Im Worried About Hiv And Aids
- There are only a few ways you can get HIV. Know the facts and be aware of the risks so you can protect yourself and others.
- Testing is the only way to know for sure whether or not you have HIV. Whatever the result, you can get on with your life.
- Antiretroviral treatment means that people living with HIV can live long and healthy lives. The sooner you get on the right treatment, the better your long-term health will be.
Are you worried about HIV and AIDS? We can help by talking you through some of the most common things people are concerned about when it comes to HIV.
When To Seek Medical Care
Early diagnosis is key. If you think youve been exposed to HIV or have an encounter that put you at risk for HIV, you should seek medical care right away with a primary care doctor, urgent or walk-in clinic, or, if those are not available to you, a local emergency room.
Doctors can give you a medication called post-exposure prophylaxis after exposure to reduce your chances of developing HIV. But this medication needs to be taken within 72 hours of exposure. Ideally, youd start taking it within the first 24 hours.
If you think you were exposed to HIV in the past for example, if a former sexual partner tells you they have HIV its critical to seek medical care as soon as possible. The sooner you find out you have HIV, the sooner you can start treatment.
Does Hiv Go Away
HIV doesnt go away on its own. It inserts itself into your DNA so your cells think that its a part of you. There can be many years without symptoms after initial infection, but HIV can still be damaging your immune system even if you dont feel sick.
There may be periods while on medication where the virus is not detectable by an HIV test. In these cases, HIV can be hiding in your body, undetected. It can wake up and start destroying your cells again in the future.
This is why continuing to take HIV medication, even if you dont feel sick or the virus is undetectable, is extremely important. Without treatment, HIV will weaken your immune system until you cant fight off other serious illnesses.
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Think You Might Have Hiv These Are The Hiv Symptoms To Look For
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Human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV, attacks the body’s infection-fighting immune system. Without treatment, HIV can lead to AIDS . At the start of the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s, people who were infected with HIV quickly progressed to serious disease. But today’s treatments help lower the amount of virus in the bloodso people who are HIV-positive can live healthier, longer lives and not necessarily progress to AIDS.
More than one million people in the US live with HIV, and scarily, one in seven of them don’t know they have it. HIV symptoms can be hard to detect. Within a month or two of HIV entering the body, 40% to 90% of people experience flu-like symptoms known as acute retroviral syndrome . But sometimes HIV symptoms don’t appear for yearsor even a decadeafter infection.
HIV symptoms for women and for men are often the same here are 16 of the most common signs.
Living With Hiv Doesnt Have To Be A Burden Protect Yourself And Your Loved Ones With Advanced Hiv Care And Monitoring In North Texas
While receiving a positive HIV test can certainly be frightening, living with HIV does not mean what it once did. In fact, countless men and women go on to lead normal, healthy, fulfilling lives when their HIV is treated appropriately and monitored regularly. To learn more about how to manage HIV, the importance of monitoring undetectable HIV, and what treatments are available to you, call the welcoming team at Health Services of North Texas today. We look forward to helping you enjoy life once again with comprehensive HIV/AIDS services in Denton, Wylie, and Plano, TX.
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How Do I Avoid Passing Hiv On To Someone Else
If you are infected with HIV, the best way to prevent spreading HIV infection to others is to:
- take your medication as prescribed there is a very low risk of passing on HIV if your own infection is under control
- never share needles, syringes and other injecting equipment
If you have HIV infection, you are expected to notify anyone who is at risk of exposure from you:
- Tell people you have had sex or taken drugs with . Your doctor can help you decide who may be at risk and help you to contact them either personally or anonymously.
- Tell anyone you intend to have sex with about your HIV status . This is required by law in some states.
If you are pregnant, talk to your doctor about starting antiretroviral treatment to prevent the infection passing to the baby during pregnancy, childbirth or breastfeeding. Read more about HIV and pregnancy.
What Are Hiv And Aids
The human immunodeficiency virus is a virus that affects the immune system. It gradually destroys cells called CD4 cells, which usually help the body stay healthy by fighting off disease.
If HIV is not treated, most people will develop severe immune deficiency within 10 years. At this point, the body is no longer able to fight infection and stop cancer from developing. This late stage of HIV infection is called acquired immunodeficiency syndrome .
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Is Hiv/aids Different In Older Adults
A growing number of older people are living with HIV/AIDS. One reason is because improved treatments are helping people with the disease live longer. Nearly half of people living with HIV in the United States are age 50 and older. Many of them were diagnosed with HIV in their younger years. However, thousands of older people get HIV every year.
Older people are less likely than younger people to get tested, so they may not know they have HIV. Signs of HIV/AIDS can be mistaken for the aches and pains of normal aging. Older adults might be coping with other diseases and the aches and pains of normal aging, which can mask the signs of HIV/AIDS.
