Testing for HIV Infection

It is very easy to be tested for HIV. After reading the ways of coming into contact with it, if you have any doubts or worries then a test will put your mind at rest. Or if the test was to prove positive then the earlier it is found the easier it is to get treatment and advice that will help you to keep your body as healthy as possible.

It is important to go for testing at a clinic or hospital that also provides counselling about HIV and AIDS.

There are various ways to have the tests done, one is a simple blood test, another is an oral fluid test, this involves testing a sample of fluid taken from inside the mouth with a cotton swab.

It is called The OraSure Test you can find information on this at http://www.orasure.com it is currently only available through a clinic or a health care provider.

Some clinics will also offer urine testing as an alternative to blood tests.

If you prefer to keep it private and remain anonymous you can do it yourself in your own home. There are many home tests advertised on the internet but only the (Home Access Test) has been approved by the FDA.

The Home Access test kit can be found at most local pharmacies. The testing procedure involves pricking your finger with a special device, placing a drop of blood on a specially treated card, then mailing the card in for testing. You are given an identification number to use when you phone in for the test results– 3 days or 2 weeks later, depending on the test kit that you purchase.

If your test is positive then you must take steps to protect your health, start with changing to a healthy lifestyle and retain a positive attitude that will give you the will to stay fit and well.

By having immediate medical care may delay the onset of AIDS and also prevent some of the life threatening conditions.

Always get confirmation that the positive HIV test was true, another test will confirm it for sure. If it is positive there are a number of important steps you can take immediately to make sure your health is protected.

First of all try and find a doctor who has experience in treating HIV. There are now many new drugs to treat the HIV infection, There are tests, immunizations and drug treatments that can help you stay in good health.

Taking drugs, alcohol and smoking can weaken your immune system. There are programs available to help you to stop.

Think about joining a support group for people with HIV infection or finding out about other resources available in your area, such as HIV/AIDS-knowledgeable counselors for one on one therapy. There are also many newsletters available for people living with HIV and AIDS. Learn as much as you can it is a step in the right direction.

Local and/or national resources may be available. Many HIV/AIDS organizations provide services free or on a sliding scale, based on your ability to pay.

If you test positive for HIV it means that you now carry the virus that causes AIDS. It does not mean that you have AIDS, nor does it mean that you will die. Although there is no cure for AIDS, many opportunistic infections that make people sick can be controlled, prevented or eliminated. This has substantially increased the longevity and quality of life for people living with AIDS.

End of Part 3

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