Around 1.2 million people in the U.S. are living with HIV, and many are unaware of their infection status. HIV (also known as Human Immunodeficiency Virus) attacks the immune system by targeting CD4 immune cells. It gets transmitted through certain bodily fluids, including blood, semen, breast milk, vaginal fluids, and rectal fluids. If left untreated, HIV can progress to AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome), a condition characterized by severe damage to the immune system. Unfortunately, there is currently no known cure for HIV. Once a person becomes infected, the virus remains in their body for life. However, with proper medical care and treatment, you can effectively manage HIV and live a long and healthy life. Equality Health Group can provide reliable and accurate HIV testing in Moore, OK. Schedule your appointment today by calling us at (405) 761-2762.
Different Types of HIV Testing: Fast, Confidential, and Accurate
There are 3 main types of HIV tests: antibody tests, antigen tests, and nucleic acid tests. Equality Health Group’s HIV testing center offers all three tests and can assist you in choosing the most suitable option.
This type of test detects HIV antibodies in blood or oral fluid. This is the test most rapid and home tests commonly used for HIV diagnosis. It is widely available, affordable, and non-invasive, but false-negative results are possible during the “window period”.
The window period in HIV testing is when a person gets infected with the virus and when the available tests can reliably detect the infection. During this period, the person might already have HIV infection, but the tests may not yet show positive results.
This type of HIV test detects the presence of antigens produced by the virus. Antigens provoke an immune response in the body, leading to the production of antibodies. In HIV, antigen testing specifically detects a protein called p24, a core protein of the virus. It provides rapid results but may be less sensitive during the later stages of infection.
Nucleic Acid Test (NAT)
This test directly searches for the presence of HIV in the blood. We recommend this test for early detection and individuals with recent exposure or negative results from other tests. Apart from being most accurate, NATs are also more expensive and time-consuming than antibody tests.
Feel free to contact EHG for consultation and guidance to determine the most appropriate test for your needs.
Navigating the HIV Testing Process: From Pre-Test to Post-Test
HIV testing involves several steps to ensure accurate results and provide appropriate support to individuals. Here is a step-by-step guide–
Step 1: Pre-Test Counseling
The first step is to consult with our healthcare provider to understand which testing options (antibody, antigen, or nucleic acid tests) are most suitable based on your situation.
Step 2: Sample Collection
The next step is to visit our center for HIV testing in Moore, OK for sample collection. The most common sample collected is blood, whether it is a finger prick or drawing blood from a vein in your arm.
Step 3: Laboratory Testing
We either use a rapid test in the clinic or the collected sample gets sent to an HIV testing lab for analysis. Antibody and antigen tests use enzyme immunoassay (EIA) or chemiluminescent immunoassay (CLIA) to detect HIV antibodies or antigens. With nucleic acid tests, we extract and amplify the genetic material (RNA or DNA) from the sample to detect the presence of HIV.
Step 4: Obtaining Results
The time it takes to receive HIV testing results varies. With our rapid antibody tests, we can provide results within 20 minutes. However, laboratory-based tests take a few days to a week.
Step 5: Post-Test Counseling and Support
Regardless of the test result, post-test counseling is crucial. If the result is negative, we will discuss HIV prevention strategies and offer support services if needed. If the result is positive, we will also provide emotional support and discuss the next steps.
At Equality Health Group (EHG), we can guide you through the entire process for testing HIV Moore. Our experienced healthcare professionals provide counseling and support services to ensure you receive the necessary care.
HIV Testing Frequency and Risk Factors
All individuals between the ages of 13 to 64 should undergo HIV testing at least once. However, individuals with specific risk factors should test for HIV more frequently. So if any of the following applies to you, it is recommended to get tested at least once a year or more.
- You are a man who has had sexual encounters with other men
- You have engaged in anal or vaginal intercourse with someone who is HIV-positive
- You have had multiple sexual partners since your last HIV test
- You have shared needles, syringes, or other drug injection equipment
- You have exchanged sex for drugs or money
- You have been diagnosed with or received treatment for another STD
- You have been diagnosed with or received treatment for hepatitis or tuberculosis (TB)
- You had sexual relations with someone who has engaged in any of the activities mentioned above or with someone whose sexual history is unknown to you
Furthermore, men who have sex with men (MSM) or women who have sex with MSM may benefit from more frequent testing, such as every 3 to 6 months. If you are pregnant, you must undergo testing for HIV to take the necessary steps to maintain your health and protect your baby.
How We Interpret Test Results: Understanding Your Status
HIV Test results can be either positive, negative, or indeterminate.
A negative result means it is unlikely you have HIV, but if you’ve recently been exposed (within a few weeks) we recommend getting retested in a few weeks. HIV infection is highly transmissible, so early detection is important.
A positive result means you have HIV, but we run additional tests to confirm it. In most cases, we will perform confirmatory testing automatically if you’ve tested for HIV in our clinic. More importantly, once you receive any positive HIV test result, following up on all the results is vital. Untreated HIV infection can lead to severe complications and increases the risk of transmitting the infection to others.
An indeterminate result occurs when the test result is not positive or negative. Here, the final interpretation usually depends on your risk of HIV exposure. Further testing will be required as determined by an HIV specialist.
Private and Confidential HIV Testing in Moore, OK
Equality Health Group prioritizes the anonymity and confidentiality of HIV tests. Alternatively, you can opt for an HIV self-test for complete anonymity.
Confidential testing involves recording your test results in your medical record, which includes your name and personal information. You should share these results only with your healthcare provider and health insurance company.
We safeguard your test results through state and federal privacy laws and will only disclose them with explicit consent.
Support and Resources on HIV Testing in Moore, OK
Counseling services and emotional support are crucial for individuals undergoing HIV testing. At Equality Health Group, we provide comprehensive care, education, understanding, and compassion for patients. We also assist with obtaining insurance coverage and ensuring medication adherence. In certain cases, we also offer HIV treatment, STD testing, STD treatment, Hepatitis C testing, Hepatitis C treatment and PrEP for HIV prevention. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please contact Equality Health Group. Call us at 405-761-2762 or email us at i[email protected].
We are here to provide confidential and compassionate HIV testing in Moore, OK and care, supporting you on your journey to better health and well-being.