HIV Among Teens
Parents, educators, and healthcare professionals can no longer turn a blind eye to the fact that teens are more sexually active than ever before. An alarming consequence of risky sexual behavior in teens is increased human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) cases among this group. In recent findings, almost 21% of new HIV diagnoses were identified among teens and young adults. The actual number is likely much higher as thousands of undiagnosed cases exist. Rapid HIV testing can help curb HIV transmission.
Is testing the key to prevention?
Accessible HIV testing is the first step toward prevention. Without knowledge of one’s HIV status, teens may unknowingly transmit the virus to sexual partners. When left undiagnosed, the disease progresses and worsens until the onset of the symptoms, making HIV more challenging to treat and manage. People who receive a diagnosis earlier can stop the spread of the virus and manage the illness more effectively. Early testing can save the lives of teenagers.
Rapid testing with a finger stick
Nowadays, there are various types of tests to make health diagnoses easier. Unlike the standard blood test, the new tests are convenient, fast, painless, and inexpensive. In addition, these tests are easy to use and do not require special training. Rapid finger stick tests are a type of HIV test that has recently gained wide acceptance. This test uses a simple finger prick to collect a small blood sample that can then be used to test for various sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV. The test can be done at the doctor’s office or a local clinic and takes about 10 minutes to complete, with results available within another 10-20 minutes.
How does rapid testing work?
The finger stick test for HIV works by detecting the presence of antibodies in the blood. Antibodies are proteins produced by the body in response to an infection. Hence, if antibodies are present, then the person is likely infected. If a rapid test is positive, another confirmatory test must be performed. A healthcare provider can discuss treatment options, such as medication if the result is positive.
Learn your HIV status rapidly
Sexually active teens should always use protection. However, getting tested for HIV is an equally important step. Rapid HIV testing with a finger stick is fast, easy, and painless. Rapid tests are also inexpensive, convenient, and 99% accurate. Important health information is just a prick away.