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HIV & HIV Testing
What are the symptoms of HIV
Those infected with the HIV virus do not always get symptoms early on. Symptoms when they do occur at the early phase of infection will vary from very mild (the majority) to severe. To make matters more confusing these symptoms are very none specific and thus overlap with a multitude of other viral type conditions.
Symptoms may include:
- Sore Throat
- Chest infection
- Mouth Ulcers
- Swollen Lymph glands
- Muscle Aching
The only sure way to diagnose HIV is with a HIV test. So if you are worried you may have put yourself at risk then get tested immediately. Call today to book an appointment for a test on 0115 8967878.
How Can I prevent HIV
In simple terms the important factor here is risk avoidance. For sexual encounters use of condoms is the best way to avoid catching HIV. This combined with avoidance of high-risk behaviour means your risk is almost zero.
However condoms may split or in the heat of passion be forgotten. If this happens it is worth considering a course of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PEP). PEP is a one month course of HIV medicines taken very soon after the potential exposure and the purpose of which is to prevent the infection with HIV taking effect. Call us today on 0115 8967878 and we can arrange this for you.
Here at Park Private Clinic we guarantee:
- A fast reliable service
- Complete confidentiality and or anonymity
- A professional and none judgmental friendly service
- Results to tests available usually within 1-2 days.
- A free sexual health consultation for those being tested.
When and How do I get a HIV Test
The HIV test you require is determined mainly by when you may have been exposed to the virus. HIV is like most infectious diseases in that – there is a window, or incubation period (which is the time between infection and when the disease may be accurately detected). There are 4 types of HIV test, which can detect the HIV virus at different window periods:
- 10 Day HIV DNA PCR Test (for exposures that occurred more than 10 days ago)
- HIV Insti or Instant HIV Test (tests start at 26 days after exposure)
- 28 Day HIV DUO Test (for exposures that occurred more than 28 days ago), a fourth generation HIV test
- 90 Day HIV Antibody Test (for exposures that occurred more than 3 months ago), a third generation HIV test
This test can detect the presence of the HIV virus just 10 days after exposure.
PCR stands for Polymerase Chain Reaction and is a testing method that extracts and amplifies the genetic material of an organism (in this case HIV). Because HIV testing using PCR RNA checks for the virus itself, the window period is shorter compared with other types of HIV testing. This means it can provide a result sooner than other HIV tests.
This test needs a blood sample, and the results for our 10 day HIV test take up 3 working days from when the sample is received in the laboratory. If you choose the 10 day test, you should follow up with the HIV Duo Test at 28 days after the potential exposure.
This is a rapid and reliable point of care test. It is ideal for use in patients in whom exposure has occurred more than 28 days ago. Upon booking an appointment for this test you will have access to a free consultation with our doctor who will discuss the results with you after the test. The test result is available within 5-10 minutes. The test can simultaneously detect HIV viral protein (p24 antigen) and antibodies produced by the body to the HIV virus.
The accuracy of the test has been shown to be >99%, thus giving peace of mind to those with a negative result.
Any positive results require laboratory confirmation and follow up.
This HIV test can detect the HIV virus 28 days after infection and is called a “DUO” test because it combines an antibody test for the HIV 1 & 2 strains of the virus with an antigen test for the p24 antigen. An antigen is a foreign substance that triggers the body’s creation of antibodies. With HIV, the p24 protein is the antigen that most commonly triggers an antibody response. During the first few weeks after someone becomes infected with HIV, p24 is produced rapidly and is detectable in the blood. Because the p24 test can detect HIV infection before the HIV antibody test can, it is used for diagnosing HIV early in the course of infection. Coupled with an antibody test, the HIV p24 antigen is very accurate in determining early on whether an individual has been infected with HIV.
The HIV DUO test is extremely accurate at 28 days our test is a fourth generation HIV test. This test is considered 99.8% accurate at 28 days.
This is the traditional HIV antibody test which many GUM clinics offer. An antibody is the immune system’s response to disease. If you have been infected with HIV, your body will produce antibodies which are typically detectable through HIV testing after 3 months.
This test has now been largely superseded by the HIV Duo 28 day test.