HIV can also be transmitted from mother to child during pregnancy, childbirth or breastfeeding if the woman is infected and is not taking treatment, so if you are in a state or if you think you are; testing is also recommended, depending on collect the Red Cross on its specific portal on the AIDS virus.
Can I do it as soon as I have a risk relationship? The importance of the “window period”
The test that is being marketed is not reliable if three months have not passed since the possible contagion. This is known as the “window period”, the time elapsed between infection and the appearance of detectable antibodies. Health experts explains that it generally takes the body between 2 and 8 weeks after infection to develop detectable antibodies and that almost all people have generated them within three months of risky practice.
There are tests for the diagnosis of HIV that are capable of reducing the window period to 6 weeks and others that are even capable of detecting the virus directly instead of the antibodies in an even shorter period of time, but those that have been started to be sold in pharmacies (3rd generation calls) are only reliable after three months.
However, that does not mean that you should wait without doing anything. The Red Cross recommends that, if you have a risky practice, you go to the doctor or a center specialized in sexually transmitted diseases to assess the case, indicate which test is appropriate and assess whether and when it should be repeated. In this sense, health experts insists, in fact, on the importance of going to an emergency medical service as soon as possible, always before 72 hours and if possible in the first six hours after the risk contact, in order to receive the post-exposure prophylaxis. Also there is the chlamydia test in this case.
What is the self-diagnostic test?
There is a plate of the test where the antibodies against the virus are, that if you put a drop of infected blood, the antibodies bind to it, and the interpretation appears. It is based on an immunological reaction.
The kit for sale in pharmacies includes, among other elements, the necessary material to perform a puncture in the fingertip and a separate device with a tip to fill it with a drop of blood. This device is then inserted into a support where a stopper has been placed with the buffer solution, which is what will make it react. In 15 minutes you have the result.
The self-test should be stored in the original box between 8 and 30 degrees Celsius. When the test is to be done, the temperature should be between 18 and 30 degrees. It cannot be reused and once used it must be disposed of through specific collection points set up in health establishments.
Is the test reliable?
In the guide for pharmacists, health experts advise that no rapid diagnostic test is 100% reliable. Generally a negative result usually indicates that one is free of infection and underlines that any positive result requires confirmation by more specific techniques performed in clinical laboratories, so you have to go to the doctor to confirm it.