HIV Test Kit
This is a discreet at-home antigen/antibody combination test that can help detect HIV. This qualitative test may be used to detect HIV p24 antigen and antibodies to HIV type 1 and HIV type 2 in the blood.
Test results may take 2-3 business days once the specimen is received at the laboratory.
HIV is an illness affecting the lives of 36.9 million individuals worldwide. This infectious disease presents a global burden. It is a virus unlike any other. It attacks the body ‘s immune system and has no cure. The best way to tackle this virus is by detecting it the earliest possible to be able to treat it before it turns into a more complicated illness.
What is HIV?
HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus. It is the virus responsible for the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, otherwise known as AIDS. What makes this virus special is that our body cannot attack it properly. Even with the appropriate treatment, an infected person can not get rid of HIV. It is a virus for life. If infected, you need to follow an ART (antiretroviral therapy) treatment to manage the disease and improve the quality of your life.
When HIV enters the body, it attacks the immune system. The body’s immune system is in charge of fighting off infections. If HIV is not treated, the virus would invade our immune system and reduce the number of white blood cells (CD4 cells). Day after day, it will keep invading the body and destroying cells, making our body unable to defend itself anymore against anything. That’s when opportunistic illnesses start appearing. The latest stage of HIV is the AIDS that is killing more than 15,000 people in the USA, yearly. AIDS is a very severe illness during which the body gets conquered by too many infections.
There are three stages of HIV: the acute infection, the clinical latency, and finally AIDS. The acute infection stage normally happens two to four weeks, after being infected. During this phase, an infected person would develop flu like symptoms such as fever, sore throat, rash, swollen glands, muscle and joint pains, as well as headaches. This phase is also referred to as a primary HIV infection. Getting treated during this first stage yields the best result in fighting off the progression of the HIV infection. Also, during the acute infection stage, you are at the highest risk of transmitting the infection to others.
During the second phase, the HIV virus keeps reproducing at low levels that may seem insignificant even in lab tests. What is special about this phase is that can spread over decades. If you take the ART treatment early post-infection, you will be able to stretch the latency phase forever. As a result, HIV will not progress. This phase is a symptom free stage and can last a maximum of ten years for those who are not following a treatment.
During the third stage, when HIV has already progressed into AIDS, your immune system is badly damaged and opportunistic illnesses start surfacing. Those who are not following the ART treatment will have up to three years to survive.
In the United States, around 1.1 million individuals are estimated to have HIV. The CDC explains that one out of every 7 Americans that are HIV positive, never knew they were. HIV infects different groups of people in different ways. For example, 66% of all reported cases are gay and bisexual men, 24% are heterosexual and 6% inject drugs. Race also plays a role as a risk factor: 43% of HIV positive cases are black/African Americans, 26% are white, and 26% are Hispanics. HIV cases are the highest in the Northeast; but, based on populations numbers, the south has the highest number of reported cases.
The HIV test comprises of the HIV antibodies and HIV antigen tests. The first one is the most commonly used test in the USA that can detect an infection three to twelve weeks after being exposed to it. When you first get infected with HIV, the virus enters your system and starts replicating. As a result, the viral load and the p24 antigen levels will increase. Two to eight weeks post-infection, the immune system will begin its attempt to get the body rid of the infection. That’s when its starts producing antibodies against HIV. the result will be a lower p24 antigen levels.
Why take the at-home HIV test?
This discreet at-home HIV test consists of testing the HIV antibodies as well as the HIV antigen (p24). This is the best tool to screen and detect an HIV infection. The early detection of HIV permits an early treatment and prevents the deterioration of the immune system as a result of this invasive virus. It helps infected individuals have a chance at a longer healthy life. This test can help improve your survival rate. Also, it helps lower the risks of an infected person passing the virus to others. This test can help both you and your partner keep a healthy sexual life.
