HIV is known as Human Immunodeficiency Virus. It is a sexually transmitted disease and is highly contagious. It is a virus that can harm the body’s immune system. It is also the virus which causes AIDS.
HIV symptoms may be similar to flu-like symptoms like fever, muscle pain or aches, rashes and swollen glands. These symptoms may appear in about four weeks of exposure to HIV. Anyone who has hepatitis C should be tested for HIV. Those who have multiple sexual partners and having sex without protection should also undergo HIV testing. Those who share needles and syringes or are into drug abuse must be tested as well.
HIV testing is usually done in hospital, in private clinic or health centers. The doctor supervises the testing by taking samples of blood, saliva and urine from the patient. The patient has the option to take a rapid test of HIV testing. The results are known after about 30 minutes after the samples are analyzed. This is done in hospitals, HIV testing sites and private clinics. The results are interpreted and confirmed by the doctor.
One reliable rapid test is the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay or the ELISA test. This test accurately detects the presence of anti-bodies to combat HIV. If there are anti-bodies present in the samples, then the patient is positive for HIV. If there is no detection of these, then the result is negative and the patient is not infected with HIV. This test has 99% accuracy.
Those who tested positive for HIV using the ELISA test may again be re-confirmed by another HIV test known as the Western Blot. This test is more complicated than the ELISA test and is done only if the patient wants to make certain of the results.
However, being tested negative does not mean you are safe from HIV. Doctors usually recommend another test after six months to make sure that the virus is not present in the body system.
As for the home HIV testing kit, the person can do the test in the privacy of the home. The test should be done with caution to avoid contamination of the results. The first thing to be done is to make sure that your hands are very clean. Make sure the environment or your home is clean before doing the test. You take your blood sample by using the needle and placing a drop into a testing ground then combine the transparent fluid which helps in the formulation of the results. Results appear in the form of lines. It supposedly detects anti-bodies in the blood sample. However, the validity of the home HIV test kits is not considered as reliable. Most test kits are not approved by the FDA except for one which has been recommended for use.
The important thing to remember is that HIV should not be taken lightly. Home HIV test kits are useful if precautions are observed on how the way the tests are done in hospitals and clinics. Those who use it are advised to seek proper medical attention immediately if results are positive.