How Can I Reduce My Risk Of Getting Syphilis
The only way to avoid getting syphilis or other STDs is to not have anal, oral, or vaginal sex.
If you are sexually active, doing the following things will lower your chances of getting syphilis:
- Being in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with a partner who has been tested for syphilis and does not have syphilis
- Using latex condoms the right way every time you have sex. Condoms prevent the spread of syphilis by preventing contact with a sore. Sometimes sores can occur in areas not covered by a condom. Contact with these sores can still transmit syphilis.
How Do You Get Or Transmit Hiv
You can only get HIV by coming into direct contact with certain body fluids from a person with HIV who has a detectable viral load. These fluids are:
- Semen and pre-seminal fluid
- Rectal fluids
- Vaginal fluids
- Breast milk
For transmission to occur, the HIV in these fluids must get into the bloodstream of an HIV-negative person through a mucous membrane open cuts or sores or by direct injection.
People with HIV who take HIV medicine daily as prescribed and get and keep an undetectable viral load have effectively no risk of sexually transmitting HIV to their HIV-negative partners.
How Long Does It Take To Show Symptoms Of Hiv
The human immunodeficiency virus is a virus that attacks your bodys immune system. Left untreated, it can lead to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome . Early diagnosis is key to slowing down disease progression.
Symptoms may vary from person to person, but knowing the early symptoms that could present can help you get diagnosed and treated as soon as possible.
This article will discuss the various stages of HIV, how symptoms may present, how testing works, and what to expect if you test positive for the virus.
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How Do People Get Hiv
HIV spreads when infected blood or body fluids enter the body. This can happen:
HIV also can pass from mother to child during pregnancy, childbirth, or breastfeeding.
HIV is NOT spread through:
- pee, poop, spit, throw-up, or sweat
- coughing or sneezing
- sharing eating utensils or drinking glasses
Hiv Hides In The Body
Scientists had hoped giving strong treatment medications so soon after birth would get rid of the virus or prevent it from spreading and doing damage.
The fact that the HIV virus eventually turned up in the âMississippi babyâ isn’t unexpected, says Robert Siliciano, MD, PhD, professor of medicine in the infectious diseases department at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. It supports the theory that HIV cells stay in the body, just out of view in a hidden “reservoir.”
“Curing HIV infection is going to require strategies to eliminate this reservoir,” he says.
Symptoms Of Hiv Infection
Some people may not develop any symptoms after contracting HIV and could remain undiagnosed until the symptoms of AIDS appear. This could be up to 10 years later.
However, 50% or more of people living with HIV may develop mild flu-like symptoms within 2 to 4 weeks. Early symptoms may include:
- muscle aches
- swollen glands
The symptoms of HIV infection may last from a few days to weeks. They may go away on their own.
Misdiagnosis of early HIV infection is common. If you think you have HIV, speak with your health care provider about being tested.
How Are Hiv Tests Done During Pregnancy
If there are other risk factors for acquiring HIV, such as a recent diagnosis of another STI, a new sexual partner during pregnancy, or a partner who has HIV, a doctor may also recommend being re-tested in the third trimester of pregnancy.
Testing is done via blood test or saliva screening. These methods are relatively noninvasive and offer results in an hour to a few days. Re-testing may be necessary to confirm the diagnosis if the results are positive . Re-testing may also occur if the results are negative but an individual suspects they have been exposed to the virus.
How much an HIV test will cost has to do with a number of factors, including:
- health insurance coverage
- fees such as copays or deductibles
- where the testing is done
Some clinics offer free testing. Others may provide tests at a reduced rate. Consider calling a doctor or clinic ahead of time to ask about associated costs.
Without insurance, STI test costs may range between $50 to $200 per test estimates Cost Helper. Over-the-counter tests are available for testing at home. For example, the Oraquick at-home HIV test runs around $40 per test.
The HIV Services Locator can help find location-based HIV testing.
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What Else Do I Need To Know About Taking Hiv/aids Medicines
It’s important to take your medicines every day, according to the instructions from your health care provider. If you miss doses or don’t follow a regular schedule, your treatment may not work, and the HIV virus may become resistant to the medicines.
HIV medicines can cause side effects. Most of these side effects are manageable, but a few can be serious. Tell your health care provider about any side effects that you are having. Don’t stop taking your medicine without first talking to your provider. He or she may give you tips on how to deal with the side effects. In some cases, your provider may decide to change your medicines.
Is Hiv Testing During Pregnancy Necessary
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that all women are tested for HIV during pregnancy or before thinking of getting pregnant. Why? HIV can go undetected for years before it causes symptoms.
A pregnant person with HIV who is not treated can pass the virus to an unborn baby, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
With treatment, though, the chances of passing along HIV to a baby are very low. Getting treatment for the viral infection will also help ensure a healthy pregnancy, delivery, and future. The earlier the virus is detected, the better the treatment can work.
