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Archive for the 'HIV testing' Category

HIV/AIDS Awareness for Women & Girls

National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NWGHAAD) takes place every March. It’s time to talk candidly about a subject that affects over 37 million people throughout the world.

Statistics show that one out of four people living with HIV are female and only half of them are receiving care. Even more alarming is the fact that only 4 out of 10 women with HIV have the virus under control.

Here’s what women and girls should know about HIV/AIDS prevention.

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Do You Know How Often You Should Get STD Testing?

Estimates show that about one in four people in the U.S. have had an STD at one time. STD vary in symptoms and effects, and while many can be cured through the use of antibiotics or other treatments, there are other STDs that have no cure. For example, HIV, genital warts, and herpes cannot be cured. Other curable STDs like syphilis, chlamydia, gonorrhea, and hepatitis can result in serious complications if not detected and treated promptly. So, what can you do to protect yourself from contracting an STD? STD testing is an essential first step.

STD Testing Recommendations

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advise that getting STD testing is one of the most important things any individual can do to protect his or her health, and they give a set of basic guidelines for how often individuals should get tested. They recommend that all individuals aged 13 to 64 get tested at least once for HIV. Sexually active adults under age 25 should also get annual testing for common STDs like chlamydia and gonorrhea. For those who have unprotected sex and sex with multiple partners, more frequent STD testing every three to six months is recommended. Also, for individuals who share injection drug equipment or have unprotected sex, it is recommended to get HIV testing at least once a year.

It is also important to openly and honestly discuss your sexual habits with your doctor so that your doctor can make more specific recommendations for how often you should be getting STD testing. If you are a sexually active individual but have never gotten tested for STDs, for the sake of your health and that of your partner, make an appointment to get tested today.

Get Accurate & Confidential STD Testing Today

ARCpoint Labs provides STD testing at our many lab facilities across the U.S. Find your nearest ARCpoint Labs location today and schedule your STD test.

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HIV Cases Down 20% in the U.S.

 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention made news this month with its report stating that HIV diagnoses have fallen dramatically overall in the past 10 years. Overall diagnoses of HIV decreased by about 20% from 2005 to 2014. This is huge progress, especially considering the statistics 30 years ago when the U.S. had its first documented cases of the virus. However, there’s more to these new statistics than first meets the eye.

HIV Cases Decreasing?

Will the overall numbers seem to paint a pretty picture for the reduction of the HIV and AIDS epidemic in the U.S., some groups of people have seen troubling increases in instances of HIV. The group that has seen the highest increase is the African-American gay and bisexual community. In fact, the CDC reported that there has been about an 87% increase in the number of HIV diagnoses in 13-24-year-old African-American gay and bisexual males and Latino gay and bisexual males. Why have these groups experienced such an increase? There are several factors, most importantly including the low rate of condom use and the high rate of individuals who have not been tested and don’t know that they are HIV-positive.

On the opposite end of the spectrum are the more encouraging overall numbers. In heterosexual adults, the number of cases has decreased by 35%. Women, in particular, have experienced a 40% decline, while African-Americans overall have seen cases go down by 22%. While these numbers are encouraging, it is important to be aware that for many people in the U.S., the dangers of contracting HIV are higher than ever.

The Importance of Testing

As shown by the CDC’s recent report, one of the most important tools in preventing the spread of HIV is getting tested. ARCpoint Labs nationwide provide accurate, confidential STD and HIV testing services. To learn more, contact your nearest ARCpoint Labs today!

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Need to Prove You Disclosed Your HIV Status? One App Can Do Just That

HIV Status

We’ve talked about how apps can both contribute to the spread of STDs and also help prevent them.

Now, a new smartphone app may help HIV positive people disclose their status to sexual partners and avoid criminal cases.

Here are the details on the program and why it could prove useful!

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Living with HIV

Testing positive for HIV is a terrifying moment. It’s something that you never think will happen to you, and when it does it seems like your worst nightmare. HIV is a life-threatening virus that can progress to AIDS, and it affects millions of people worldwide. However, recent advances in technology and medicine have luckily made living with HIV a realistic idea, especially with early detection and proper treatment. Read on to learn more about how to stay healthy while living with HIV.

