged to consult a doctor right away to have other tests to see how your immune system is functioning and to detect other infections. In addition, the counselor can give you the names of organizations that can help.
If the result is positive, your counselor or other health professional will discuss how to inform the people they had sex or shared a needle with whom. Although it may be difficult to discuss this issue, these people have to know they are at risk. Public health professionals are experts in how to inform these people in confidence (ie, without giving any information about you). Maybe it’s better to use this service rather than inform yourself.