In general, Pap smear checks for cervical cancer by detecting the abnormal cervical cells. Pap smear or Pap test as called is introduced in USA in 1941. This test has an integral role to play to drop down the death rate of cervical cancer drastically. However, if you leave untreated then cervical cancer proves to be fatal by deteriorating the body progressively.
It finds out abnormal cervical changes that can lead to early intervention. As per the guidelines, women aged within 21-65 must undergo Pap smear once in every 3 year. But after 30, women can perform the test once in every 5 year while screening for HPV too, which is another culprit of cervical cancer.
Pap smear takes place during performing screening for other STIs like HIV. Unfortunately, it cannot test for HPV.
What will happen if Pap smear detects abnormal cells?
In case Pap smear detects the trace of unusual cervical cells then the doctor will recommend you for Colposcopy. It makes use of low magnification for the illumination of cervical abnormalities along its nearby areas. Even sometimes doctor opt for biopsy at the same time by collecting small tissue to analyse at the laboratory.
Much lately, taking a Pap smear becomes reliable to detect the trace of HPV DNA in the body directly. Collection of tissue specimen to conduct DNA test is much identical to that of collection of sample for Pap smear test. The doctor can extract the sample for both of the tests in a single visit. Get in touch with us or visit our clinic for more details.
What types of HIV tests are widely available?
Every person aged within 13-64 must undergo HIV test once in lifetime in accordance to medical expert. You can use at-home testing kit for HIV screening. Also visiting a doctor’s clinic is applicable for the test. But if you undergo HIV screening every year you can’t include it in the routine overall annual health screening.
Consult with the doctor, if you are susceptible to HIV and want screening. As the discussion proceeds doctor can determine the right time to perform HIV screening. It is directly proportional to many aspects such as age, behaviour and health of the patients.
What are the lab tests that screen for HIV?
In case you want to perform HIV screening at the doctor’s clinic then visit any of the following labs to perform:
- Antibody test that uses saliva or blood for detecting the protein secreted by immune system as response to the HIV
- Antigen or antibody test for verifying the protein in blood secreted as response to the HIV infection
- RNA test that looks for genetic material in the blood related to virus
However, rapid test doesn’t need result analysis in the lab. It just traces out antibodies and delivers the report within less than half an hour. Initially you should perform antigen/antibody test by collecting blood sample. It detects for low antibody level faster than in saliva specimen. Therefore, blood test detects HIV fast.
Follow-up testing will recommend to the patients found positive for the determination of HIV- 2 or HIV-1. Often doctor uses immunoblot test for this step.
Are home tests available for HIV?
As per FDA, you can use only two at-home HIV tests- OraQuick In-Home HIV Test and Home Access HIV-1 Test System. The former one needs saliva swab sample and you can receive the result within 20 minutes.
However, follow up test becomes essential if found positive for the confirmation. On another flip, the latter one uses pinprick blood sample and sends it to the lab for analysis. In this case, you can derive the result within 2 days. But re-testing is necessary for accuracy!
What should people concerned with HIV do?
Early intervention is the best way to treat HIV effectively. As per medical expert, one should get HIV test once in the lifetime. Regardless of the result obtained, only a doctor can understand if there is any probability prior to ravages of immune system. Early treatment can protect you not only from the infection but also from immunocompromise.
If you have any trigger aspects for HIV then assess your options soon. Make an appointment with the doctor for lab testing. You can also opt for at-home testing kit to get an HIV test.
On receiving positive result from at-home test you should confirm it from the healthcare provider. Accordingly most appropriate treatment option will provide to the patients for better protection and managing the effects in the long run.