Early detection gives an HIV-positive individual the best chance for successful treatment. Knowing your HIV status can also help you take extra precautions to prevent the spread of HIV. The sooner a pregnant mother begins treatment, the lower the risk to the baby of becoming infected with HIV if the mother is HIV positive. The medical professionals at Southside Medical Center in Atlanta, GA are ready to help you determine your HIV status in a safe, supportive environment through HIV testing.
Who Should Get Tested for HIV?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend everyone gets HIV testing at least once as part of a routine check-up. This applies to all individuals between the ages of 13 and 64. Individuals who participate in activities that put them in a higher risk category for catching HIV should get HIV testing done more frequently.
Activities associated with increased risk of catching HIV include:
- Men having sex with other men
- Anal or vaginal sex with an HIV-positive individual
- Sex with a new partner or multiple partners since your last HIV test
- Sharing of needles and other drug-related items
- Sex in exchange for drugs, money, or other goods
- Diagnosis of another sexually transmitted infection, hepatitis, or tuberculosis
- Having sex with someone who falls into any one of these risk categories or someone you do not know well enough to determine if they fall into these risk categories
A website alone cannot determine if you are HIV positive. The only way to know for sure is to get tested. The medical professionals at Southside Medical Center in Atlanta, GA are available to help you get the answer.
When Should Someone Get HIV Testing Done?
You should get HIV tested at least once as part of a routine visit. If it has been more than a year from your last HIV-negative test, you should seek testing if you participate in any of the risk categories outlined above.
What Are The HIV Testing Options?
There are various ways to be tested for HIV through different bodily fluids. Because it takes time for the body to react to exposure to the virus, different methods are used depending on how long it has been when you go to get tested. The appropriate testing method can be determined by the staff members at Southside Medical Center in Atlanta, GA.
What Do the Results Mean?
If you test positive for HIV, you should be retested to confirm the result. If it is determined that you are HIV positive, you will begin treatment. Given the progress made in treatment, the prognosis is good for individuals who begin taking the appropriate medication as soon as possible. It is also important to note that being infected with HIV does not mean you have AIDS.