Worst Health Advices You’ve Probably Heard and Followed

We all know that not all health living advices we read and see in the news are true. However, some advices are so persistent that they sound scientific and factual, even if they are simply wrong. And since medical knowledge consistently change, many health advices we assume are true are actually still under debate—or even considered downright bad. Here are a few of the trendy advices that health professionals in Singapore strongly disagree with.

1. Eat Low-Carb Diet to Optimize Workout

If you’re an athlete or even just a gym rat, you have probably been told to minimize carbs to be able to perform at your peak, but this could actually be doing the opposite to your body. Carbohydrate is your body’s natural fuel during high-intensity training, and that is scientifically proven. While lowering carb intake may work for elite athletes for their endurance training, it isn’t something that average people should be doing, unless you’re advised by a professional.

2. Start the Day With Whole Grains

You’ve probably heard that whole grains make you feel full for longer hours, but experts disagree to this idea. Since they spike up the glucose level in your blood, they could leave you craving for carbs sooner than expected. If you want a hearty breakfast that keeps you full until lunchtime, eggs and toast are better option.

3. Eat Lots of Small Meals

This one may surprise you, since we often hear this as a weight loss tip. Although this can be done and may be effective for some, it’s not for everyone. While some people manage their weight better with frequent eating, others do better with three square meals a day. If you think you’re doing better with intermittent fasting, there’s no need to force yourself into the inconvenience of eating every two hours, especially if that’s unsustainable with your lifestyle and schedule.

4. Lose Weight By Burning More and Taking Less Calories

Counting calories alone is not an effective weight loss technique. The amount of calories printed on the label isn’t going to be the same once the food is in the body. For example, some food can cause your metabolism to speed up or slow down. And if you plan to reduce your caloric intake, you have to make sure that you are still getting enough nutrients and eating foods that satisfy you, or you’ll end up in the unhealthy cycle of frequent weight loss and weight gain.

Whether you’re aiming to lose weight or just be more health conscious with your decisions, it’s important to follow the right tips and advices. Your best option is to consult a healthcare professional to ensure you’re getting the effects you’re expecting.

10 Historical Fiction Books for Beginners

Reading history books can be a bore sometimes. The good news is, a lot of writers have attempted to bring life to some figures in history by adding elements of fiction.

Here are ten books to get you started in the historical fiction genre.

The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett

This novel is set in the 12th century England during The Anarchy. A cathedral is built in Kingsbridge during this tumultuous time in history. The book is divided into eight parts and is considered the author’s best work.

The Egyptian by Mika Waltari

Also known by its original title Sinuhe the Egyptian, the book is set during the rule of Pharaoh Akhenaten. Sinuhe is the court physician of the pharaoh who was later exiled after the latter’s fall. It is based on the Story of Sinuhe.

The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck

This Pulitzer Prize-winning novel is about the triumphs and struggles of Wang Lung and wife O-Lan just before the first World War.

The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco

When the friar William of Baskerville and Adso of Melk arrive at a monastery, they heard news of a suicide. As the mystery unravels, more deaths occur, each investigation leading to a dead end.

Cloud of Sparrows by Takashi Matsuoka

Set six years after Japan opens up to the West, American missionaries came to the country to establish churches. Meanwhile the Great Lord of Akaoka ,Genji, is fighting for his clan against enemies.

The Masters of Rome by Colleen McCullough

Set in ancient Rome, this book series has a total of seven installments. The first novel tells about Marius and his rise to power after he married Julia. The series includes familiar names from history such as Sulla and Julius Caesar.

The Persian Boy by Mary Renault

A list of historical fiction books is incomplete without a novel from Mary Renault. Known for her novels set in Ancient Greece, The Persian Boy is about Bagoas who was captured and made a slave to King Darius III.

Shougun by James Clavell

The book is part of the Asia Saga series and covers the events just before the Battle of Sekigahara in the year 1600. Characters in the book are based on historical personages. Englishman John Blackthorne chronicles the rise of Toranaga.