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Stage : The Asymptomatic Stage
Once a person has been through the acute primary infection stage and seroconversion process, they can often start to feel better. In fact, HIV may not cause any other symptoms for up to 10 or even 15 years .
However, the virus will still be active, infecting new cells and making copies of itself. HIV can still be passed on during this stage. If left untreated, over time, HIV infection will cause severe damage to the immune system.
Syphilis And Gonorrhoea Specifically In Gay Men
Of the common STIs, it is only syphilis and gonorrhoea that have become especially concentrated in gay men. In 2001, NAM aidsmap was already raising concern that hundreds of cases in syphilis in gay men had been reported in the previous two years, compared with a handful in the mid-90s.
In the UK the proportion of male syphilis cases that were in gay men increased from 58% in 2006 to 85% in 2014. Similarly the proportion of male cases of gonorrhoea that were in gay men increased from 27% in 2008 to 70% in 2015.
This means that even in terms of STI clinic attendees, gay and bisexual men are now 17 times more likely to be diagnosed with syphilis than heterosexual men and nearly six times more likely to be diagnosed with gonorrhoea.
In contrast, while there have been increases in the proportion of other STIs in gay and bisexual men, they still form a minority of cases and increases have been relatively slight. Between 2006 and 2015, the proportion of genital herpes cases that were seen in gay men increased from 5% to 10%, as did genital warts cases, and the proportion of chlamydia cases from 4% to 20%.
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What To Expect Next
If you find out you are HIV-positive, its important to keep in mind the condition is treatable. Antiretroviral therapy is recommended for all people with HIV, regardless of how long theyve had the virus or how healthy they are. It works by lowering the amount of virus in the body to very low levels. This treatment can also slow the progression of the infection and protect the immune system.
Taking ART medications is vital to slowing the progression of HIV. Left untreated, HIV will progress to the second stage. During this stage, people may experience no symptoms at all. If no treatment is administered, an individual can stay in this stage for 10 to 15 years.
For people who have no symptoms of an acute HIV infection, it takes an average of seven years to proceed to AIDS.
Hiv Has Made Me Stronger
George Tsiakalakis, a 37-year-old gay man living with HIV, is Communications and Advocacy Manager at Positive Voice, the Greek association of people living with HIV. He recognizes that, since his own diagnosis in 2010, Greek society has taken important steps towards acceptance, with organizations such as the Checkpoint prevention centres and Positive Voice coming to the fore. Still, there is a long way to go.
HIV has made me stronger, he explains. Through this difficult situation and loneliness I acquired self-confidence. I accepted my sexual orientation and felt proud and balanced once again. However, this difficult journey would have been much easier if I had had people next to me who could inform me about issues related to my sexual health, prevention and treatment. This is how Positive Voice and the Checkpoint centres have managed to change the way in which the gay community and other groups, such as people who inject drugs and sex workers, are facing HIV.
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How Does Being Durably Undetectable Affect My Risk Of Transmitting Hiv To A Sexual Partner
People living with HIV who take antiretroviral medications daily as prescribed and who achieve and then maintain an undetectable viral load have effectively no risk of sexually transmitting the virus to an HIV-negative partner.
Three large multinational research studies involving couples in which one partner was living with HIV and the other was notHPTN 052, PARTNER and Opposites Attractobserved no HIV transmission to the HIV-negative partner while the partner with HIV had a durably undetectable viral load. These studies followed approximately 3,000 male-female and male-male couples over many years while they did not use condoms. Over the course of the PARTNER and Opposites Attract studies, couples reported engaging in more than 74,000 condomless episodes of vaginal or anal intercourse.
What Are The Types Of Hiv/aids Medicines
There are several different types of HIV/AIDS medicines. Some work by blocking or changing enzymes that HIV needs to make copies of itself. This prevents HIV from copying itself, which reduces the amount of HIV in the body. Several medicines do this:
- Nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors block an enzyme called reverse transcriptase
- Non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors bind to and later change reverse transcriptase
- Integrase inhibitors block an enzyme called integrase
- Protease inhibitors block an enzyme called protease
Some HIV/AIDS medicines interfere with HIV’s ability to infect CD4 immune system cells:
- Fusion inhibitors block HIV from entering the cells
- CCR5 antagonists and post-attachment inhibitors block different molecules on the CD4 cells. To infect a cell, HIV has to bind to two types of molecules on the cell’s surface. Blocking either of these molecules prevents HIV from entering the cells.
- Attachment inhibitors bind to a specific protein on the outer surface of HIV. This prevents HIV from entering the cell.
