How Long Does An HIV Test Take

How long does HIV test take?

Hearing about the possibility of having any sexually transmitted disease, particularly acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) can make you very troubled. This illness is caused by a kind of virus – the Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). When you find yourself in a position where you may have come in contact with this life threatening affliction, it would be safer to have a test for HIV. How long does HIV test take? Your anxiety to know the result can cause sleepless nights and troubled waking hours – unless you spend time knowing what these two, AIDS and HIV, are all about.

Know what HIV and AIDS are.

Human immunodeficiency virus or HIV is a virus that causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome or AIDS. The main property of this virus is its destroying effect on your immune system if left untreated. In the end, you will be very susceptible to a wide array of serious illnesses like pneumonia, tuberculosis, cancer and other infectious diseases. At the onset, the HIV infection does not manifest any unique symptoms, sometimes just flu-like symptoms that will easily fade away. Despite the modern technologies and scientific discoveries there is no known cure for this disease so how you observe preventive measure is very critical. Relevant to this, you have to know how the HIV is transmitted. Sex is the main way by which the HIV infection is transmitted; regardless if it is anal or vaginal, unprotected sexual encounter. Sharing needles with one who is afflicted with the disease can also transmit the virus and a baby born to a mother sick with AIDS has a high risk of having the disease. Once the virus gets into the body, it replicates fast destroying the immune system.

Why and when should you be tested?

Every human being is at risk for the HIV, regardless of sex, age, social, or financial status. It is very important that once you come in contact in sexual way with a person who may have had unprotected sex before you, you must undergo the HIV test to determine if you are infected. This brings you back to the question – how long does an HIV test take? A month to three after you had been exposed to the virus, you have to undergo the test. By then, detection of the antibody becomes possible. Then if you are at a very high risk, have an annual test.

About HIV testing

For the test to be conducted, a blood sample from a vein in your arm will be taken and the testing procedure has improved a lot over the years. Some tests today would no longer require a blood test, but rather a swab in your mouth for a saliva sample can be done. An HIV test can be anonymous or confidential and anonymous testing had been made available in many US states. Under this kind of test, no one except your own self will know the results. Your name will not be divulged since only a letter and number code will be used to match with the test result. Once you mention and give your name to the HIV testing site, the test is considered to be confidential information and is classified as such. The result will only be known to you and your doctor, however, the result will be a part of your medical record.

How long does HIV test last? Actual testing, including Urine, and blood tests, can take about 25 minutes, and include some basic questions, however this is not too much of your concern. What gives you anxiety is waiting for the results. After the anonymous test, you usually must return to the testing site in one to two weeks. You usually have to get the result personally and some tests will only have the result after several weeks; however there are tests that give you a preliminary or advance answer – in less than an hour, but these have to be confirmed, which usually takes about a week to hear back on.