How to Prepare for a Human Immunodeficiency Virus 1 (HIV-1), Quantitative, Real-time PCR (Nongraphical) Test?
There are no special steps to do prior to an HIV 1 test, except for taking a blood sample, an oral fluid sample, or a urine sample. The specimen will then be sent to the laboratory clinic for analysis. Of note though, these types of HIV test need your consent, so you have the option to get tested for HIV or not.
If you do decide to have the HIV 1 test but you’re afraid of the social stigma that’s associated with it, know that you can also order the test online here. You need not visit the doctor, before having the test done; so not only will you have complete anonymity when you order the procedure online, but you can also simply walk into your preferred lab clinic, present your online order, and have the test. For positive results, you may want to get in touch with your physician immediately.
What the Results Mean?
If the result is negative, it means that you might not have HIV antibodies and are probably okay. However, you need to get a repeat testing after six months to make sure that the result is indeed negative. This is important because most people will already have developed antibodies against the virus within half a year after infection.
If you have had an HIV RNA PCR test and it showed negative for the presence of the virus’ DNA or RNA, then you’re probably in the clear. However, you still need to get a repeat HIV PCR RNA test after six months for the same reason above.
If your HIV 1 test result came back positive for antibodies and your HIV PCR test also came back positive for HIV DNA and RNA, then you are probably infected. In this case, you can order additional types of HIV test, like ELISA. ELISA tests the same blood from the same blood sample, and if a couple or more of the tests show positive results, then you have to get more tests like the Western Blot or Immunoflourescent Assay for further confirmation.
Finally, if these tests yield positive results once more, CD4 count is needed to assess your immune system’s strength against the virus. This will serve as your baseline and will be monitored on a three- to six-month interval after you have been started on the antiretroviral therapy.
Common Human Immunodeficiency Virus 1 (HIV-1), Quantitative, Real-time PCR (Nongraphical) Test Questions
Will changing lifestyle choices, going on a healthy diet, and having regular exercise regimen help with the HIV viral load?
Unfortunately, no. There are no established links yet whether or not these changes can help decrease your HIV viral load, but it is recommended though that you keep your body healthy to avoid complications and infections.
If my HIV viral load is low, can I still infect other people?
Yes. Just because it is low or undetectable, it doesn’t mean that you can’t transmit the virus to other people.
Is having an HIV RNA test important in screening for HIV? Can it also be used on newborn babies with infected mothers?
Yes, since the presence of HIV RNA, antigen, and antibodies is already indicative of the infection. As for newborns, HIV RNA PCR test is given as soon as the baby is born.
LabEspy recommends Save On Labs, Personalabs for this test.