In some cases, people take more than one medicine:
- Pharmacokinetic enhancers boost the effectiveness of certain HIV/AIDS medicines. A pharmacokinetic enhancer slows the breakdown of the other medicine. This allows that medicine to stay in the body longer at a higher concentration.
- Multidrug combinations include a combination of two or more different HIV/AIDS medicines
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When Do Symptoms Occur
Some people have flu-like symptoms within two to four weeks after infection, but others may not feel sick or not develop symptoms at all until later.
See a healthcare provider if you have symptoms of HIV and think you may have been exposed to HIV. Getting tested for HIV is the only way to know for sure.
In the United States, HIV is spread mainly through having anal or vaginal sex or sharing needles or syringes with an HIV-positive partner. Anal sex is the highest-risk behavior.
You can prevent HIV by using condoms correctly every time you have sex pre-exposure prophylaxis, a prevention method in which the HIV-negative partner takes daily HIV medicine to prevent HIV and treatment as prevention, a method in which the HIV-positive partner takes daily HIV medicine to achieve and maintain an undetectable viral load.
Only antigen/antibody tests or nucleic acid tests can diagnose acute HIV infection. NATs look for actual virus in the blood, and antigen/antibody tests look for HIV antibodies and antigens. Antibodies are produced by your immune system when youre exposed to viruses like HIV, and antigens are foreign substances that cause your immune system to activate.
However, no test can detect HIV immediately after infection. NATs can usually tell if you have an HIV infection 10 to 33 days after exposure, while antigen/antibody tests can tell 18 to 45 days after exposure.
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Mouth ulcers or sores
Once A Person Starts Taking Hiv Medicines Why Is Medication Adherence Important
Before starting HIV treatment, its important to talk to your health care provider about any issues that can make adherence difficult. For example, a busy schedule or lack of health insurance can make it hard to take HIV medicines consistently. Health care providers can recommend resources to help people deal with any issues that may interfere with adherence.
Read the following ClinicalInfo fact sheets to learn more about medication adherence:
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Is A Cure Possible
You may have heard of the âLondon patientâ and the âBerlin patientâ as having been cured of HIV. But their cases arenât the same as HIV remission, as they both had blood cancer and got stem cell transplants from people who had a genetic resistance to HIV.
Both were dealing with another condition — a blood cancer that wasnât helped by chemotherapy — as well as having HIV. They both got stem cell transplants from people who had a genetic resistance to HIV. The goal was to treat their cancer and also target their HIV.
Stem cell transplants arenât likely to become a common treatment for HIV, because they can have dangerous side effects.
The London patient, who is anonymous, had no signs of HIV after the stem cell transplant. The patient stayed on antiretroviral medications for 16 more months. After stopping those medications, the patient still had no sign of HIV 18 months later.
Timothy Ray Brown is the âBerlin patient.â Heâs an American who was living in Berlin when he tested positive for HIV in 1995. He started ART and lived with the virus. Eleven years later, Brown faced another health crisis. This time it was the blood cancer leukemia. To survive, he needed a stem cell transplant — a treatment that replaces unhealthy blood cells with normal ones.
An Hiv Patient Who Has Received Timely Treatment Can Live A Normal And Long Life Without Progressing To Late Stage Hiv
Most people confuse HIV and AIDS. While HIV is the virus that attacks the immune system, AIDS, also known as late stage HIV, is a set of symptoms that are manifested due to an immune system seriously damaged by HIV.
Though there is no cure for HIV, early diagnosis can aid in timely initiation of antiretroviral therapy that can stop the virus from damaging the immune system. An HIV patient who has received timely treatment can live a normal and long life without progressing to late stage HIV. Arresting the infection early on HIV diagnosis is made by either demonstrating the presence of …
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What Treatments Are Helping People Live Longer
A collection of antiretroviral therapies has moved HIV into the chronic disease realm and given young people who are newly infected a close-to-normal life expectancy. In fact, more than half of people living with the virus now are over 50 years old, says Michael Virata, MD, director of HIV clinical services at YNHHs Saint Raphael Campus.
Really, the basic goal is to treat people with highly active drugs that combat the virus, so we get them to the point where they have undetectable levels of it, he says.
Patients may be given some combination or cocktail of three drugs, and doctors are moving toward two-drug combinations. We are even moving into a realm of longer-acting agents so that people wont have to take a pill every day, Dr. Virata says.
Some medicines will be delivered through such methods as injections that could protect people for weeks. In the past, there was controversy over when to treat newly diagnosed patients, but current guidelines recommend starting medications quickly. There are centers around the U.S. where, the day they diagnose you, they hand you your first doses of medication, Dr. Virata says.
There have been breakthroughs beyond the medications as well. For example, people with HIV with end-stage kidney disease are now being successfully transplanted, says Dr. Villanueva. And there are studies that show successful kidney and liver transplants from HIV-positive deceased donors.