HIV (I & II)-Human immunodeficiency virus Screening Lab Test

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What is HIV?

HIV stands for Human immunodeficiency virus that leads to AIDS or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. Unlike any other virus that the body rids of either naturally or through treatment; HIV virus once contracted cannot be eliminated from the body even with treatment. The HIV virus mainly affects the immune system of the body, specially the T cells also called CD4 cells.

Overtime if treatment is not sought the HIV virus would damage a large number of T cells, thereby greatly hampering its ability to fight any infection. Taking advantage of the weak immune system the virus would rapidly progress into its last stage indicating to the presence of AIDS. 

There are three stages of HIV infection namely;

  • Acute primary infection – The onset of this stage begins within 1 to 4 weeks of getting infected and is associated with flu like symptoms.
  • Asymptomatic Stage – This stage is described as clinical latency test and has no symptoms. The HIV virus continues to slowly progress without treatment. 
  • Symptomatic HIV infection – This is the last stage of HIV infection and is more commonly known as AIDS.

How can we help?

As part of our at home healthcare service, we bring to you HIV tests at home along with HIV treatment at home. Our highly reputable team of doctors have the medical expertise to effectively deal with HIV infection.

So, if you need HIV treatment at home just give us a call and our representative doctor would soon visit you at your home and take the necessary step of treatment.

HIV causes

The main causes of HIV are;

  • Coming in contact with blood, semen, vaginal fluids, or anal secretions containing HIV
  • pregnancy or breastfeeding if the mother has HIV
  • Sharing syringes with a HIV infected person

AIDS causes

The main cause behind AIDS is the HIV virus and it is sexually transmitted from one person to another

 

HIV Symptoms

The common HIV symptoms are as follows;

  • Rapid weight loss.
  • Recurring fever 
  • Night sweats.
  • Extreme tiredness.
  • Lymph glands swelling in the armpits, groin, or neck area.
  • Longer duration Diarrhoea 
  • Mouth sores, anus sores, or genital sores.
  • Pneumonia 

AIDS Symptoms

There is no single AIDS symptoms rather a plethora of illness called opportunistic illnesses, that affects a person owing to an extremely weak immune system.

 

Clinical Definition of HIV (I & II)-Human immunodeficiency virus Screening

HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) destroys the human body's immune system which could lead to severe poisonous contaminations that do not normally affect healthy people. HIV is contracted in the human body via unprotected sex with an infected person through semen or vaginal fluid, contact with the blood of an infected person, sharing drug needles or through pregnant women to their babies during pregnancy.

Infection with HIV causes AIDS (Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) which is an advanced form of an HIV. It is preventable and hence advisable to practice safe sex or by getting treated for AIDS through certain medications. 

Commonly performed HIV tests are:

  • HIV DUO (Elisa) - To screen for HIV infection
  • Western Blot- To confirm for HIV infection
  • HIV COMBO-To check for Viral load & CD4 cell count

When do you expect results?

24 to 36 Hours

 

What is AIDS?

AIDS is the result of HIV Infection and is the last stage of HIV infection. It indicates to the most severe stage of HIV infection. An aids patient immune system is so weak that they are literally host to a range of illnesses called opportunistic illnesses.

 

Reason to take HIV (I & II)-Human immunodeficiency virus Screening Test

HIV infection is generally unnoticed and has no specific symptoms in the early stages. People who are infected may develop a brief cold or flu-like illness 2 to 6 weeks after becoming infected. The persons immune system could get affected very severely starting with mild infections or further develop into chronic symptoms such as:

  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Weight loss 
  • Fever 
  • Cough 
  • Shortness of breath 

During the late HIV stage, more serious HIV symptoms may start to appear such as:

  • Swelling of lymph nodes for over 3 months Chronic diarrhea Lasting headaches Persistent, unexplained fatigue Soaking night sweats 
  • High fever (greater than 100°F) & chills for several weeks

Preparations Needed for HIV (I & II)-Human immunodeficiency virus Screening Test

Preparatory instructions before the test *:

No Fasting Required.

No other special preparations required.

Sample Required?

Specimen type: Serum (Blood Sample)

Specimen collection procedure: Venipuncture - Collection of blood from a vein, usually from the arm.

HIV Test Cost

The HIV test cost is variable and is depended upon several factors, however, the usual HIV test price are pretty low and easily affordable.

HIV Treatment

There is no cure for HIV that would eliminate the infection from the body and the HIV treatment is mainly aimed at managing the symptoms and stopping the further progress of the infection and stop it in either stage I or stage II.

ART or antiretroviral therapy has been found to considerably successful in stopping the virus from further progression and increase the life expectancy of a HIV infected person. Another therapy called Highly active antiretroviral therapy or HAART is also being used in the treatment of HIV patients.

AIDS treatment

AIDS treatment is mainly aimed at managing the symptoms and provide relief as there is no cure for AIDS.

 

Why Get Tested?

HIV ELISA/Western blot is a set of blood tests used to detect infection with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in serum, saliva or urine. Such tests may diagnose HIV antibodies, antigens or RNA.

Any blood test related to HIV conducted during the window period may give false negative results. A window period is the duration it takes for the body to produce HIV antibodies post infection with the virus. In most people, this period is between 2weeks and 12 weeks.

 

Understanding results of HIV (I & II)-Human immunodeficiency virus Screening

Reference RangeInterpretation
Above 1.0 IndexReactive
0.0 to 1.0 IndexNon Reactive

‘*A Reference range is a set of values which helps the healthcare professional to interpret a medical test. It may vary with age, gender, and other factors. Reference ranges may also vary between labs, in value & units depending on instruments used and method of establishment of reference ranges’

References

  1. https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/003538.htm
  2. https://www.cdc.gov/hiv/guidelines/testing.html
  3. https://www.hiv.gov/hiv-basics/staying-in-hiv-care/provider-visits-and-lab-test/lab-tests-and-results