STD testing for HIV is key in early identification and treatment of HIV/AIDS. It is the first step in maintaining a healthy life especially if you are sexually active and also for cutting down the transmission rate. Early detection of HIV is critical to reduce linked diseases, improve death rates, and limit the risk of transmission. Knowing one’s HIV status helps patients get the appropriate treatment (antiretroviral or ART medication), which can significantly improve their health outcomes.
Additionally, HIV treatment decreases the viral load (quantity of HIV in the blood) and prevents HIV-related diseases. HIV testing services include pre-test information, post-test counseling, and linkage to appropriate prevention, treatment, and care services. By improving access to HIV testing and introducing routine STD screening, healthcare organizations can enhance HIV care outcomes and address the concerns of HIV infection. Follow this blog for more insights.
Importance of HIV testing for the prevention of HIV infection
The importance of HIV testing for the prevention of HIV infection can be summarized as follows:
- Early detection: HIV testing enables the early discovery of the condition. Knowing your HIV status is crucial as symptoms can take years, and people could inadvertently transfer the virus to others during this period. Early detection encourages people to get adequate medical care and treatment as soon as feasible.
- Access to Treatment: People with HIV who know their status can start HIV treatment, typically known as antiretroviral therapy (ART), and stay healthy for many years. Studies have revealed that the sooner patients take HIV treatment following diagnosis, the more they benefit. HIV medication decreases the quantity of HIV in the blood, minimizes HIV-related illness, and limits the spread to others.
- Prevention of Transmission: Individuals who take HIV treatment as indicated and retain an undetectable viral load (or stay virally suppressed) cannot transfer HIV to their sexual partners. This notion is known as “Undetectable = Untransmittable” (U=U). Therefore, learning one’s HIV status and seeking treatment can be crucial in limiting the spread of HIV.
- Informed Decision-Making: HIV testing offers patients knowledge about their HIV status, whether positive or negative. It allows people to make proper judgments regarding their sexual behavior and overall health. It will enable people to take action to protect themselves and others from HIV transmission.
- Reducing shame: HIV testing helps to lessen the stigma related to HIV/AIDS. By normalizing HIV testing and promoting frequent STD screening, it becomes a regular element of healthcare and minimizes the fear and discrimination generally associated with the condition.
Benefits of early HIV diagnosis
Early diagnosis is key to successful treatment of HIV. It has several benefits:-
- Improved long-term health outcomes: Starting antiretroviral therapy early during HIV infection when the immune system is stronger resulted in improved long-term health outcomes compared with postponing ART. ART dramatically improves the health of an individual with HIV and decreases the person’s chance of getting AIDS and major health complications.
- Reduced mortality: Early HIV identification and therapy decreases patient mortality. The sooner you start treatment, the less likely you are to get sick because of opportunistic infections, HIV-related diseases, and other consequences.
- Prevention of future HIV transmissions: Early HIV testing and treatment help prevent future HIV transmissions. ART can reduce the quantity of HIV in the blood and other body fluids, making the infection less likely to be transferred to others.
- Receive preventative tools: Patients at risk for HIV who test negative can receive prevention measures, such as condoms and pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP).
- Creation of low HIV reservoir size: Early ART leads to a low HIV reservoir size that may contribute to HIV eradication research.
Unfortunately, many HIV-positive persons are discovered in the latter stages of the illness when it’s too late to reap the benefits of early treatment. Therefore, frequent HIV screening is crucial to guarantee early identification and treatment of HIV.
Increase HIV awareness, testing, and treatment linkage.
Increasing awareness of HIV status and linkage to care and treatment are important strategies in the fight against HIV. Here are some key strategies:
- Supporting regular STD testing in clinical settings with new testing technology effectively boost awareness of HIV status.
- Testing everyone ages 13 to 64 years for HIV at least once in their lifetime and testing persons at high risk for HIV at least once a year can lead to early identification and treatment.
- According to the CDC, total individuals who obtained an HIV diagnosis in 2019, 81% were cared for within one month.
- Early identification paired with a fast connection to care is crucial and can improve individual and community health outcomes.
Types of HIV tests
There are three types of HIV tests:
- Antibody tests identify HIV in blood or oral fluid, lasting 23-90 days. Vein-based tests are quicker than finger stick or oral fluid tests and are the FDA-approved self-test.
- The Antigen Test identifies HIV antigens, identifying p24 synthesis before antibodies form, suggesting HIV presence and blood viral levels.
- Nucleic Acid Test (NAT) identifies HIV in the blood, identifying it 10 to 33 days after exposure. NATs are considered for persons with recent exposure or early HIV symptoms who have tested negative.
Choose Affordable Rapid Testing for quick HIV testing.
Routine HIV testing leads to early links in care, lower morbidity, and death related to HIV, and reduced HIV transmission. Affordable Rapid Testing is a facility that offers same-day STI testing and HIV testing in Phoenix and Scottsdale, Arizona. They provide 100% confidential testing and have well-equipped laboratories for smooth HIV testing.
Affordable Rapid Testing is one of the top-searched STD testing clinics in Arizona, especially if you are looking for the keywords ‘rapid HIV tests near me’ in your locator app. They specialize in speedy walk-in STD testing in a comfortable, non-judgmental setting. Check out their website to know more.