HIV-1 Blood Test, RNA, Quantitative, Real-Time PCR
A HIV-1 Blood Test is useful in assessing prognosis, monitoring the progression of an HIV-1 infection, and monitoring the effect of antiretroviral drug therapy.
HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is spread through exposure to infected blood and bodily fluids, primarily through sexual contact and the sharing of needles during intravenous drug use. HIV infections often show no symptoms. When symptoms do occur they are typically described as flu-like. HIV attacks the immune system by destroying T-cells. In time, HIV may lead to the development of AIDS. The Health Protection Agency (HPA) has reported that 1 in 4 people with HIV are not aware they are infected. Undiagnosed HIV cases threaten not only the person infected but everyone they may potentially spread the virus too. Testing for HIV can assist in early diagnosis and treatment. With effective treatment, people infected with HIV have a much-improved chance of living a normal lifespan.
HIV screening is recommended for anyone who is sexually active but especially those who engage in high-risk behaviors such as sexual contact with multiple partners and intravenous drug use. Anyone who learns that a past or present partner has tested positive for HIV should receive an HIV test themselves. Prenatal testing for HIV is recommended for pregnant women due to the risk of passing the infection to their baby. Early detection is key to effective HIV treatment, so it is advisable to be tested even if you are not experiencing symptoms.
This test is intended for use in conjunction with clinical presentation and other laboratory markers of disease progress for the clinical management of HIV-1 infected patients. The test can be used to assess patient prognosis by measuring the baseline HIV-1 RNA level or to monitor the effects of antiretroviral therapy by measuring changes in EDTA plasma HIV-1 RNA levels during the course of antiretroviral treatment.
This test might be ordered if:
Individual has recently been diagnosed with HIV-1 infection
Individuals who are in the clinically latent period of the infection and not receiving antiretroviral therapy
Individuals receiving antiretroviral therapy
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