An HIV infection causes, on the one hand, the development of the virus in the body and, on the other hand, the production by the body of defenses against the virus: the antibodies. The HIV test can tell if you are infected with the AIDS virus. It looks for the presence of antibodies against HIV in the blood.
Most of the tests used in Canada also look for components of the virus. These are called combined tests. They sometimes make it possible to detect an early infection (less than 3 months after taking the risk). Depending on your profile, it may be advisable to get tested for sexually transmitted infections (STIs). HIV self-tests have been available for sale in pharmacies at a cost of $ 25-30. In Canada, the self-test was authorized by the government authorities and is now available in pharmacies. The HIV self-test (or home or personal HIV test) is a test that anyone can do on their own. The self-tests sold in Canada are easy to use and give a reliable result.
When to take the test
The antibody test gives a reliable result 3 months after taking a risk (indeed, some people do not develop their antibodies against HIV until 3 months).
The combined test can be done two weeks after taking a risk, because sometimes components of the virus appear quite quickly in the blood following an HIV infection. In the event of a confirmed positive result, the combined test is reliable. On the other hand, in the case of a negative result on the combined test, it is important to repeat it 3 months after taking the risk.
Primary infection or early Primary infection refers to the days or weeks immediately following infection with HIV. This period is special because the amount of virus in the blood and sexual secretions can be very high. The risk of transmitting HIV is very high even though a screening test may still be negative. Currently in Canada there are two types of test used by professionals:
These tests are very easy to use. They require very little blood, which is taken at the fingertip. Depending on the type of test used, it can give a result between 5 and 30 minutes. The person can therefore know his result quickly and the same day.
These are tests carried out by taking blood, the tube of which is then sent to a laboratory to be analyzed. The result is usually returned several days after the test. The canada home testing solutions are there as well.
Incubation and Risk Taking
There is always a gap between contamination and the possibility of detecting it: this is the so-called “latency” or “incubation” time. Separate interviews with men and women for consultations before and after the test are likely to facilitate the entire process of consultation and voluntary screening of couples, while reducing the risk of violence. At the end of the test, couples should be able to decide whether they want to come together for HIV release; this option should include the presence of members of support clubs for serodiscordant couples.