Etruscans by Morgan Llywelyn and Michael Scott

Morgan Llywelyn is known for her novels set in mythical and historical Ireland. She teamed up with fantasy writer Michael Scott to write this story of Horatius, then known as Horatrim, son of an Etruscan woman. The Etruscans were the first casualties of the Romans in their quest for world domination.

The Haj by Leon Uris

One of Leon Uris’s most well-known novels, The Haj is about Haj Ibrahim, the Muktar of Tabah, who wants to protect his family and his village amid the conflicts between the Jews and Arabs. The story is set just before the rebirth of Israel.

What to Look for in Aloe Vera Products

Aloe vera has been used as a healing plant since ancient times. There are a lot of documents supporting its effectiveness in treating a lot of conditions from skin diseases to psychiatric illnesses. Although there are contradicting studies about the benefits of aloe vera, the problem lies in the correct processing of and the mislabeling aloe vera products. What should you look for in an aloe vera in Singapore?

Aloe Vera History

For centuries, the ancients considered the aloe vera a plant that could grant immortality and was a universal panacea. It means that it could be a remedy for almost any disease. Aloe vera is the plant’s common name while its botanical name is Aloe barbadensis miller. The word “aloe” is an Arabic term that means “shining and bitter substance.” “Vera” is the Latin word for “true.”
It lived up to its name when it was used to treat dermatitis caused by severe radiation. It is the only known treatment for nuclear burns, according to some claims. Among its least impressive qualities is that it’s used as a laxative and a beauty product. It’s not uncommon nowadays to find aloe vera extracts in shampoos, soaps and creams.

Aloe Vera Plant

Aloe vera is a hardy succulent, perennial plant that can survive in almost any climate, but thrives in tropical countries like Singapore. There are many varieties of Aloe, but the most common is the green, stemless plant with fat green leaves. The leaves sometimes have white spots. It also has flowers that look like yellow tubes and fruits with seeds.

The leaf is the part of the plant where the aloe vera gel is acquired. The leaves are fleshy and serrated at the edges. When examined closely, you will see that it is made up of three layers. The outer layer is called the rind. It is made up of 15 to 20 cells. The middle part is found just beneath the leaf skin. It contains a yellow sap called the aloe vera latex. This part of the leaf is taken orally that has good aloe benefits and used to treat a number of diseases. The innermost layer is a clear jelly made up mostly of water. This is the aloe vera gel.

Aloe Vera Properties

According to studies, aloe vera contains at least 75 active ingredients. An active ingredient is a biologically active component that will deliver the benefit of a product. Let’s break down the constituents of aloe vera.

    • Vitamins – vitamin A, C, E, and B12; choline and folic acid. These are antioxidants that fight free radicals in the body.
    • Minerals – calcium, potassium, magnesium, zinc, sodium, chromium, selenium, copper, and manganese. Minerals are needed for enzyme and antioxidant production.
    • Sugars – monosaccharides such as fructose, glucose and polysaccharides such as polymannose and glucomannans.
    • Enzymes – lipase, aliiase, amylase, alkaline phosphatase, carboxypeptidase, bradykinase, cellulase, peroxidase, and catalase. Enzymes help break down fats and sugar.
    • Hormones – gibberellins and auxins. Hormones make the wound heal faster and stop inflammation.
    • Anthraquinones – aloe vera has 12 anthraquinones. These are laxatives called phenolic compounds. Two of these, emodin and aloin, are analgesics, antivirals and antibacterials.
    • Fatty Acids – cholesterol, beta-sisoterol, campesterol and lupeol. These are plant steroids with anti-inflammatory, analgesic and antiseptic properties.
    • Other Components – salycylic acid, lignin, and saponin. Aloe vera contains 7 out of 8 essential amino acids. It also has 20 out of 22 required amino acids.

