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HIV Tests

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HIV and AIDS Tests at Walgreens

HIV and AIDS tests you perform at home look for antibodies to the HIV virus inside your body. This is the virus that causes AIDS. The HIV virus attacks immune cells that help your body fight off infection. Over time this can weaken your immune system and make it harder to avoid illness. Home HIV and AIDS tests can tell you whether you've been exposed to the HIV virus so you can get medical treatment and avoid exposing others.

Why Testing is Important

If you're carrying the HIV virus, early treatment can keep you healthy longer. Treating HIV infection early may slow down damage to the immune system and may help prevent or delay some of the life-threatening infections people with AIDS can develop. By knowing your HIV status, you can also take steps to avoid spreading the virus to other people.

The HIV virus is transmitted from person to person through sexual contact and contact with blood from an infected person. It can also be passed to an unborn baby through pregnancy, childbirth and breast-feeding. You can carry the HIV virus and not have symptoms initially. That's why testing is so important. Some experts believe everyone should get tested for HIV at least once.

Home HIV and AIDS Tests

There are advantages to home testing for the HIV virus. You can do it in a private and confidential manner. Home HIV tests have an accuracy rate of 99% and higher. What are your testing options?

One option is to use an HIV-1 test system. With this test, you take a sample of blood using the lancet supplied in the kit and send it to the testing laboratory. Once the test is complete, in about a week, call the laboratory and get your results. Everything is kept completely confidential and anonymous for your protection. This FDA-approved test has an accuracy of 99.9%.

If you need faster results, an express HIV-1 test system is available. It's similar to the standard HIV-1 test system but you can access the results the next day. If your test is positive, referrals for medical care and counseling are available by phone when you get your results.

If the prospect of taking a blood sample frightens you, an oral in-home HIV test is available. It's easy to use. Simply take a sample of fluid from inside your cheek or gums using the swab in the kit. Then place the swab into the test tube provided. Wait 20 minutes and read the results. This test has two advantages - you don't need to stick yourself and you get the results very quickly in the comfort of your home. It's approved by the FDA for home testing. It is important to know that a positive test result does not necessarily mean you are infected with the virus. You will need another test by your doctor or other healthcare provider to confirm the result.

What if Your Test is Positive?

If your HIV test is positive when you test at home, see your doctor or health care provider as soon as possible. Your doctor will perform further testing and make treatment recommendations as necessary. Although there's no cure for HIV and AIDS, a number of drugs are available to help keep the virus in check and help you stay healthy.

This summary is intended for general informational purposes only, and should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. You should read product labels. In addition, if you are taking medications, herbs, or other supplements you should consult with a qualified healthcare provider before taking any over-the-counter medication as they may interact with other medications, herbs, and nutritional products. If you have a medical condition, including if you are pregnant or nursing, you should speak to your physician before taking these products. Consult a healthcare provider immediately if you experience side effects.

Online and store prices may vary.
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