An HIV Test screens for the presence of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) in your blood.
What is HIV?
HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus — a potentially deadly virus that weakens the body’s immune system by taking over the immune system cells that protect against infection. These cells are called CD4 cells, or T cells.
When HIV takes over the body’s immune system, it turns the T cells into a virus factory that produces thousands of copies of the virus. The virus continues to infect other T cells, causing them to die early and weaken the immune system, making it harder for the body to stay healthy. Left untreated, HIV can develop into Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) .. a set of symptoms caused by the HIV virus when the body can no longer defend itself against infection or illness.
The good news is that HIV is treatable — when caught early enough through testing. Many people with HIV today are living long and healthy lives because they got tested for HIV and got HIV treatment early enough to ward off the advanced and deadly stage of HIV infection known as AIDS.
What kinds of HIV Tests Does Personalabs Offer?
HIV tests come in various forms, and it’s important to choose the test that is right for you. Different HIV tests have different testing windows (time frames for accurate test results) and have different approaches to detecting the presence of the HIV virus in your body.
4th Generation HIV Tests
The Personalabs 4th Generation HIV test offers the most reliable and accurate testing for the HIV virus. It screens for the presence of HIV antibodies as well as p24 antigens.
An antigen is any foreign substance in your body that prompts your body to create antibodies to fight it. P24 antigens are a structural protein that make up most of the HIV virus. In the early weeks of HIV infection there will be a lot of p24 antigens in your blood and this is the time when you will be most infectious.
It only takes 2-6 weeks for one’s body to develop enough antigens for 4th Generation HIV tests to provide reliable detection of the HIV virus. That’s why 4th generation HIV tests are being widely adopted as the preferred form of HIV screening. According to the Clinical & Laboratory Standards Institute, this test can help decrease the spread of the HIV infection as anyone who tests positive for the 4th generation screening can immediately begin follow-up care and tests for clinical staging.
It usually takes a few days to a few weeks to get results back for the 4th Generation HIV test.
Learn more at: https://shop.personalabs.com/product/human-immunodeficiency-virus-1o2-hiv-1o2-antigenantibody-4th-generation-preliminary-test/
Personalabs also offers a comprehensive STD test that screens for all the most common forms of sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV, Hepatitis B and C, Herpes, Gonorrhea, Chlamydia and Syphilis.
3rd Generation HIV antibody tests only look for antibodies that fight off the Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 and/or Type 2. If antibodies to the HIV virus are found in your blood, it means that you are infected with HIV - but it can take 3-12 weeks for your body to produce enough antibodies for this test to work properly. 3rd Generation HIV Antibody tests are no longer recommended because they use outdated technology compared to the fourth generation HIV tests.
Rapid HIV tests
While Rapid HIV tests can offer results as soon as 20 minutes after testing, they are less accurate. They rely on a smaller sample of blood taken from a prick in your finger and are more likely to give a 'false positive' result — which is why Personalabs does not offer rapid HIV tests.
Who should get an HIV Test?
HIV tests are recommended for anyone who:
- Uses injection drugs and shares needles or syringes;
- Has unprotected sex (vaginal, anal or oral) with men who have sex with men (MSM), or with people who have sex with multiple partners or anonymous partners;
- Exchanges sex for drugs or money;
- Has been diagnosed with hepatitis, tuberculosis (TB), or an STI (sexually-transmitted infection) such as chlamydia, gonorrhea or syphilis; or
- Has had unprotected sex with someone with any of the above risk factors.
When can I expect my test results?
After visiting the lab to have your blood drawn you can expect to see your HIV test results uploaded for you to review inside your private and secure Personalabs patient portal within 2-10 Business Days. You will need to login to your Personalabs account to view your test results.
Where can I get a tested?
You can order your HIV test direct through the Personalabs website without having to visit your own doctor first to obtain a prescription for the test.
HIV Test Locations Near You
To find a convenient HIV testing location near you, use the state links below to find the closest local lab testing location.
There are more than 2,300 lab locations nationwide where you can get tested. However, we cannot provide lab testing in New York, New Jersey or Rhode Island. If you live in one of those states but still want to get tested please use our location finder to find a lab testing location in the closest neighboring state.