Aloe Vera Products and Benefits

The parts used in the plant are the leaves. There are two kinds of products that can be processed from the aloe vera leaves. These are the aloe vera gel and aloe vera latex. The latex is taken orally for its healing properties. The gel is used in a variety of products. Some manufacturers in Singapore also crush the aloe leaves to get both the latex and gel.
Aloe vera in Singapore is used primarily in dermatological products. It increases the collagen content so that skin heals faster and is more elastic. Elasticity makes fine lines and wrinkles disappear or look less noticeable. The antioxidants protect the skin from the harmful ultraviolet and gamma radiation from the sun.

The following are other benefits of aloe vera:

1. Aloe vera contains 6 antiseptic agents such as sulfur, lupeol, salicylic acid, cinnamonic acid, phenols, and urea nitrogen.
2. Aloe vera increases the resistance of the immune system against infections because of the presence of anthraquinones.
3. C-glucosyl chromone and alprogen are isolated from the aloe vera gel. They are used for their anti-allergic and anti-inflammatory properties, respectively.
4. The enzyme bradykinase found in aloe vera is used as an anti-inflammatory agent in topical creams.
5. Hormones such as gibberellins and auxins are used for their healing and anti-inflammatory properties.
6. The anthraquinones are used as laxatives. These help make bowel movement easier.
7. The fatty acids are used as antiseptics and analgesics.
8. The salicylic acid has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties used for acne and other skin problems.
9. The saponins from aloe vera are used for making soaps and gels. They are also valued for their antiseptic properties.
10. The lignin is used in topical creams or ointments because it helps other ingredients penetrate the skin.
11. The vitamins help in detoxification, energy balance, hemoglobin and nucleic acid synthesis, strengthening the immune system, and neutralization of free radicals.
12. The minerals and micronutrients also improve the immune system, increase blood coagulation, help enzymes function, and assist in detoxification.

Reading the Label

When purchasing aloe vera products in Singapore, you should read the label carefully. Some might contain only water. Others use methods that lose the effectiveness of the active ingredients. Check the container for proper labeling. It has to include a list of the ingredients and the quantity of each ingredient. There should also be instructions on how to use the product. If you have purchased vitamins or supplements, consult your doctor about the correct daily dosage.

Adverse Effects of Over-Illumination

Here in Singapore, the streets come to life at night with the help of artificial lights. Yes, some are unnecessary lighting but it can attract attention, that is important. But do you stop for a while and contemplate about light pollution especially when you see high intensity lighting? Singaporeans should understand light pollution particularly its one type – over-illumination.

Light pollution can have ill effects on humans as well as the ecosystem. Light pollution is actually the result of globalization and development. With this in mind, many people just think that it is inevitable. This kind of thinking will be our downfall. It is time that we are aware of our surroundings and do our part to make it a better place.

Where does over-illumination come in? Over-illumination is actually one type of light pollution. It happens when there is too much light for a particular activity. Before resolving this issue, it is crucial that we know the ill effects of over-illumination. Getting too much artificial light can have ill effects. Here is the list:

• Headaches: Having headaches with over-illumination is not a surprise because you often suffer from this. Over-exposing yourself to artificial light can even trigger migraines. While it is true that headaches or migraines have different factors that trigger it, the bright light can always intensify the pain.

• Hypertension: It is important that lights are turned on and off at appropriate times. If not, it can disrupt circadian rhythms and melatonin production. This will eventually lead to imbalances like high blood pressure and other related health problems.

• Insomnia: The disruption of melatonin production can cause sleepless nights. The disruption is caused by over exposure to artificial lighting. If your brain is overly stimulated because of intense lights, it cannot relax.

• Fatigue: Fatigue is actually stress that is taking over the body. It was mentioned earlier that artificial light can disrupt the body rhythms and it can cause chaos inside the body. Remember that when melatonin and circadian rhythm are off, it will be severe.

Now that you know over-illumination is not as harmless as it seems, you have to act while it is not too late. There are things that you can do to make it better. For example, when lighting a room, make sure that it is just enough and when it is not in use, turn it off. You do not only address over-illumination but also energy consumption.

