Diagnosis Of HIV infection

Who should undergo the HIV test?

The HIV test should be undertaken by people who have been exposed to situations which are considered risky in transmission of HIV infection. HIV is mainly transmitted through three routes namely;

  • Sexual
  • Parenteral
  • From an HIV infected mother to her baby

Considering these routes of transmission, the HIV test should be

Undertaken by the following category of people;

  1. Those persons who have more than one sex partner
  2. Those persons who have a sexually transmitted disease.
  3. Those persons who indulge in needle sharing for intravenous drug use
  4. Those persons who have received transfusion of a blood unit which was not tested for HIV
  5. Those children who are born to an HIV-infected women
  6. Sex partners of an HIV- infected person/
  7. Rape victims
  8. Health care workers who have received an accidental needle stick injury while working from a person known to be HIV- infected or a person with unknown HIV status.
  9. Persons suffering from diseases associated with AIDS

 

Why Should you Be tested?

Pros

  • If you know you are HIV-positive, you can take advantage of immune system monitoring and early treatment and intervention.
  • By taking the test, you can find out whether or not you can infect others.
  • Regardless of the result, testing often increases your commitment to overall good health habits.
  • If you test negative, you may feel less anxious after testing.
  • Women and their partners considering pregnancy can take advantage of treatments that potentially prevent transmission of HIV to the baby.

Cons:

  • If you test positive, you may show an increase in anxiety and depression.
  • When testing is not strictly anonymous, you risk job and insurance discrimination. You can prevent this by ensuring that you test at an anonymous testing site.


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