HIV is Not AIDS

It’s important to realize that testing positive for HIV does not mean that you have AIDS. Today, many people live with HIV for years and even decades without the virus progressing to AIDS. You can live a healthy life with HIV for many years if you educate yourself about the disease and take the right steps to get treatment. See your doctor regularly and follow your doctor’s guidance and advice, and you may even live a normal life span. There is no cure for HIV or AIDS at this time, but the right treatment will help to keep the virus levels low, either by interfering with the proteins it needs to copy itself, or by blocking it from inserting its genetic material into your immune cells.

Importance of Testing

It’s impossible to know that you have HIV simply by its symptoms. Some people don’t have any symptoms for years, while other get flu-like symptoms just weeks after infection. The only way to know whether or not you have HIV is to get regular testing, especially if you have multiple sexual partners or use shared IV drugs. HIV is not transmitted through casual contact, such as kissing or sharing the same glass. HIV is only passed through bodily fluids, such as during sexual intercourse or through the blood. However, anyone can get HIV. It doesn’t matter if you are male or female, young or old, heterosexual or homosexual. No one is immune to this virus.

For your HIV test, contact your nearest ARCpoint Labs today.

Staying Healthy & Protecting Others

If you and your partner both have HIV, it is still important to use protection during sexual intercourse. Different strains of the virus can be resistant to HIV medications, and you are still at risk for contracting other sexually transmitted diseases, so using a condom can help protect you and your partner from both of these risks. If you have HIV and become pregnant, there are ways to help protect your baby from contracting the virus during delivery. Appropriate care and medications prescribed by your doctor are the best ways to protect your baby. The best way to reduce your risk of contracting other viruses and diseases because of a weakened immune system is to take your HIV medications. You should also try to minimize exposure to certain germs by staying away from undercooked meat, litter boxes, and any water that could be contaminated.

Staying healthy and living a normal life with HIV is not impossible. The first step is getting tested. Contact your nearest ARCpoint Labs today for your HIV test.

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Ways to Celebrate World AIDS Day

December 1 marks an important moment in the fight against HIV/AIDS: it’s World AIDS Day, a time for remembrance and education.

We’re sharing 4 ways you can celebrate World AIDS Day this year.

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STDs & Pregnancy: Risks & Treatment

October marks two special designations for expectant mothers: Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Month and the Campaign for Healthier Babies Month.

To promote education about these important topics, ARCpoint Labs is sharing how having STDs during pregnancy can affect a child’s health.

Continue reading “STDs & Pregnancy: Risks & Treatment” »

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Celebrate AIDS Awareness This September: Learn the Basics on AIDS

September features two days important to the AIDS awareness cause: National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day on the 18th and National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day on the 27th.

While most people know that AIDS is a very serious condition, many don’t know much about it. Today, ARCpoint Labs shares the basics on AIDS.

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Setback in the Quest for an HIV Cure

Since the disease emerged in the early 1980’s, doctors have sought a cure for HIV and AIDS. Though there are several HIV/AIDS treatments available, there is no foolproof way to eradicate the disease.

Earlier this year, there was some hope for an HIV cure after it seemed that the disease was eliminated from a second HIV-positive baby. However, now HIV has returned to the first baby thought cured of the disease.

Here are the details and how this impacts HIV treatment.

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How Soon Should I Get an STD Test After Unprotected Sex?

Since having unprotected sex is an STD risk factor, it’s important that you pursue STD testing after you’ve done the deed.

This doesn’t mean you should beeline to the lab the morning after, though. There are many factors that affect the STD testing window including:

  • How the STD test works – is it identifying the STD-causing pathogen or your immune system’s response to it?
  • What STD test you use –  certain tests detect STDs more quickly
  • How healthy your immune system is – whether you’ve been exposed to an STD previously, in particular
  • The incubation period for the STD in question
  • How the disease works – whether the STD is viral, bacterial, fungal, and parasitic

Here are our guidelines on STD test detection windows.

Continue reading “How Soon Should I Get an STD Test After Unprotected Sex?” »

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