Whenever anyone feels that they may have become infected with HIV they want a diagnosis as quickly as possible. To determine this it requires a blood test or testing of the saliva to see if the antibodies that would indicate HIV is present. It can take about three months for these to show up. if someone has become infected, and for those that are anxiously waiting to hear the results this feels like a very long time. This is how it used to be but now there is a newer form of test.
This new test checks for what is called HIV antigen. As soon as someone becomes infected with HIV the virus produces a protein called HIV antigen. This test is must faster with producing its findings. Aside from the benefit of giving people answers much quicker, it helps to entice precautionary measures. These are measures to help those who suspect they may be infected from transmitting the disease.
Something else that is relatively new is a home test that can now be done. The individual is required to swab their upper and lower gums so they can gather a small amount of fluid from this area. If the reading shows positive then the person needs to see their health care provider for further testing to confirm the results. However, if the first test shows negative then the test needs to be repeated again in three months to be sure the results are still negative.
Once the initial test to determine if one is HIV position is done then further testing needs to be done to determine at what stage the disease is at. These are tests that include the CD4 count, viral load and drug resistance. In addition to this, further testing is needed to see if there is any infection present or possible complications.