Early self-examination to detect HIV is an important step. This has an important role in supporting the success of treatment, prevention and getting good information and counseling. An HIV detection test is recommended to be carried out by anyone who suspects that they have HIV without waiting for certain symptoms to appear.
In order to detect HIV properly, HIV detection tests need to be done at the right time. There is no test that can detect HIV infection as soon as we are infected. It may take up to 12 weeks for HIV antibodies to be detected in our blood.
Many people still feel reluctant to take an HIV test because of the stigma that exists against this disease. In fact, the sooner it is detected and treated, the more effective the results of HIV treatment. In addition, by knowing HIV status, sufferers can implement measures to prevent the spread of this virus.
Who Should Check Yourself?
HIV can be transmitted from one person to another through blood, semen, pre-ejaculatory fluid, fluids from the vagina and rectum, and breast milk. You are at risk of contracting HIV if someone’s body fluids infected with the virus enter and mix in your body. The following are groups of people who are categorized at risk of becoming infected with HIV.
- Suffering from sexually transmitted diseases such as herpes, syphilis, chlamydia, or gonorrhea.
- Having more than one sexual partner.
- Having unprotected sexual relations, such as condoms, with people whose sexual background is not known with certainty.
- Having sex with drug users or commercial sex workers.
- Sharing the same syringe with other people, whether for treatment, injecting drugs, tattoos, or piercings.
- Having a mother infected with HIV or showing symptoms of HIV in a child.
- Never received a blood transfusion.
- A few copies of HIV-fighting genes in the body.
- Uncircumcised man.
- Men who have sex with other men.
- Having a partner who likes to change sexual partners, or use injecting drugs.
It should be noted, if HIV is not contagious if we touch or cuddle with sufferers, swim in the same pool with sufferers, share food, drinks, and toilets with sufferers, or be exposed to sufferers’ saliva, sweat or tears.,
How do you access the HIV Detection Test?
The World Health Organization (WHO) stipulates that HIV testing must be self-aware, confidential, targeted, accurate, and connected with appropriate treatment. If you are at risk of becoming infected with HIV, a person is recommended to get an HIV test. To carry out an HIV test, you can consult and get counseling beforehand with a skilled health worker. There are several types of tests to detect HIV, including:
These tests include most HIV tests, including rapid tests with saliva samples and tests that can be done at home with blood samples. An antibody test is performed to detect the presence of antibodies produced by the body to fight HIV, at least 3-12 weeks after being exposed to the virus. If you want to do an HIV antibody test, it is recommended to choose a test with a blood sample because the results are faster.
Combined tests or fourth generation tests are done to look for HIV antibodies and antigens. Antigens are part of the virus itself and are present in the body during acute HIV infection. Antibodies and antigens will form within 2-6 weeks after the body is exposed to the virus.
This is the fastest HIV detection test, but also very expensive. It only takes 7-28 days for NAT to detect HIV. This test is not routinely used to detect HIV, unless the patient has recently been exposed to a high-risk virus or shows early symptoms of HIV infection.
Not all hospitals or institutions provide HIV detection testing services. You can access a list of hospitals or HIV institutions that provide HIV services nearby. If your test results are negative, avoid things that put you at risk or become vulnerable to contracting HIV. If your test results are positive, you can immediately consult a doctor to get the right therapy. The sooner HIV is detected, the more life expectancy that can be pursued increases.
The Indonesian Ministry of Health supports HIV testing as a step to get treatment and prevention. The government also urges people not to discriminate or stigmatize HIV sufferers because this disease can occur to anyone.