Benefits of HIV Testing
Should I get tested?
According to the World Health Organization, there were approximately 36.9 million people worldwide living with HIV at the end of 2014. There currently is no cure for HIV, although antiretroviral (ARV) drugs can control the virus and help with reducing the spread of the disease, affording those afflicted the opportunity to enjoy productive and otherwise healthy lives. However, it is estimated that only 54 percent of those infected worldwide know it.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention states that 1 out of 8 people in the United States who have HIV, aren’t aware they have it. That is a startling statistic that cannot be ignored. Gateway Pregnancy and Sexual Health Centers can help.
It is recommended that if you are between the ages of 13 and 64, you should be tested for HIV at least once as part of your normal healthcare routine. Furthermore, if you are sexually active, engage in promiscuous behavior, are and intravenous drug user, have been treated for any other sexually transmitted disease or have been diagnosed or treated for hepatitis or tuberculosis, you should be tested at least once annually.
Benefits of being tested
A simple blood test could mean the difference between life and death. HIV testing procedures will ensure early detection and provide timely diagnosis of the disease. Widespread testing will also limit the amount of undiagnosed cases, which in turn can have a huge effect on the rate of growth for new infections.
Proper testing will enable a patient inflicted with the disease to seek treatment early on. Providing treatment in the early stages of the disease improves patient morbidity rates and patient mortality.
The economic benefits are noticeable as well. Treating HIV when the patient’s immune system is still strong, eliminates the need to treat medical conditions a patient may incur as a result of a compromised and/or weakened immune system as the disease progresses.
Early detection crucial for both patient and community at-large
Receiving treatment as soon as possible improves the chances exponentially of leading a long and productive life. Those patients that begin a regiment of antiretroviral drugs in the early stages of the disease not only increase their opportunity to live longer and healthier lives, but in turn reduce the likelihood of transmitting HIV to others, as the ARVs suppress the virus in the blood. The lower the viral load in the body, the lower the risk of transmitting the virus to others.
Gateway offers comprehensive screening
HIV/STD testing is done on a walk-in basis only and follows a fixed schedule. Gateway Pregnancy and Sexual Health Centers offer blood testing for HIV confidentially and free of charge at any of our three locations, with the results provided in person within three weeks. All services are provided with discretion and the utmost respect for the patient and their needs. Please contact us with any questions or concerns.
Gateway offers HIV results provided in person within 3 weeks: however all other tests results can be provided in person or over the phone within 2 weeks. Feel free to contact us with any questions, we are happy to address your concerns.