Just continue to think of things to curb over-illumination. Do not wait for it to strike before taking action.

How to Clean Your Front Windshield More Effectively

There is a reason why glares are very annoying and uncomfortable – it is eye sore. This is the problem for many drivers especially at night. Dealing with glare prove to be challenging. Perhaps you already know that some road-related accidents here in Singapore are caused by glares. Glare is a type of light pollution that is often painful because of the bright light.

The good news is that there are ways you can reduce glare while driving at night. The first thing that you should do is to adjust your side mirrors and rearview mirrors. You should not miss cleaning your front windshield too. Do you know that if the glass surface is streaked, light that hits it will scatter thereby the glare? Knowing this, you have to clean your windshield well. Here’s how you can effectively clean your front windshield:

• Initial cleaning: You have to secure different materials like glass cleaner, sponge pad, microfiber towels and squeegee. After that, remove stuck things like bugs or tree sap. Spray the glass cleaner unto the substances and let it be for ten minutes. If it is softened, use the sponge to remove scrub it and then rinse it with water.

• Tackle exterior glass: After the initial cleaning, it is time to clean it thoroughly. Lift the wiper arms (in upright position) and then spray cleaner again. After spraying, use the towel and wipe the cleaner. For better results, wipe vertically and then horizontally after.

• Tackle interior glass: Now you are ready to clean the interior glass. You can also spray glass cleaner and wipe it using the towel. It is important that you wipe it in sections.

• Clean other surfaces: The front windshield does not only constitute your car. There are other glass surfaces that you should clean like the side mirrors, rearview mirror and the windows. Clean other glass surfaces as instructed above.

Of course you can choose to have your car washed. The washers will make sure that everything is cleaned inside out. There are many carwash stations here in Singapore that you can consider so do not worry about it. Oh, car wash here is not that expensive so you can have it as often as you like.

Aside from the glare, a clean windshield can be good for seeing. A dirty one will undermine the visibility. If all things fail, you have to go to your doctor and have your eyes checked. If it is the eyes, no matter how you clean your windshield or adjust your mirrors, you are vulnerable.

6 Hidden Signs of Dementia

 

Dementia doesn’t only rob people of their memories and other cognitive abilities, but also causes other conditions marked by a number of symptoms, especially during its early stages. Making things worse, these symptoms are not easy to recognize. From failing to recognize irony to losing one’s balance, many early symptoms of dementia seem normal at first and so are often missed.

How will you know if you or someone you know are already showing signs of dementia? Here are some early signs you should be aware of.

  1. Unusual Food Cravings

Big changes in the kinds of foods you crave, especially when it’s leaning towards sweets, could be an early sign of dementia. Some Japanese researchers said that disease-related changed in the part of the brain that controls your appetite and taste buds explain the sudden change of cravings.

  1. A Tendency to Hoard

Hoarding and other compulsive habits are linked to dementia, according to one research. Buying a newspaper everyday and storing it but never actually reading it is a common example of compulsive behaviour related to the onset of dementia.

  1. Missing Sarcasm

Sarcasm is part of our culture. It’s a “nice” way to be critical, and so we use it all the time even among friends. However, research suggests that people with Alzheimer’s disease and frontotemporal dementia can hardly pick up on sarcasm and almost couldn’t tell if someone is lying. It is because the disease messes up the part of the brain that interprets and spots higher-order of verbal information.

  1. Changes in Personality

A frequent change of mood is a sign of dementia that is often overlooked as it can also be a sign of less serious condition like pre-menstrual syndrome in women. However, when it’s accompanied by a shift in personality, it would be best to check for other dementia symptoms. An example of a personality change is a sudden change from being shy to outgoing. The reason behind this is that dementia can affect a person’s judgment.

