By Atiya Jones
Getting an HIV test can be one of the most stressful tests you will ever take. In the past getting the result took days, weeks, and even months. What most people don’t know is now you can have peace of mind in 20 minutes and in some cases as little as 5 minutes with a rapid HIV test.
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) 30 % of people who tested positive and 39 % of people who tested negative using conventional testing in 2000 did not return for their results. With rapid testing almost everyone tested received their results. There are currently four rapid test approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use: OraQuick, Reveal, Uni-Gold, and Mulispot.
Rapid HIV test results are anywhere between 99-100 % accurate. A negative result doesn’t require confirmatory testing. Through counseling and risk assessment the counselor will be able to tell the individual getting tested if they need future testing due to an acute infection, meaning the body has not yet developed HIV antibodies. If the patient is still in this window period they will need to be tested again in three months.
If a patient received a positive (reactive) result from a rapid test it is said to be preliminary positive. This kind of result needs to be followed up by a western blot and/or standard EISA test which is known as confirmatory testing. Once results are in from the western blot a positive result confirms HIV infection and a negative result says that the patient is free of infection or may need to re-test due to the window period.
Rapid testing increases the amount of people who know their status and get help for HIV infection if needed. It also decreases the spread of the virus, because people are more likely to protect themselves and others if they know they’re HIV positive. Rapid testing is accurate, convenience, easy, and available everywhere for free. Get tested!
Know Your Status.. Visit one of these Clinics to Find Out!
119 West 24 Street
New York, NY 10011
356 W 18th Street
New York, NY 10011
Brooklyn AIDS Task Force (BATF)
502 Bergen Street
Brooklyn, NY 11217
Bronx AIDS Service (BAS)
953 Southern Blvd
Bronx, NY 10459