Some older people may feel ashamed or afraid of being tested. Plus, doctors do not always think to test older people for HIV. Some people may not have access to high-quality health facilities and services, which can limit their treatment options. By the time the older person is diagnosed, the virus may be in the late stages and more likely to progress to AIDS.
Remember, if you are at risk, get tested regularly for HIV.
For people who have HIV, it is important to start treatment as soon as possible after diagnosis. Treatment can help reduce the level of HIV in the blood to undetectable levels. When treatment makes HIV undetectable, the possibility of spreading the virus to a sexual partner becomes very low. This is known as treatment as prevention .
Is There A Period When The Virus Isnt Transmittable
HIV is transmittable soon after its introduced into the body. During this phase, the bloodstream contains higher levels of HIV, which makes it easy to transmit it to others.
Since not everyone has early symptoms of HIV, getting tested is the only way to know if the virus has been contracted. An early diagnosis also allows an HIV-positive person to begin treatment. Proper treatment can eliminate their risk of transmitting the virus to their sexual partners.
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What Questions Should I Ask My Doctor
- Am I at high risk for HIV?
- What can I do to reduce my risk of HIV?
- How can I make sure I take my medications correctly?
- What can I do to protect myself from other illnesses?
- How can prevent the spread of HIV?
- What do my test results mean?
- What do my blood counts mean?
- What vaccinations should I get?
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Treatments have come a long way since the height of the AIDS epidemic. You have the best chance of living a long life if youre diagnosed early and are able to get on and stick with ART medications. People living with HIV today are able to work, have active social lives and families, and pursue fulfilling relationships. In fact, this can have a positive impact on your well-being.
While weve come a long way with treatments, unfortunately, social stigmas around HIV still persist. In addition to the feelings of fear and uncertainty a new diagnosis can bring, you may wonder how those around you will respond. If youre hesitant to get tested or get treatment, or if you just arent sure what your next steps are, you can reach out to a community organization that specializes in HIV. Remember that you are deserving of support, compassion and high-quality healthcare.
How Do I Know If I Have Aids
How do I know if I have Aids?
If you think you may have Aids, or if a doctor suspects it, you will be asked to have some tests. The main ones are:
HIV test. This is a blood test that looks for antibodies to the virus. Antibodies are the proteins the body makes to fight off infections. The test can be done by taking a sample of your blood or saliva, or by having a swab taken from inside your mouth. If youve had any sexual contact with someone whos HIV-positive, its important to get tested as soon as possible because there are treatments that can help stop the disease developing.
CD4 count test. This looks at how many of your white blood cells are CD4+ T-cells . These cells help fight off infections and other diseases in your body. If there are fewer than 200 CD4+ T-cells per microlitre of blood , then theres an increased risk that youll develop AIDS within 6 months if left untreated.
Antigen tests. These look for protein called antigens on the surface of infected cells, including those infected with HIV, HBV or
How do I know if I have Aids?
There are a number of tests that can give you an accurate diagnosis of HIV.
The most common type of test is an HIV antibody test. This test looks for antibodies to HIV in your blood. Antibodies are proteins produced by your immune system to fight off foreign invaders such as viruses or bacteria. If a person is infected with HIV, their body will produce antibodies against the virus.
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If I Am Pregnant And Have Hiv Will My Baby Also Have Hiv
Most women with HIV can protect their baby from becoming infected during pregnancy. Proper pre-natal treatment can reduce the risk that an HIV-positive mother will pass the virus to her child to less than 1 percent. The only way these special treatments can be provided is if the health care professionals know the mother is living with HIV. Treatment is most effective when started early in pregnancy. HIV-positive moms should not breastfeed their babies because HIV is sometimes passed this way.
How To Prevent Hiv From Advancing To Aids
AIDS is the most advanced stage of HIV. The best way to avoid AIDS is to start antiretroviral therapy as soon as possible. Taken every day as prescribed, these drugs will keep you healthy and make your viral level so low, it canât be detected. Sticking to the right treatment can keep AIDS at bay for years and decades. It also practically eliminates the chances that youâll pass HIV to your sexual partners and others. Many HIV-positive people live normal life spans.
Office on Womenâs Health: âHow is AIDS different from HIV?â and âOpportunistic Infections and Other Conditions.â
CDC: âHIV/AIDS: Statistics Overview â âAct Against AIDS: Basic Statistics â and âHIV in the United States: At a Glance.â
Medline Plus Medical Dictionary: âImmunodeficiency.â
AIDS.gov: âHIV Lifecycle.â
New York University Institute of Human Development and Social Change Center for Health, Identity, Behavior and Prevention Studies: âHIV/AIDS Info.â
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases: âHIV/AIDS.â
Department of Health & Human Services AIDSinfo: âHIV Overviewâ and âHIV Treatment.â
The Foundation for AIDS Research: âThirty Years of HIV/AIDS: Snapshots of an Epidemic.â
World Health Organization: “HIV/AIDS.”
