If you have been tested for HIV, there is a possibility that you may receive a ‘non-reactive’ test result. But, what exactly does a non-reactive result mean? Is it something for you to worry about? What comes next after getting a non-reactive test result?
This article will further explain what a non-reactive HIV result means. We will discuss the significance of receiving a non-reactive test result for HIV. We will provide everything you should know about HIV tests and treatment.
Non-reactive HIV Test
For some people, the term non-reactive can be quite intimidating as it sounds too technical. So, anxiety often kicks in as soon as they see this word in their test results. However, this is to remind you that there is nothing to worry if you have gotten a non-reactive HIV test result.
In simple terms, a non-reactive HIV result just means that you are not infected with the virus. It is the same as getting a negative test result from an HIV screening. It also means that HIV antibodies and virus are not present and have not been detected in your blood.
What Does Non-reactive HIV Test Mean?
A non-reactive HIV result indicates that fluid samples, such as your blood, saliva or urine, did not contain antigens or antibodies of HIV during an HIV-1 and HIV-2 screening. It can mean that you are safe from an HIV infection when the testing was done.
In some cases, getting a non-reactive result does not automatically mean that an individual is automatically negative of the virus. Instead, this could mean that the test could have been done prematurely to detect any HIV antigens and antibodies in your blood, saliva, or urine.
You could be confident that you do not have HIV if a test result comes back negative after a window of 10 to 33 days after exposure. You should remember that this window period is the perfect period that an HIV test can easily detect the virus in your body. So, be mindful of this to ensure accurate and reliable test results.
A non-reactive HIV test result means that you will not need HIV drugs because you do not have the virus that can possibly make you sick. However, there are certain medications that can help you maintain a non-reactive status from HIV. Pre-exposure prophylaxis or PrEP is an example.
PrEP can reduce your chance of getting HIV and can prevent possible infection. Taken as a pill, PrEP is 99% effective in protecting you from the virus and the associated complication. PrEP involves taking two pills 2-24 hours before the sexual intercourse or exposure to HIV and continuing to take one pill every day for two days after your last exposure, or as per your doctor’s instructions.
If an HIV test returns a reactive or positive result, it means you have been infected with HIV and the HIV antigens or antibodies are now detectable in your blood. For HIV positive individuals, doctors usually advise you to go for an antiretroviral therapy (ART). This treatment includes a combination of a number of medicines that manage your viral load and slow down the spread of the virus.