HIV testing | Knowing your status

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hiv testsThere are two groups of HIV tests available that have very different functions. The first group of tests are used to determine the HIV status of the person and are done on people who have not yet been diagnosed positive or negative. The three tests which fall into this category are the  HIV antibody test, P24 antigen test and PCR test

The second set of HIV tests are done on people who have already been diagnosed as HIV positive and are used to determine the effectiveness of the treatment by measuring the CD4 count of the patient. These tests are the CD4 test and the viral load test.

Home sampling HIV tests are also available and allows a person to test their HIV status and get the results in minutes using either a saliva or blood sample. We urge anyone who receives a positive outcome to attend at a clinic for a blood test that is then sent to a lab for analysis and testing. While these tests are quite accurate, there have been cases of a positive outcome to the home testing kit showing a negative result from the lab but more importantly, you need to receive the counselling available for HIV positive living.

HIV positive people live long and productive lives which is the very reason that South African Insurance Companies are offering inexpensive Life Insurance to HIV positive people. Being HIV positive does not mean the end of the world and simply means a lifestyle change, much like any change in Life and is often as simple as making a few small lifetsyle changes in diet, exercise and a good health regimen.

The main reason for the availability of HIV Home testing kits is to allow people to very easily and quickly get to know their status, in particular in parts of the World where clinics and medical facilities are far from where people are living. Both the Treatment action campaign and the Government are not in favour of home HIV tests due to the lack of education surrounding HIV which they fear could lead to huge problems which may include suicidal thoughts. Where we do not agree on this aspect, it is important to verify the results of your HIV test should you show a positive result and get the necessary help from psychologists and medical personnel.

We reiterate, HIV is not a death sentence and small changes in lifestyle can see anyone who is HIV positive living long productive lives and enjoying everything that life has to offer.

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