Protect yourself and protect others by getting an HIV test today
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a sexually transmitted disease, which is transmitted by contact or transfer of blood, semen, pre-ejaculate, and vaginal fluids. HIV can also be transmitted from an infected mother to her infant during pregnancy, childbirth, or through breastmilk.
HIV infects immune system cells, and in the absence of effective treatment, eventually leads to a loss of cell-mediated immunity, and the development of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).
Although HIV is not curable, antiretroviral therapy (ART) is a very effective treatment to prevent the transmission of HIV and the progression to AIDS. Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) is also available as an emergency medication to reduce the risk of HIV infection.
Why consider this test?
- The CDC recommends that everyone between 13 and 64 years of age should get tested at least once for HIV as part of routine health care.
- Individuals in higher risk populations (e.g. men who have sex with men, injecting drug users, sex workers) should be tested at least annually for HIV.
- HIV screening is recommended in the routine panel of prenatal screening tests for all pregnant women
- This 4th generation HIV test is a laboratory test that can detect HIV with more accuracy and at an earlier stage than older rapid HIV tests.
If you suspect that you have been exposed to HIV, be aware that there is a “window period” of 18-45 days when HIV antigens and antibodies are not detectable. Individuals who have been potentially exposed to HIV should be tested immediately (although likely negative within the first two weeks), and then tested again at six weeks, three months, and six months.