HIV Screening Tests are tests that Doctors use to determine if a person is infected with HIV or not.
Some tests look for the HIV virus in the body. Other HIV screening tests look for pieces of protein that break off from the HIV virus called antigens. Yet other tests look for special antibodies that the body produces after it has been infected with HIV.
Every HIV test has a window period. In other words, knowing which test to do at different stages of the HIV infection will ensure maximum accuracy.
After a person is infected with HIV, the virus combines with the DNA of immune cells of the body. The virus then forces the cell to make millions of copies of the HIV virus. Once the cell is full of virus, its bursts and releases all the viruses into the blood stream that go onto infect other cells. After about 10 days from when a person is infected with HIV, there are millions of viruses in each drop of blood. This is when we can conduct the RNA PCR test to find out if a person is infected with HIV or not.
After about 2 weeks from when a patient is infected, pieces of protein start to break off from the outer shell of the HIV virus. This can be detected with HIV Antigen tests.
After about 4 to 6 weeks, the body will produce special antibodies to fight off the HIV virus. There are different types of antibodies. Some are produced earlier and some produced later. Different tests are able to detect different types of antibodies.
HIV Screening tests may also give false positive results. This means they may show that a person has been infected with HIV even though he/she is not infected. This means all positive HIV screening test need to be verified.
Nowadays, most HIV screening tests are done as rapid tests. This means the test is conducted in the Doctor’s clinic instead of the blood sample being sent to the lab. Most rapid tests can give results in 20 minutes or less. This leads to less waiting time and less anxiety. In fact, some HIV rapid screening tests can even be done with saliva rather than blood. This is very useful especially for people who are afraid of needles.
HIV screening in Singapore can also be done anonymously. In other words, you do not have to provide any personal details to the clinic to get your HIV test done. Also, the results, even if it is positive, will not be notified to anyone or any authority. Our clinic at Robertson Walk is a mandated Anonymous HIV testing centre.
If you are looking to do a HIV test, you need to see a Doctor trained and experience in HIV screening.
At Dr Tan & Partners, all our Doctors are specially trained to give you the best and latest advice on. Stop worrying unnecessarily and visit our clinics today.