Testing for HIV infection and the PEP medicationby Anteh Dispensary Anteh Dispensary
HIV or Human Immunodeficiency Virus directly affects our immune system and completely disables it, which creates antibodies to fight with any diseases. HIV attacks the CD4 cells by infecting it first and killing it later. As the virus kills CD4 continuously, our body becomes vulnerable to different kinds of incurable diseases, such as cancer.
HIV spreads through blood, semen, vaginal fluid and breast milk and several other factors, but luckily it’s not contagious and doesn’t through air or water or physical contacts.
Why should you go for HIV screening?
A lot of people all over the world don’t even know that they have HIV. Due to the fact that HIV doesn’t kill us directly, but weakens our immune system, there is no possible way to know if a person is infected with HIV or not. So, if someone has HIV, it is possible that he/she might spread the disease unknowingly. That is why every adult needs to go through an HIV screening test every 6 months.
Besides, we all know that HIV cannot be cured, but some treatments can definitely help you to live a long and normal life.
There are PEP medications, which are being used for a long time and the results are actually fruitful.
What is PEP medication?
PESP is more like a precaution, which can be taken by anyone who isn’t infected by HIV yet but has chances of being exposed to it. If you indulge in physical intercourse with any random person, you should take PEP medication. PEP medication has two types,
You can take PEP medication if,
- You have been exposed to HIV during sex, which could either happen by breaking the condom or if you had sex without a condom
- IF you have had unprotected sex in the last 72 hours, you can take PEP
But, if you think that you have been exposed to HIV, don’t run for PEP medication, but go the doctor immediately and go through the HIV tests.
There are three types of tests are done to check if a person is infected by HIV or not,
- Antibody/Antigen Test
- Antibody Test
- NAT or Nucleic Acid Test
What is an Antibody/Antigen Test?
Antigen HIV test is the most common test that can be done at any health clinic or hospital. These tests check the antibody level in our body, which is a type of protein produced by our body to fight the infection. While antigen, a part of the HIV, activates the immune system.
An Antibody/Antigen test can show constructive results after 2-5 weeks of contraction.
What is Antibody test?
An Antibody test is carried out by taking blood or saliva samples and can show better results between 3-13 weeks. An Antibody test can provide HIV results within 30-40 minutes.
There are two different types of tests are also available,
- Ora Quick HIV test, which is an oral swab test and can deliver HIV results within 20 minutes
- The home HIV test system is a test where you can prick your finger and take out some blood to send it in the lab for an HIV test.
What is a NAT or Nucleic Acid Test?
This is the most expensive HIV test, where you don’t look for the antibody but the HIV itself. It’s recommended for only those who have the early symptoms of HIV. It takes more or less 1-2 weeks to detect HIV on the blood.
Major HIV symptoms for men
- Sore on genitals
Major HIV symptoms for women
- Virginal infection
- Human Papillomavirus
Created on Feb 19th 2020 14:10. Viewed 225 times.