What is HIV and AIDS?
Human Immunodeficiency Virus is a virus which attacks the body’s immune system, the defense system against illness. Untreated, HIV will lead in most cases to AIDS. HIV and AIDS still can’t be cured, but medications available today help people live normal lives.
How do you get infected with HIV?
HIV spreads through contact with infected blood, semen, rectal fluid, vaginal fluids, or breast milk. Transmission occurs mostly from unsafe sex.
Infections can also result from exposure to hiv infected blood through the sharing of needles or syringes.
Women living with HIV can also infect their babies during pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding. Although it is very rare these days, it is possible to become infected through a blood transfusion.
HIV can’t be passed on through casual contact. There is no chance of infection by sharing daily items such as food, beds, dishes, clothes, utensils, or toilets with a person.
The virus is also not spread from contact with tears, sweat, saliva, or a kiss from infected people. It is not possible to become infected by insect bites.
The iCare HIV Self Test
How does the test work?
It uses a highly reliable technology for the detection of HIV-1 and HIV-2 antibodies by using a single drop of fingerstick blood. The test detects hiv-antibodies of the virus, the test dot is visible only if HIV antibodies are detected. The iCare HIV Test is very reliable and easy to perform, but it only works correctly when you carefully read and follow the instruction manual. Positive results can be detected with the iCare HIV Self Test in as little as 22 days after infection, but it can take up to 3 months to detect hiv antibodies. A negative result can be definate after 3 months after infection.
How accurate is the self test?
Many extensive research studies have shown that this hiv test is very accurate when performed correctly. The accuracy of medical tests is mostly described in terms of sensitivity, all positive individuals test positive, and specificity, all negative persons test negative. The HIV Test has proven to have a sensitivity of 99.8 to 100% and a specificity of 99.5 to 99.8%.
What is a window period?
It is the time from the infection to the point in time when a test can correctly produce a positive result. It is possible to test positive with the HIV home Test in as little as 22 days after an infection, however it could also take as long as 3 months to have a positive result.
A negative result could be inaccurate until 3 months after an infection. In case of an exposure to HIV within the past 3 months, and the result is negative, testing again after at least 3 months since the exposure is advised.
How do you know if the test has been performed correctly?
The HIV Test has a control dot to show the test has been done correctly and that the proper amount of fingerstick blood has been added. In case the control dot does not show, your test result is invaled. Please discard the test and test again with a new test.
If the test shows only one control dot, this means that the result is negative. Hiv-antibodies aren’t detected, so an HIV infection has not been detected.
If two dots are shown the test result is positive. This means it is likely that an HIV infection has been detected. Although the results of the iCare HIV Test are very reliable, a positive result must be confirmed by a doctor so treatment can be started immediately. It is essential to seek medical advice in case the result is positive.
What if the test result is negative?
Continue making efforts to stay healthy by reducing risks of HIV exposure such as always practicing safe sex and alternative prevention methods.
In case you have been exposed to HIV in the past 3 months, to be safe repeat the HIV test after 3 months.
It is advised to test every 3 months if you are living a lifestyle at high risk to acquire HIV.
What if the the result is positive?
Go to a doctor or nearest test facility to receive a confirmatory test. Remember that an HIV self test is only a screening test and is not a conclusive diagnosis until confirmed by a doctor.