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Living Together As A Serodiscordant Couple
Life was initially tougher for Godfrey and Paulina Mtonga of Lusaka, Zambia. The couple have now been married for 32 years. They have 11 children and 8 grandchildren. In 1994, they went for HIV testing together. Godfrey was positive and Paulina negative.
CDC Zambia/Karrin Parker
The first week was very bad for us, Godfrey recalls. The counsellor came to visit us the very next day. The counsellor kept coming, and the couple decided to stay together. They continued to have a sexual relationship, using condoms from a nearby clinic. Godfrey started taking antiretroviral treatment in 2002. Pauline has remained HIV-negative.
Godfrey Mtongas advice to everyone is to get tested. If you are positive, love each other and take your medicine at the right time. We have lived with our status as a discordant couple for the past 18 years because we support each other.
Some countriessuch as Kenya, Rwanda, Thailand, Zambia and othershave already introduced HIV testing and counselling for couples with a view to helping them support one another. Couples testing can be provided as part of pregnancy care or other health services, in peoples homes and as part of outreach testing in communities, as well as in voluntary testing and counselling sites.
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What Is The Difference Between Hiv And Aids
The term AIDS refers to the most advanced stages of HIV infection. Most of the conditions affecting people with AIDS are opportunistic infections that generally do not affect healthy people. In people with AIDS, these infections are often severe and sometimes fatal because the immune system is so ravaged by HIV that the body cannot fight off the infection. Symptoms of opportunistic infections common in people with AIDS include:
- coughing and shortness of breath
- seizures and lack of coordination
- difficult or painful swallowing
- severe headaches
People with AIDS also are particularly prone to developing various cancers. These cancers are usually more aggressive and difficult to treat in people with AIDS.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Hiv Infection
Most people have no symptoms or just a mild flu-like illness when they are first infected, and it may be difficult to tell the HIV apart from other viral infections. This illness, called seroconversion illness, often occurs around 10 to 14 days after infection.
Seroconversion illness can have a range of symptoms, including:
- swollen lymph glands in the neck, underarm or groin areas
After the initial illness, people with HIV infection usually have no other symptoms. However, the virus remains in the body.
Facts About Hiv/aids Everyone Should Know
Learning the truth about HIV and AIDS can help prevent transmission and save lives beginning with your own.
Contracting the human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV, is no longer seen as a death sentence in developed countries, which have the resources to treat it. Still, millions of people around the world contract HIV and die of the last stage of the viruss infection: acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, or AIDS.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , an estimated 1.1 million Americans over the age of 13 were living with HIV at the end of 2014.
There are a lot of reasons why people need to know about HIV/AIDS, from determining whether they are at risk themselves to even how to speak sensitively to someone who has the disease, says Steven Santiago, MD, the chief medical officer of Care Resource, a nonprofit HIV/AIDS organization in South Florida. Here are 10 facts that you should know.
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How Can I Take Care Of Myself While Living With Hiv
It’s very important to take your medications as prescribed and to make sure you dont miss appointments. This is called treatment adherence.
If you miss medications, even by accident, HIV can change how it infects your cells , potentially causing your medications to stop working. If your schedule prevents you from taking medications on time or making it to appointments, talk to your healthcare provider.
How Do Hiv Tests Work
When you get HIV, your immune system makes antibodies that try to fight off the infection. The most common type of HIV test looks for these antibodies in your blood or cells from your cheek.
It usually takes about 3 months for your body to make enough antibodies to show up on an HIV test, but it could be even longer. This time after you first get infected but wont test positive for HIV is called the window period. If you get tested during this time, you can get a negative result even if you do actually have HIV. You also have the biggest chance of giving HIV to other people during the window period.
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What Are The Stages Of Hiv
HIV has three stages:
Stage 1: Acute HIV
Some people get flu-like symptoms a month or two after theyve been infected with HIV. These symptoms often go away within a week to a month.
Stage 2: Chronic stage/clinical latency
After the acute stage, you can have HIV for many years without feeling sick. It’s important to know that you can still spread HIV to others even if you feel well.
Stage 3: AIDS
AIDS is the most serious stage of HIV infection. In this stage, HIV has severely weakened your immune system and opportunistic infections are much more likely to make you sick.
Opportunistic infections are ones that someone with a healthy immune system could typically fight off. When HIV has advanced to AIDS, these illnesses take advantage of your weakened immune system.
Youre more likely to get certain cancers when you have AIDS. These cancers and opportunistic infections together are called AIDS-defining illnesses.
To be diagnosed with AIDS, you must be infected with HIV and have at least one of the following:
- Fewer than 200 CD4 cells per cubic millimeter of blood .
- An AIDS-defining illness.