Testing for HIV-1 infected patients.

Clinical Significance:

This test screens for HIV, an STD that can lead to AIDS if not treated. HIV is a virus that weakens your immune system by destroying important cells that fight disease and infection. If you’re sexually active, it’s important to know your HIV status so you don’t infect others. There is no cure for HIV, but it can be controlled with treatment.

You might consider testing if you:
• are 65 years of age or younger
•have been exposed or are at risk of exposure
• want to get screened to know your status

Annual testing is recommended if you:
• are a man who has sex with men
• have had more than one sex partner since your last test
• have had sex with an HIV-positive person
• use/have used needles for drug injection
• have exchanged sex for drugs or money
• have had another STD since your last test
• have hepatitis or tuberculosis (TB)
• are pregnant

Most people with HIV do not initially have symptoms. Those with symptoms may experience flu-like symptoms including fever, chills, rash, night sweats, muscle aches, sore throat, fatigue, swollen lymph nodes, or mouth ulcers lasting 1-2 weeks.

If you previously had a negative test but are still experiencing symptoms, you may want to consider taking the test again since the average window period for tests to detect HIV is 3-12 weeks.

This test does not require fasting.