UNDERSTANDING TESTS FOR HIV: WHAT THE TEST RESULTS MEAN-POSITIVE TEST RESULTS

A positive test means that antibodies to HIV are present. If the antibodies are present, the virus is also present. The person with positive results can transmit the virus to others and needs regular medical attention.
A positive test for antibodies to HIV is not a test for AIDS; a diagnosis of AIDS requires other tests. A positive test also does not indicate the amount of time any one person might take between having a positive test and getting AIDS.
About 97 percent of the people with positive tests know how they became infected; for a small portion of people, about 1 to 3 percent, the source of the infection is unknown. Because false-positive tests occur occasionally (rarely), the person with a positive test who has no reason for it may request that the test be repeated. In fact, because HIV results are so important, some authorities recommend that anyone with positive results should repeat the test.
People with a positive test will understandably be upset, will need psychological counseling, will need medical care, may need ongoing psychological support, and will certainly need the support and friendship of the people they love.
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UNDERSTANDING TESTS FOR HIV: WHAT THE TEST RESULTS MEAN-POSITIVE TEST RESULTSA positive test means that antibodies to HIV are present. If the antibodies are present, the virus is also present. The person with positive results can transmit the virus to others and needs regular medical attention.     A positive test for antibodies to HIV is not a test for AIDS; a diagnosis of AIDS requires other tests. A positive test also does not indicate the amount of time any one person might take between having a positive test and getting AIDS.     About 97 percent of the people with positive tests know how they became infected; for a small portion of people, about 1 to 3 percent, the source of the infection is unknown. Because false-positive tests occur occasionally (rarely), the person with a positive test who has no reason for it may request that the test be repeated. In fact, because HIV results are so important, some authorities recommend that anyone with positive results should repeat the test.     People with a positive test will understandably be upset, will need psychological counseling, will need medical care, may need ongoing psychological support, and will certainly need the support and friendship of the people they love.*267\191\2*

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