All You need to Know About HIV Testing

Have you ever heard of the meaning of the term HIV? In fact, it stands for the name of the human immunodeficiency virus. Its main consequence is AIDS, as it attacks the person’s immune system making them vulnerable to other pathologies such as pneumonia and other infections.

When saying that a person has the HIV virus, he does not necessarily have AIDS, because it presents itself when the symptoms appear. Many people with the virus live for years without showing a signal, however, even though it is asymptomatic it can be transmitted to other people. The use of the std test  is important.

The HIV virus does not choose who to reach, people from all social segments, sex and age can be infected as long as they have contacted the potential transmitters. The main forms of transmission are:

  • Sex without a condom
  • Sharing needles, syringes and sharps
  • Transmission during pregnancy, delivery or breastfeeding from the mother to the child when adequate treatment is not carried out
  • Transfusion of contaminated blood

How can testing be helpful in such cases? 

The importance of HIV testing

The Ministry of Health estimates that in 2017 around 112 thousand people were infected with the HIV virus but did not know it. Here’s another reason for the exam!

Through the HIV test it is possible to know the precise diagnosis of infection by the virus or not. Being in doubt and not doing it can aggravate the disease, in addition to the fact that it is more likely that there will be contamination for other people.

Another reason to perform the test is that the sooner the problem is diagnosed, the earlier treatment begins, helping to slow the progress of the disease and improving the quality of life of the patient.

The human immunodeficiency virus, known by the acronym HIV, damages the patient’s immune system. Virus infection progresses through three stages, the most advanced being called acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, or AIDS.

Early diagnosis is very important for starting treatment and delaying the progress of the disease, increasing the patient’s quality of life and longevity. To learn more about HIV testing, continue reading this article.

How HIV testing is done

Serological tests are performed in laboratories based on the patient’s blood collection, subjecting the sample to a first test called serological screening, which detects the presence of the virus. If the result of this first stage is positive or inconclusive, it is necessary to carry out a second test, necessary to confirm the result.

There is also the quick test, which results in thirty minutes. This test can be performed in Basic Health Units and Emergency Care Units (UPAs), through the collection of a drop of blood or saliva, placed in contact with a reagent that will detect the presence or absence of antibodies.


To perform the rapid test, it is necessary to consider the period called the immunological window, lasting 30 days, considering the date of the risky behavior. This period is the time interval between infection and the time when it is possible to identify the antibodies produced by the body.