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How long does it take to show symptoms of HIV in blood test?


The infamous life-threatening disease, Human Immune Virus (HIV) has been on the loose for years now. So if you’re here to know how long it takes for it to show symptoms in a blood test, then you’re at the right place.

How long does it take to show symptoms of HIV in blood test?

Such is a question that needs an urgent answer and of course, the only way to know if one is HIV positive is to get tested. So the time frame for which HIV symptoms will show in a blood test depends greatly on the type of HIV test carried out.

Most of the laboratories out there uses a test kit known as the “4th generation” test. This form of HIV test detects any kind of antibodies in response to the weird virus.

Plus, the 4th generation HIV test shows all the available antigens that forms part and parcel of the virus itself.

So the good news is, most time, it takes up to 3 weeks after the HIV infection before symptoms can be fully shown in the blood test. Equally, it takes up to 6 weeks to be positive after the infection most times. So if you’re not sure whether or not you’ve exposed to HIV in the past few weeks, it’s advisable you go for the HIV RNA load test.

This RNA or HIV Viral load test often shows positive within 10 days of being infected. But however, with the present-day tests, it is impossible to detect an HIV infected blood within 10 days.

How long do HIV test results take?

An HIV test that is conducted with a “Rapid HIV test kit” can show results within 15 – 60 minutes or say, the same day the test is carried out. The word ‘Rapid’ means the time frame at which the results were taken but not the time at which the specie was exposed and tested.

In addition, there are some rapid tests that work better on oral samples instead of blood. This type of HIV test is often called “saliva tests.” – albeit the name is not accurate. Because it’s the gum cell that contains HIV antibodies and not the saliva.

How can I tell if I have HIV?

The most powerful information on HIV is knowing your status so that you can take care of yourself, and the health of your loved ones. Without much ado, the only available means to know if you really have HIV is to go for the test. Even if you know its symptoms, you can’t trust them 100%.

However, the three main stages of HIV and their respective symptoms are:

Stage one: Acute HIV Infection

The symptoms begin to show within 2 – 4 weeks after being infected and about two-thirds suspected cases had a flu-like illness. The symptoms include:

  • Fever;
  • Rash;
  • Night sweat;
  • Chills;
  • Sore throat;
  • Mouth ulcer;
  • Fatigue; and
  • Swollen lymph nodes.

Stage two: Clinical Latency/Treatment stage

Without HIV treatment, an infected person can live as much as 10 to 15 years without treatment. But with adequate treatment, the person’s health can be protected and prevent from transmitting it to others.

Stage three: AIDS

An HIV victim that doesn’t get the necessary treatment will later have a weaker hormone, and the virus will metamorphose into AIDS. The AIDS symptoms include:

  • Rapid weight loss;
  • Pneumonia;
  • Extreme tiredness;
  • Prolonged lymph glands swell;
  • Diarrhea;
  • Mouth, anus and/or genitals soreness;
  • Depression, memory loss and some other neurologic disorders; etc.

However, it’s important to note that all the symptoms highlighted above can be related to some other illnesses. So the only reliable way to know if you are HIV positive is to get tested.

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