HIV testing Los Angeles is an important healthcare decision that should not be taken lightly. At STD Free Los Angeles, we understand that this is a sensitive issue, that should be based on accurate and complete information.
In this article, we hope to educate you on the various types of HIV tests, allowing you to make informed health decisions.
What types of tests are available for an HIV test?
There are three main types of tests: antibody tests, antigen/antibody tests, and nucleic acid tests (NATs).
Antibody tests, the most common type, look for HIV antibodies in your blood or oral fluid. Because the human body develops these antibodies between 23 and 90 days after infection, this test is usually recommended three months after potential exposure.
In contrast, antigen/antibody tests can detect both HIV antibodies and HIV antigens (a component of the virus) in your blood. The primary advantage of this test is that it detects HIV earlier than the antibody test because the p24 antigen appears within a few weeks of infection.
Nucleic Acid Tests (NATs) look for viruses in your blood. They can detect HIV 1 to 4 weeks after exposure, making them the most accurate but also the most expensive.
What test is most accurate for HIV?
While each test serves a purpose, NATs are the most accurate because they detect the virus directly. However, because of the high cost, it is usually reserved for people who are at high risk of exposure or when recent exposure is suspected.
How long will it take to get my HIV test results?
Timeframes differ depending on the type of test. Rapid antibody screening tests can provide results in as little as 20 minutes. Laboratory tests, such as antigen/antibody tests and NATs, can take several days to two weeks to complete but provide a higher level of accuracy.
Can an HIV test detect the virus immediately after exposure?
Understanding the window period, or the time between potential HIV exposure and when a test can accurately detect the virus, is an important aspect of HIV testing. Due to this window period, no test can confirm HIV immediately after exposure. This period can range from 10 days to three months depending on the type of test. That is why, whenever possible, we recommend consulting with our healthcare professionals to determine the best time for your test.
Where can I find reliable HIV testing near me?
STD Free Los Angeles, the premier HIV testing center, is dedicated to providing comprehensive, confidential, and dependable HIV testing services. Our professional and compassionate team is dedicated to making you feel at ease, informed, and supported throughout your entire testing experience.
Remember that getting tested for HIV is an important step toward protecting your own and your loved ones’ health. Early detection means early treatment, which allows the virus to be effectively managed and supports a long, healthy life.
Get Tested for HIV today!
Take charge of your health with HIV testing Los Angeles at STD Free los Angeles. Confidential, convenient, and supportive. Schedule your test and join us in creating an HIV-free Los Angeles!