Having a combination test is the most recommended screening tool for HIV. It is meant to detect both the HIV antibodies for HIV-1 and HIV-2, as well as the HIV antigen (p24). The best diagnostic tool to detect HIV is to get tested for it. The centers for disease control and prevention advises anybody between the ages of 13 and 64 to get tested at least once in their lifetime. Knowing whether you are HIV positive or negative will give you a clear mind, helping you keep your life and that of your partner healthy.
Also, the American college of obstetricians and gynecologists advises all women who want to be pregnant to be sure that they are not infected by getting tested. It also advises all pregnant women to sit for the test during the first trimester. Women, who might be at high risk of getting infected with HIV, need to repeat the test in the third trimester.
The American academy of pediatrics advises all young people, between the ages of sixteen and eighteen and who live in high-risk areas, to be tested at least once.
The HIV test is recommended to be part of the yearly routine screening for anybody who is considered to be at risk. The following individuals are more prone to be infected:
- Anyone we had unprotected sex with more than one partner;
- Any man was is having sex with another man. Gay and bisexual men are advised to get screened, every three to six months;
- Someone who is using street drugs and sharing needles;
- Anyone who has been exchanging sex for drugs or money;
- Anybody who has an HIV positive partner; or, who had sex with a high-risk person.
As stated by the US president, in February 2019, the plan to end the HIV epidemic in the USA consists of four key tactics: diagnosing the earliest possible anyone who might be infected, getting treated for HIV hastily and effectively, protecting individuals by adopting proven preventive measures, and responding quickly when detecting HIV clusters/epidemics.
What can cause false results?
An HIV antibody test will not show positive for an early infection. Your body will be able to produce detectable levels of antibodies three to twelve weeks post-infection. So, even if you are infected with HIV, an HIV antibody test done too early will give a false negative result.
What your at-home HIV test results mean?
If your test results were negative/not detected for HIV antigen and HIV antibody; then, you are not infected with HIV. This means that at the time of the test, you were not infected. But if you have engaged in risky behaviors post-test; they will not be reflected in the results. Keep in mind that if you tested negative for HIV, this does not mean that your partner is also not infected.
If your test results are positive/detected for the screening test; then, you are infected with HIV. According to the CDC, if you tested positive for HIV, you need to get retested. In the follow-up test turned up positive again; then, you have the HIV. In that case, it is essential to seek medical care as early as possible to begin the HIV treatment. Taking the right medications, using condoms regularly, and getting tested routinely for HIV or any other STD’s can lower your risks of transmitting the infection. Also, talking openly with your sexual partner about your positive diagnosis is essential.
Where can I get an at-home HIV test near me?
This test kit will be mailed to you via USPS. You will receive a dried blood spot card, as well as other test kit materials. Please review all instructions prior to performing this test. Specimens should be shipped via USPS back to the laboratory. Results take 2 - 3 days upon receipt of the specimen by the laboratory.
TEST KIT REFUND POLICY- Kits can be cancelled anytime prior to sending the specimen to the lab. There is a $25 fee to cover the kit costs and shipping. So a full refund is minus $25.
Choose the test you want (be sure to pick the laboratory you want to use).
Pay by credit card or PayPal®.
You pay directly and we do not bill your insurance.
(Note: to preserve lowest possible per test pricing, a single $10.00 lab fee is applied to one or more blood tests. You will not incur any additional charges at the lab.)
After purchasing your testing you will receive an email with your lab requisition. Bring this form to the laboratory.
NOTE: Be sure to visit the appropriate laboratory!
If you choose LabCorp only visit a
If you choose Quest Diagnostics only visit a Quest location!
No appointment is needed, but making one can minimize your wait time.
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If you have selected the option to have an At Home Test Kit delivered to you, you will receive your test kit in the mail within 5 to 7 business days. (Not all tests are available as At Home Test Kits.)
We’ll email you when your results are ready. Sign into your account to view and download your result reports.
Certain result values may prompt a phone call from our ordering provider to ensure the patient is aware of their result.
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