Human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV, is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) that damages the immune system. This makes it easier to get sick and even die from infections or diseases that the body could normally fight off.
This test checks your blood for two types of HIV: HIV-1 and HIV-2. HIV-1 is the most widespread around the world.
What are the symptoms of HIV?
A few weeks after being infected, some people develop flu-like symptoms such as:
These usually disappear within a week to a month, and people may not have any other symptoms for years.
If left untreated, HIV will eventually cause AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome). Symptoms of AIDS include:
There’s no cure for HIV. However, medication can slow the damage the virus causes by lowering the amount of HIV in the blood. These medications have made it possible for people with HIV to live as long as they would without HIV.
If your results detect HIV, you will have the opportunity to speak to a board-certified PWNHealth physician about your results at no additional cost.
You should be tested if you:
Everyone between the ages of 18 and 64 should get tested for HIV at least once.
After being infected with HIV, it can take several weeks or months for blood tests to detect the virus. If you test too soon, the test may be negative even if the virus is in your body. If you think you may have been exposed to HIV, you should get medical help immediately. Prompt treatment within 3 days of a possible exposure can lower the chance that you’ll develop an HIV infection.
There is no risk involved in getting this test. You will be asked to give a blood sample at the lab.
You do not need to do anything to prepare for this test.