HIV testing in Atlanta has become a regular part of ongoing health care. In the United States, one out of every five people infected with HIV are not even aware they have it. Accessing HIV testing can give those who are newly infected access to treatment and those without HIV the knowledge of their HIV status. At Southside Medical Center, patients access testing through several programs. Testing is free and confidential. Before getting HIV testing in Atlanta, there are a few important things to know about the process. This includes why testing is necessary, who should be tested, and what the test measures.
Why HIV Testing is Important
The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is the underlying cause of AIDS. People can live with HIV without symptoms for years, but they can pass the virus on to others even before they have symptoms. Even though someone with HIV may feel fine if they leave the virus untreated, it is actively attacking their immune system. Being able to fight the infection before a patient becomes sick can mean many with HIV live a long time. Medical advances via treatment mean patients with HIV get to where their viral load is even undetectable.
Accessing early treatment for those who test HIV positive can prolong life. This testing is also vital to stop the spread of HIV. For example, a pregnant woman with HIV who is on medication is far less likely to pass the virus on to the unborn baby.
Who Should Be Tested
HIV now affects people of all ages, genders, race, economic status, and sexual orientation. Back in 2006, the CDC recommended HIV testing for everyone. They ended policies tied to only targeting those in high-risk groups for HIV testing. They now consider everyone to be at risk for HIV. HIV testing in Atlanta has become a part of many programs that target different populations.
Getting HIV Testing in Atlanta
Knowing your status is essential. For those with a positive test result, they can access treatment and support to stay healthy. Knowing your HIV status either way and taking preventative steps can also stop the spread of HIV. Talk to the caring and professional team at Southside Medical Center to learn more. Contact us today for a consultation in Atlanta.