Do you need to go for regular HIV testing? If you are a sexually active person, you are certainly encouraged to get tested regularly, so you can receive prompt medical attention should you test positive. Early detection will help HIV-positive patients live a longer and healthier life. Before you have your STD test at an clinic, you should learn a little bit about HIV and the HIV testing process, so you understand exactly what is going on. Here are a few key pieces of information you should know before you enter the clinic.
What is HIV and how is it transmitted?
HIV stands for the Human Immunodeficiency Virus. It is considered a sexually transmitted disease (STD) because it can only be transmitted through unprotected sexual contact with an infected person. It is important to note that HIV cannot be transferred through kissing, the touching of stools or sharing of utensils. You should only be worried about HIV if you have:
had unprotected vaginal or anal sex or shared unsterilised needles.
HIV is widely feared among Singaporeans as it is incurable and will eventually wear down a patient’s immune system, causing death. However, contracting HIV is no longer a death sentence, thanks to the medicines available to suppress the virus. With proper medication, an HIV-positive person is able to live a full, healthy life for over 20 years.
How is the HIV testing procedure like?
If you think you have gotten infected within the last 72 hours, you should immediately see an STD doctor to get HIV PEP in Singapore. HIV PEP is a type of medication that can prevent the virus from spreading around the body, thereby preventing the infection of HIV.
With the newest generation of HIV tests, you can be tested one week after the infection. The tests will require you to provide a blood sample. For lab tests, the doctor will likely draw a syringe of blood from your arm to send to the lab. Results will be available about a week later, after the lab completes the test. Lab tests are considered one of the most reliable methods of HIV testing in Singapore, though it does take the longest time.
Besides the lab tests, there is also the option of Rapid HIV Testing. Using this method, the doctor will simply prick your finger for a few small droplets of blood. The main advantage of this testing method is its speed. You can know the result of your test within 20 minutes. It is also much cheaper. If the Rapid HIV Test comes out positive, you must take a laboratory blood test afterward to confirm the results.
Your STD doctor will recommend the appropriate method of testing for your situation. If you have any enquiries, you should speak frankly to your doctor about it. The more your doctor knows of your situation, the more they are able to help.
Do note that all testing information in private clinics will be kept confidential, so you can be assured that your HIV status will not be revealed to the government.