  1. Failing Sense of Direction

Sense of direction and spatial orientation are among the first things that deteriorate with the onset of dementia. This could mean failing to recognize landmarks and forgetting regularly used routes. You may also find it challenging to follow directions and step-by-step instructions.

  1. Confusion

People in the early stages of dementia are often confused. This is unavoidable: when thinking, judgment and memory fails, confusion arises. Confusion can happen in different situations. For instance, misplacing one’s car keys, forgetting what it was you meant to do, and difficulty remembering someone they have met before.

Although dementia is more common in people over 65 years old, it can also affect younger individuals as young as 30 years old. With early diagnosis and treatment, you can maintain optimum mental function for longer and slow down progress of the condition.

Make Your Monday Feel Like Saturday With These Tricks!

 

Most of us will agree that Monday is the worst day of the week (and we’ve got the Sunday night blues to prove it). However, it doesn’t have to be this way all the time. You’ll face weekdays a lot easier if you learn how to love the beginning of the week. Easier said than done? Here are a few tricks to make your Monday—and the rest of week—feel like Saturday.

  1. Bring a Weekend Habit Into the Week

You don’t have to save all the fun stuff for the weekend. While a night parties certainly is appropriate for Friday nights, dinner with friends or yoga session with girls in the office can be done after work hours. Doing something on a Monday that allows you for some fun will make you look forward to begin the week instead of hating it.

  1. Wake Up Early

Weekend mornings are the best because you don’t have to rush yourself on doing things. On weekdays, mornings tend to be rushed. To emulate relaxed Saturday mornings, wake-up a bit earlier. Not as much as an hour early; just enough for you to enjoy your coffee, take a relaxing shower or even lounge around.

  1. Do Some Preparation During the Weekend

One of the reasons why Mondays are overwhelming is because we’re overloaded with work, from choosing an outfit to answering emails. To avoid the chaos, dedicate an hour of your Sunday to plan for your outfit and meals for Monday—or for an entire week—and do some light works like clearing you email of junk mails. This enables you to start your week smoothly and make your Mondays less hectic.

  1. Make a To-Do List

Let’s face it, Mondays have the tendency to make us to more things than we’re capable of. Take a moment to pause, and prioritize what needs to be done. Before Monday comes, make a to-do list to keep you guided of what needs to be done first. As much as possible, avoid multi-tasking, work through your tasks one thing at a time.

  1. Be Nice

Human as we are, we get easily carried away on how much Mondays make us feel. Sometimes, we end up starting the week grumpy and forget that it’s Monday for everyone else as well. By treating your colleagues, clients and everyone around you nicely, you’ll make other people’s Monday a bit better, and in return make you feel good and encourage positivity on others, too.

Whether you crawl back in bed or own it like a boss, Monday is going to come and go. Maybe you won’t be excited for it, but there are things you can do to make the day a gateway to a successful week rather than just another step of a long march to the next weekend.

What You Need to Know About Antibiotic Resistance

 

You dread the day when antibiotics do not work anymore. This is a frightening thought because you depend on antibiotics from ear infections to life-threatening infections. Many Singaporeans consider antibiotics especially if it is prescribed by doctors and knowing that you can possibly form a resistance to it is a horrible experience. The threat is very real and therefore should be addressed.

It is high time that you learn about antibiotic resistance. Here are the things that you need to know about it:

What’s an antibiotic?

Before anything else, you have to know that bacteria are around us. These are single-celled organisms. Some bacteria are not harmful like the ones found in your intestines. However, there are many disease-causing bacteria that can lead to diseases or illnesses.

Antibiotics (also called antimicrobial drugs) have the power to battle infections instigated by bacteria found in animals and humans. Antibiotics either kill the bacteria or make it difficult for them to propagate and grow. You have to know though that antibiotics cannot kill viruses like colds, sore throats, sinusitis and flu.

What’s antibiotic resistance?

From the word itself, it is the ability of the bacteria to resist or repel the effects of antibiotic. Antibiotic resistance happens when a particular bacteria change in a way that it diminishes the efficacy of agents developed to prevent if not cure the infections. If this happens, the bacteria will be able to survive thereby continuing to propagate wrecking more harm.

