Everything You Need to Know About HIV Testing

July 28th, 2011  |  Published in HIV Testing

HIV testin

g is a critical part of one’s preventative and sexual heath. However, according to a 2006 study, only 40 percent of American ages 18-64 had received HIV testing at some point in their lives. In the United States, an estimated 1.1 million people are infected with HIV, yet one out of every five does not know he or she is infected with the virus.

In addition to the widespread nature of the disease, HIV testing is imperative in preventing life-threatening repercussions of the virus. If left untreated or diagnosed too late, HIV can lead to AIDS, a complication which can permanently destroy the immune system.

HIV testing is recommended yearly for all sexually active adults and adolescents. High risk groups, such as men who have sex with other men, certain racial and ethnic minorities, and IV drug users, should be screened more frequently. Pregnant women should also take an HIV test.

An HIV test is recommended on a circumstantial basis for anyone who may have been potentially exposed to the virus.  HIV testing should take place six weeks, three months, and six months from the date of the potential exposure.

HIV testing is performed through a variety of different methods. Here’s a list of the various HIV tests on the market:

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