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How to Know Your HIV Status Without a Test at Home

Updated on September 28, 2016
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Januaris is a writer with a great passion for the health niche. He loves to write about home and natural remedies for health conditions.

Going to a health center for an HIV test can really be devastating. Those who have been forced by circumstances to visit an HIV testing center can agree with me that it is a mind-boggling experience.

If you usually find it stressful to visit a health center for HIV testing, here is some good news! You can know your HIV status without a test at home and just go to a VCT center to confirm your status without undergoing that nerve-wrecking anxiety!

I will show you how to perform this task at home at any time when you feel it is necessary. And you will not need a home HIV testing kit! If you are worried about the accuracy of this home HIV testing method, worry no more because its accuracy is excellent.

It's a Simple and Easy Home HIV Testing Process

You just need to use your medical records, which include general lab test results of your blood. General lab test results usually contain a complete blood count of red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets and a chemistry panel.

The lab test is usually done on you to help determine your sickness. It doesn't include HIV or other serious infections. You can have it from your nearest human medical lab at a very affordable price. It is also recommended to go for the test at least every 6-12 months.

example of blood test results
example of blood test results | Source

General lab tests can help you know your overall health. Although they don't show presence of specific infections, they can help you know whether or not you have any serious infections such as HIV, cancer, diabetes or heart disease. You can therefore start taking of your health if you suspect a sickness.

If you have been diagnosed with a disease through an advanced blood test, you can use general blood tests afterwards to monitor and take charge of your health. You don’t have to keep visiting your doctor for more advanced blood tests. In addition, if you get a clue of your HIV status from the lab test, you will be able to approach a health center for further testing with some confidence.

Analyze Complete Blood Count and Chemistry Panel

This analysis is simple and easy: you don’t need any help from a health officer. By just looking at the figures on the lab test report, you will be able to understand everything. The following information can help you do the analysis better. See how certain counts of blood cells and levels of body chemicals say about your health.

Red Blood Cell Count

In case you didn't know, red blood cells (RBCs) are created in your bone marrow. They carry and supply respiratory gases (oxygen and carbon dioxide) to all parts of your body. The red blood cell count is the number of RBCs in a cubic milliliter (ml) of your blood.

The normal count of RBCs for healthy people range from 4,000,000-6,200,000/ml. Men usually have a higher count than women. People infected with serious illnesses, such as HIV and anemia, have very low values.

red blood cells
red blood cells | Source

Most blood test results include counts/levels of components of RBCs such as hemoglobin, hematocrit, mean corpuscular volume, mean corpuscular hemoglobin and mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration.

  • Hemoglobin - A protein and oxygen carrier.
  • Hematocrit - Percentage of blood cells that are RBCs.
  • Mean corpuscular volume - Size of RBCs.
  • Mean corpuscular hemoglobin - Amount of hemoglobin in a cell.
  • Mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration - Percentage volume of hemoglobin in a cell.

The table below gives the normal counts/levels of these components in healthy adults.

Blood Component
Normal Value
Red blood cells
4,000,000-6,400,000/ml
Hemoglobin
12-18g/dl
Hematocrit
37-54%
Mean corpuscular volume
80-100fl (femtoliters)
Mean corpuscular hemoglobin
27-33pg/cell (picogram)
Mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration
32-36%

White Blood Cell Count

Also known as leukocytes, white blood cells (WBCs) fight infections in your body. The normal count of WBCs in healthy people range from 4,300-10,800/mm3.

Low levels of WBCs may be due to a more serious infection like HIV or tuberculosis. Very high counts may mean that your body is fighting an infection.


white blood cells
white blood cells | Source

WBCs are grouped into lymphocytes, granulocytes and monocytes. Lymphocytes produce antibodies which boost the immune system. They form 10-45% of the total WBCs in your body.

Granulocytes are also called polymorphonuclear cells (PMNs) and fight bacteria. They form 55-80% of the total WBCs in your body.

Monocytes disintegrate micro-organisms that cause infections in your body. They form 0-12% of the total WBCs.

The most important lymphocytes include:

  • T cells –Cells destroyed by HIV
  1. CD4 T-cells
  2. CD8 T-cells

Specific granulocytes include:

  • Neutrophils – Destroy bacteria and foreign bodies.
  • Eosinophils – Fight allergy as well as infections caused by parasites.
  • Basophils - Improve the transport of cells to infected body parts.

The table below shows the amounts of all these white blood cells in a healthy person.

Blood Component
Normal Value
White blood cells
4,300-10,800/mm3
Lymphocytes
10-45%
- T cells
950-1950/mm3 (61-85%)
- CD4 T-cells
550-1150/mm3 (28-58%)
- CD8 T-cells
330-800/mm3 (19-48%)
Granulocytes
55-80%
- Neutrophils
40-73%
- Eosinophils
0-7%
- Basophils
0-3%
Monocytes
0-12%

Platelet Count

Platelets are cells that are responsible for blood clotting. The normal count of platelets in healthy people range from 130,000-440,000/mm3.

A low count of platelets can be due to HIV infection. People with a platelet count of below 50,000/mm3 can suffer from uncontrolled bleeding.

Chemistry Test

Most blood test reports have a section showing the most important chemicals in the blood such as sodium, potassium, magnesium, chloride, glucose, cholesterol, triglycerides and amylase. See some helpful information about these chemicals below.

Sodium

  • Balances body fluids and soft tissues.
  • Low levels may mean a serious infection like HIV.
  • High levels indicate dehydration.

Potassium

  • Regulate heart muscle and nerve impulses.
  • Low levels result from vomiting and diarrhea.
  • High levels may indicate serious infections such as kidney failure or HIV.

Magnesium

  • Controls protein processing and muscle contractions.

Chloride

  • Controls the balance of body fluids.

Glucose

  • Provides body energy.
  • Abnormal levels may indicate an HIV infection or use of anti-viral drugs.

Cholesterol

  • High levels may occur among people who have lived with HIV for long.

Triglycerides

  • Low levels may indicate an HIV infection.

Amylase

  • This is a chemical enzyme produced by salivary glands and pancreas.
  • High levels may be due to inflammation of these glands.

The table below shows the normal levels of these chemicals in healthy people.

Blood Component
Normal Value
Sodium
130-150mmol/l
Potassium
3-5mmol/l
Magnesium
1.5-2.5mmol/l
Chloride
100-110mmol/l
Glucose
75-125mg/dl
Cholesterol
150-250mg/dl
Triglycerides
45-175mg/dl
Amylase
20-125units/ml

If you think this process is not accurate enough, grab this home HIV testing kit and know your status on the go! It is the best kit out there!

In Conclusion...

It's that simple! You don't have to suffer the agony of visiting a VCT center when you can determine your HIV status at the comfort of your home and keep your results confidential.

With the general medical records (which you can get after every few months) you can detect serious infections without booking appointments with your doctor. Note, your blood figures can vary due to minor infections and with the time of the day. Be your own doctor!

Do you agree with me that it is possible to know your HIV status without a test at home?

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