Why should you be concerned?

Antibiotic resistance is not a simple problem. In fact, it is considered the world’s most persistent health concern that needs to be addressed. Instead of doing good, it will cause more harm because the once easily treatable infection will not be healed and thereby becomes harmful infections. The fact that it can prolong the agony of children and adults should be your concern. It can spread to the family and even co-workers. If you have this, it will be difficult and expensive to treat it.

What are the reasons of the resistance?

This is the critical thing that you should know so you can keep away from it. The reasons for the resistance include misusing and overusing antibiotics. You have to keep this in mind so you can prevent the spreading of the resistance.

What can you do to prevent such resistance?

It was mentioned earlier that the reasons for the resistance are misuse and overuse of antibiotics. The key here is to use the antibiotics smartly as you can control its spread.

The Most Identifiable Logos in Hollywood

 

If you are a movie aficionado, one look at the logo and you will know where it came from. When establishing a company, you have to make sure that your logo can easily be identified by all your audience since it is part of marketing and branding. In this case, movie studios made their logo extraordinarily so their audience can easily identify it.

If ever you see movie logos, you should look more closely. It pays to know a little bit more of movie studios. So, here are some things that you should know about movie studio logos:

20th Century Fox – Even if you are not looking, you will know if the movie is brought to you by 20th Century Fox studio because of its main theme which is in B flat major. The theme was composed by Alfred Newman way back 1933. As for the monument, there have been many versions over the years. First they failed to make a 3D model in 1994 hence they only created the CG model. The logo shows Los Angeles’ city scape.

Paramount Pictures – You will also distinguish Paramount Pictures from others because of the mountain. No one really knows if the mountains are based on real mountains but some theories say that it is Peru’s Mount Artesonraju or Utah’s Ben Lomond. In 1911, the mountain was drawn in charcoal and eventually created into matte painting then CG in 1986. The number of stars aligning at the mountains peak is meaningless.

Universal Pictures – The first logo was released in 1914 and the text read as ‘The Trans-Atlantic Film Co.’ It was changed to Universal Pictures. Universal Logo is also equally easily identifiable with a globe that is like a glitter ball. In 2012, Brian Tyler changed the key of the music composed by Jerry Goldsmith and debuted on ‘Dr Seuss’ The Lorax’.

Walt Disney Pictures – It will only take you few seconds to look at the logo and know that it is a Disney film. The shows a snaking river which is where Walt Disney and his wife got married. You will see many references there from the steam train (from Dumbo), pirate ship (from Peter Pan) and the castle (from Sleeping Beauty). The music that plays alongside is entitled ‘When You Wish Upon A Star’

You can share some information to your fellow movie enthusiasts. Singaporeans love movies and it is only right to get to know the logos more. It pays to know some.

HIV Testing: Understanding the Basics

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) testing is a test that determines whether or not a person is infected with HIV, a virus that weakens the immune system and eventually develops into AIDS. Some HIV screening tests check the antibodies produced by your immune system in reaction with an HIV infection, while other tests look for traces of the virus itself. Rapid tests usually produce results in 20 minutes.

Why It’s Done

HIV testing is crucial for slowing the spread of HIV infection. Most people are unaware that they’re infected with the virus, so they’re less likely to take precautions in preventing the spread of HIV to others. Early diagnosis of the disease often results in earlier treatment with drugs to delay its progression to AIDS.

Health experts recommend individuals aging 13 to 64 years old be tested for HIV. Screening tests can be done through the community HIV testing centres in your area in Singapore or during your visit with your healthcare provider. Getting tested is especially important for pregnant women as they can pass down the virus to their babies during pregnancy or through breast-feeding. Taking medications to combat HIV during pregnancy or delivery also reduces your chances of transmitting the disease to your baby.

