HIV STD Testing

HIV STD Testing

28 March 2023
 Categories: Abortion Clinics & Information, Blog

 HIV is a sexually-transmitted virus that attacks the body's immune system, leaving the patient highly vulnerable to life-threatening health complications. Luckily, medical science has come a long way in the terms of HIV treatment. However, it's important to catch the illness in its infancy to minimize the damage it causes. In order to catch the condition early, sexually active teens and young adults should get tested regularly. Learn more about HIV STD testing. 

Where do you go to get tested?

There are a number of facilities that offer STD testing:

  • doctor's office
  • urgent care 
  • community medical centers
  • Planned Parenthood  

Alternatively, at-home testing kits are available at pharmacies and online. These tests aren't as accurate as tests done through the doctor's office, and there's much more room for human error while administering the testing. 

How do doctors detect HIV?

Doctors detect HIV by testing blood for antibodies. A medical will collect a sample, which can detect HIV after 18 - 45 days. The doctor will send the sample to the lab to have the testing done. Results are usually available in a couple of days. 

Clarify at the beginning of your appointment that your STD testing includes HIV testing, as some medical centers test for HIV separately from other STDs. 

Should you get tested?

Every sexually-active adult should get tested about once a year. High-risk individuals who have unprotected sex with multiple partners regularly or share needles should get tested more frequently. 

How much does it cost to get HIV testing?

Patients with insurance can often get HIV testing for free or for a small co-pay. Patients without insurance will need to pay for testing out of pocket. The price will vary based on the medical center. Patients with limited income can look into government programs to learn about free testing centers. 

Can you protect yourself from AIDs?

You can protect yourself from AIDs by getting PrEP. PrEP is a new medication designed to protect yourself from HIV. When taken daily, PrEP is highly effective in preventing HIV. Ask your doctor about PrEP during your next visit. 

What happens if the test comes back positive?

If your test comes back positive, you will need to work with a team of doctors to get you on a treatment plan. Luckily, AIDs-related deaths have declined by 67% since their peak in 2004. Your HIV diagnosis, while serious, is manageable.  

For more information, contact a local clinic like Bartow Family Resources Medical.

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