Are Home HIV tests Good For You?

HIV is a virus that attacks and breaks down the immune system. Thus, the body’s defence system gets weakened for those who are infected with this virus. The virus is deadly in nature and is known to gradually destroy the immune system. Thus, those infected with HIV are more susceptible to be plagued with infections and diseases and their body is not able to fight off germs or diseases easily.

Furthermore, the virus can damage the immune system severely and permanently over a period of time and it weakens it to the extent where it can’t defend itself. However, medical science has progressed a lot and now effective antiretroviral treatment is available, which can help HIV-infected people to lead a normal and healthy life.

So, people with HIV can still live a healthy life and gain long term health if they can diagnose the virus in its early stages and start the treatment as soon as possible. For those infected with HIV, some of common symptoms to notice in early days include headache, fever, rash, muscles and joints pain and neck swelling around the lymph nodes.

Why HIV home tests?

It’s possible to test yourself for HIV at home. In fact, home tests are an accurate way to know whether you’re infected with the virus. HIV test kit is available in the market to help you assess your health and be sure about the presence or absence of the virus.

Let’s look at some of benefits of HIV home tests –

  • Home tests are helpful as they give results immediately

  • No need to wait for the doctor’s appointment

  • Results are possible within minutes in most cases

  • A visit to medical lab is no longer the norm now

  • The convenience of testing yourself anytime and benefiting from early detection of the virus

  • Home tests are great as they can deliver your results earlier than a lab

  • You can plan treatment courses accordingly as you have test result with you

  • You can test yourself after every three months to be sure about the infection

Steps after HIV home tests

The very purpose of HIV home tests is to know whether one is infected with the virus or not. Clearly, the test will give results that can either be positive or negative and based on them, you can take further steps for treatment. Home tests are mostly reliable but it’s advisable to seek a second opinion or re-test.

Here are the recommended steps after taking the test at home –

  • In case of negative test result, you can be certain that you are not infected with HIV

  • Repeat the test after three months and be sure about no infection at all

  • If the test is positive, send the sample to a lab for retesting so that the accuracy can be assessed

  • If the lab result is also positive, HIV infection is then confirmed

  • On confirmation, it is imperative to consult a doctor immediately to start the treatment

  • The doctor will start antiretroviral therapy so that HIV infection is stopped from progressing further

  • You should take all possible precautions so that the virus is stopped from causing further damage

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