HIV antibodies & multiplex HIV
What is HIV?
Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is a viral infection that weakens the immune system, leaving the body vulnerable to other infections and diseases. HIV is spread through unprotected sex (oral, anal, or vaginal), or through sharing infected needles. It is also transmitted in utero from an infected mother to an unborn child. It cannot be transmitted by saliva, unless that saliva contains HIV-infected blood or other bodily fluids.
HIV positive people can develop AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome), a severe lack of cellular immunity.
There are two kinds of HIV testing, both of which are provided by our clinic.
HIV antibody testing
This test can give you results within 4-6 working hours. Our instant HIV test gives results within one minute.
Multiplex PCR Testing
This test is considered the most accurate method for early detection of HIV, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C and has 98% accuracy within 10 days of exposure. This test is less accurate if taken more than 2 months after initial exposure to the virus.
Both tests involve a confidential consultation with an experienced doctor. This is included within the test price.
Q: Can HIV be cured?
A: There is no known cure for HIV. If you have had unprotected sex and are worried that you may be at risk, you can seek emergency anti-HIV medication, or PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis), which can reduce your chances of becoming infected. This treatment needs to be started within three days of coming into contact with the virus, and lasts for a month.
Q: What are the benefits of a diagnosis?
A: The sooner you are tested for HIV, the more quickly you can begin treatment in the event of a positive diagnosis. Treatment now allows many people who are HIV-positive to live long and healthy lives. The longer you wait to be diagnosed, the more difficult it becomes to treat the condition.
Q: How many people have HIV?
A: At the end of 2011, there were an estimated 96,000 known cases of HIV in the UK. This includes an estimated 22,000 people who had not been diagnosed (which means that roughly one in four people who have the disease do not know that they have it).
Q: How can I protect myself?
A: Over 95% of HIV-positive people contracted the disease through sexual contact. Using a condom will help to protect you and your partner.