How Often Should the Test be Done

Specialists suggest taking at least one anonymous hiv test in Singapore for individuals aging 13 to 64 years old, particularly those who are sexually active and have multiple sex partners. Yearly testing is also recommended if you’re at a high risk of developing the infection. Consider undergoing the test yearly and before having sex with a new partner if you:

• Have had unprotected intercourse with more than one partner
• Have been diagnosed with an STD like syphilis or hepatitis
• Use intravenous drugs like hormones, silicone or steroids
• Have had unprotected sex with a person who falls into any of the aforementioned categories

Also consider getting an HIV screening if you’ve been sexually assaulted, or is planning to get pregnant.

How to Prepare for HIV Testing
No special preparations are needed for taking an HIV test. You may just need to schedule an appointment with your doctor, or simply walk in for an HIV testing in some public health clinics in Singapore.

Screening Options to Test HIV

HIV is often diagnosed by testing your blood or the cell samples taken from inside your cheek. Urine samples may also be used to test for HIV antibodies, but its results tend to be less accurate. Today, newer types of test already check for HIV antigen to quickly confirm a diagnosis soon after getting infected. Here are some of the following test you can undergo to help you take extra precautions and to prevent transmission of the disease to other people.

1. Rapid HIV Testing
Some rapid testing offer highly accurate information within 20 minutes. These tests look for HIV antibodies in your system using your blood samples, or fluids collected from your lower and upper gums. Getting a positive reaction on this test will require you to take a confirming blood test.

2. Home HIV Testing
Performing a home HIV testing involves two options: mailing your blood sample to a testing centre and just calling in for the results, or collecting oral fluid samples and using a kit to test it yourself in your home. Both methods are ideal if you’re prefer having an anonymous HIV test, as it ensures your anonymity and offers confidential referral to follow-up testing sites in case you get a positive test result.

3. Early Detection HIV Testing
Some tests are able to detect HIV earlier, before the antibodies become detectable in a standard HIV screening testing. These tests evaluate your blood for any genetic material from the HIV virus, or for proteins that develop within the first few weeks of acquiring the infection.

Unlike the standard HIV testing, early detection tests may cost more and may not be widely available yet. Also, even if you’ve undergone this test, you’ll still need to take the standard antibody testing later on to confirm test results and avoid occurrence of false-positive and false-negative results.

4. Other Tests to Tailor Treatment
If you received an HIV/AIDS diagnosis, undergoing certain types of test will help your doctor in determining the stage of disease you have. Some of these tests include:

• CD4 Count. This test is used to monitor your CD4 cells. These cells are a type of white blood cell that are specifically destroyed and targeted by HIV. Even if there are no symptoms, the infection will progress to AIDS when your CD4 counts decreases below 200.
• Viral Load. Similar with the standard HIV screening test, Viral Load test measures the amount of virus present in your blood. Some research have shown that individuals with higher viral loads fare poorly compared to those with lower viral loads.
• Drug Resistance. Unlike the first two tests, drug resistance test works by determining whether or not the type of HIV you acquired will be resistant to certain anti-HIV medications.

HIV Testing Results

1. Negative HIV Test Result
A negative HIV testing result may mean two things: Either you’re clear from HIV, or it’s too soon to tell. It’s possible to get a negative result if you were only recently exposed to the virus, since your body hasn’t had time to produce the antibodies yet. That’s why health experts recommend getting retested for the virus after several months, or undergoing one of the early detection tests.

2. Positive HIV Test Result
While there’s still no cure for HIV/AIDS, treatment has come a long way in offering improved and extended quality of life. If the disease is well-treated, infected people will still have a chance to experience a near-normal life expectancy. Undergoing early treatment for the disease will help in keeping you healthy and delaying the onset of AIDS. If you ever test positive, do inform your partner so they get evaluated and treated as well.

Undergoing an HIV test is one of the best ways to protect yourself from the disease. Fully understanding how the test works won’t only keep you from acquiring HIV, but also from spreading it to the people around you.