Image of T cells infected with HIV

HIV TESTING IMPACTS TREATMENT

Acute HIV often goes undetected, but this doesn’t have to be the case. Early detection provides vital information that can lead to treatment as well as prevention of additional infections.

Getting results sooner rather than later can make a huge difference in living a healthy lifestyle, which is why we are dedicated to developing the diagnostic tools to help inform critical patient decisions. The tools ensure reliable, broad HIV subtype detection, identify infected patients and help doctors plan a treatment regimen for individuals who otherwise might unknowingly spread the disease due to lack of awareness of infection.

What are antigens?
Soon after a person is infected with HIV, a protein, also called an antigen, is produced. But it can take weeks for the body to make detectable antibodies (the body’s response to fight the virus).

HIV combo tests can detect both HIV antigens and antibodies—up to 20 days earlier than traditional antibody-only tests. Globally, 50% of people living with HIV don’t know they’re infected and may continue to unknowingly spread the disease.1 Knowing one’s HIV status earlier may help prevent future cases.

HIV’s rapidly evolving nature makes detection a constant challenge for the lab. We are working to meet this challenge through a commitment to science that stays a step ahead.

QUICK FACTS1,2,3

  • Acute HIV, a highly infectious stage of the disease, can last greater than 10 weeks.
  • There are more than 35 million people living with HIV/AIDS worldwide.
  • Globally, nearly 262 people become infected with HIV every hour.
  • 50% of people living with HIV do not know they are infected.
  • Even if physicians do test, traditional HIV diagnostic tests may not detect acute HIV.
  • Early detection leads to manageable treatment options.

 

1 UNAIDS World AIDS Day Report: 2012. http://www.unaids.org/en/media/unaids/contentassets/documents/epidemiology/2012/gr2012/jc2434_worldaidsday_results_en.pdf. Accessed on 6/24/14.
2 Schacker et al. Clinical Epidemiologic Features of Primary HIV Infection. Ann Intern Med. 1996; 125:257-264
3 amfAR. About HIV/AIDS. Statistics: Worldwide. http://www.amfar.org/about-hiv-and-aids/facts-and-stats/statistics--worldwide/. Accessed on 6/24/14.

 

Information provided is for general background purposes and is not intended as a substitute for medical diagnosis or advice from a qualified healthcare professional.
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