What types of HIV tests are there?
There are 4 main types of HIV tests available today:
- Point of care test (blood test taken at a clinic)
- Home sampling kit (blood test taken at home and samples sent to a lab)
- Home testing kits (blood test taken at home with rapid results)
Results from rapid result tests and point of care tests are given on the same day. Home sampling kit test results are ready in a few days.
What is a 4th generation HIV test?
The 4th generation HIV test can detect HIV infection earlier and more effectively than some other tests. If you are infected with HIV your body will have an antigen called p24. This starts to happen within the first 2 weeks after infection. The 4th generation HIV test is used to detect p24.
Your body will then produce antibodies, which is a sign that your body is trying to fight off the HIV infection. The 4th generation test also checks for these.
As the 4th generation test looks at two different signs of HIV it is an effective test for detecting the virus. This is the type of test we use at Superdrug Online Doctor.
What is a rapid HIV test?
A rapid HIV test can give you a result in 20 to 30 minutes. The tests are designed to be used at home or during a medical appointment. Rapid HIV tests involve collecting a sample of saliva (spit) or a prick of blood and then testing them straight away. You can get a blood test for HIV at a Superdrug Health Clinic.
What HIV tests does the NHS use?
The NHS uses the 4th generation test. This is the test that is offered at sexual health clinics run by the NHS, and is the same test offered by Superdrug Online Doctor.
Why should I get tested for HIV?
There are many reasons why you should get tested for HIV, and should consider getting tested regularly. Knowing your HIV status helps you make informed decisions, which means you can keep yourself and your partner(s) safe and healthy.
A negative test can help to ease any anxiety about a potential infection, and you can take steps to ensure you stay safe in the future. If you test positive, you can get access to care and treatment to help you stay healthy.
Reasons to get tested for HIV:
HIV can be prevented if caught early: If you have been exposed to HIV, there are medications that can stop you from becoming infected if taken within 72 hours. For this reason, it is very important to visit your nearest sexual health clinic or A&E and get tested if you are worried that you might have been exposed to HIV.
Get access to treatment: There is no cure for HIV, but the virus can be controlled effectively with treatment to help those who are HIV-positive to live long and healthy lives. With the right care and treatment, those with HIV can be expected to live as long a life as somebody without the virus.
Keep others safe: Knowing your HIV status helps prevent the spread of HIV, so you can make sure your partner(s) are not exposed. If you are HIV positive, treatment such as PrEP can stop you from spreading the virus to others.
Testing is quick and easy: Our at-home HIV test is a simple finger prick test, which takes only a few minutes to collect a small blood sample. You get your results from our doctors within 3-5 days of your sample reaching the lab.
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