HIV(Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is a virus that can be passed on from one person to another by:
Having sex without a condom, by sharing infected needles, receiving infected blood, or from mother to baby during pregnancy and birth.
Someone can have HIV without realising they have it. Over 91,000 people in the UK had HIV at the end of 2010. One quarter of these did not know they were infected.
If HIV infection is discovered by a test, it can be treated with medications.These are very good at treating the infection, and even though they don’t‘cure’ HIV they can prevent it becoming a life-threatening disease. Most people who are treated for HIV remain fit and well.
If not discovered and untreated, HIV can cause AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome), which is a serious illness that can lead to death.
Our HIV test results return in 24 hours or less.
We also have an INSTANT HIV test we can use in clinic.
Tests look for HIV and for antibodies to HIV in the blood. These are made when the body ‘detects’ HIV. These tests can be first used 28 days after exposure to HIV. We also have a test that tests for Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and HIV 10 days after exposure to the virus.
It can take up to 12 weeks for antibodies to appear in the blood, after being infected with HIV. This is called the ‘window period’.
Therefore, we recommend tests are also done at this time.
The result of a HIV test is confidential. If the result is negative you do not have to tell anyone that you have had a HIV test. In the event of a positive test, treatment, help and support is readily available at this clinic.