It’s estimated that more than 1 million people in the United States have human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and about 14% of those infected don’t know it. Thirumalesh Venkatesh, MD, is an internal medicine physician at Seven Hills Medical Center who offers HIV testing at his Brooklyn and Franklin Square, New York, offices, including the rapid HIV test. To schedule your HIV test, call the office today or book an appointment online.
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a viral infection that affects your body’s immune system. The virus weakens your immune system by attacking and destroying the various cells that protect you from infections, referred to as CD4 or T cells.
HIV is spread through bodily fluids, including blood, semen, vaginal secretions, and breastmilk. Currently, there is no cure for HIV, but treatments can help you manage the disease and live a long, happy, healthy life.
If left untreated, HIV can lead to acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). AIDS is a stage of the disease that indicates your immune system is so weak you’re at risk of severe illness, referred to as opportunistic infections, that can lead to death.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 get tested for HIV at least once during a routine health exam. You may need to get tested for HIV more often if you engage in certain behaviors, such as:
It’s recommended that gay and bisexual men who are sexually active get tested every six months. You may also need to get tested if you’re pregnant.
To get your HIV results quickly, Dr. Venkatesh offers the rapid HIV test, which provides information about your HIV status in 30 minutes or less. This test checks for HIV antibodies in your blood, obtained through a fingerstick, or oral secretions.
If your rapid HIV test shows up positive, Dr. Venkatesh recommends a follow-up test to confirm your results.
If you test positive for HIV, Dr. Venkatesh provides you with the medications you need to slow down the progression of the virus, referred to as antiretroviral therapy. While HIV can’t be cured, these medications can ensure you live a healthy and happy life for many, many years.
For rapid HIV testing, call Seven Hills Medical Center today or book an appointment online.