Types Of Hiv Testing Services
The majority of healthcare venues carry out standard HIV testing. This means a tube of blood is collected in the clinic, hospital or physicians office and sent to the medical laboratory along with a requisition ordering an HIV test. Standard testing can be done in any type of setting . Test results are generally available within one week.
4.5.2 Point-of-Care or rapid testing
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Stage : Chronic Hiv Infection
After the acute stage has ended and if the person has not received treatment the virus remains active, reproducing at very low levels but continuing to damage immune cells.
At this stage, there are usually no symptoms or very mild ones. This is why doctors sometimes call stage 2 asymptomatic HIV infection or clinical latency. The virus can still pass to others during this stage, even if it causes no symptoms.
Without treatment, this stage can last for 10 years or more before the person develops stage 3 HIV.
However, modern antiretroviral medications can stop the infection from progressing. These drugs greatly reduce the amount of HIV in the body, the viral load, to very low levels.
When the viral load is so low that tests cannot detect it, HIV can no longer damage the immune system or transmit to other people. Some people refer to this as undetectable equals untransmittable or U=U.
A person with stage 2 HIV who takes effective antiretroviral therapy may never develop stage 3 HIV.
For more in-depth information and resources on HIV and AIDS, visit our dedicated hub.
Changing Attitudes About Hiv
When someone is diagnosed with HIV, other people may have negative attitudes and beliefs about that person’s behaviour, lifestyle or circumstances in life. These negative associations form what’s called stigma, an experience that can decrease quality of life because it includes:
Efforts to end stigma will help to:
- prevent new infections
- ensure that people living with HIV receive the care, treatment and support they need
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If I Have Hiv How Can I Keep From Spreading It To Others
The best ways to keep from spreading HIV to others are many of the same ways you use to protect yourself:
- Let sexual partners and anyone you inject drugs with know that you have HIV.
- Follow your treatment plan and dont miss medications. If you have an undetectable viral load, you greatly reduce the risk of transmitting HIV through sex.
- Talk to your sexual partner about taking PrEP.
- Wear condoms for vaginal, anal and oral sex even if you have an undetectable viral load.
- Dont share needles or other equipment to inject drugs.
- Limit the number of sexual partners you have.
- If youre pregnant and have HIV, following your treatment plan, including ART medications, can reduce your risk of transmitting the virus to your child.
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.
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Can Symptoms Of Hiv Appear After 2
People also asked
Your Type Of Herpes And Its Location
Asmentioned earlier, HSV-1 is responsible for oral herpes and HSV-2 can be toblame for genital herpes. However, HSV-1 can also affect the genitals, causinggenital herpes. HSV-2 can also result in oral herpes. Oral herpes is milder andit is never dangerous. Genitalherpes, on the other hand, is more serious and it can be sexually transmitted.A study shows that
- genital HSV-2 produces the highestnumber of recurrent outbreaks
- followed types are oral HSV-1, genital HSV-1,and oral HSV-2
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How Can A Person Get Hiv
Human immunodeficiency virus has only one function to replicate itself.
When HIV enters a personâs bloodstream, it seeks out and infects immune cells with its genetic code. It hijacks these cells, first converting them into factories that produce more copies of the virus, and then kills them.
Although these HIV-hijacked immune cells are busy replicating the virus, they are unable to perform their primary function, which is to protect the body from other viruses, bacteria, and infections that can cause illness. HIV weakens the immune system to the point where it can no longer fight off other illnesses.
Mode of transmission
Two things must come into contact with each other for HIV to spread from one person to the next:
- A bodily fluid that contains live HIV
- Direct access to a person’s bloodstream
Common entry points into a person’s bloodstream include:
- An unusual opening in the skin such as a cut or puncture wound
- A mucous membrane such as the vagina or anus
The following body fluids potentially contain an infectious amount of HIV:
A person can potentially get HIV through the following:
- Anal sex
Can Medications Prevent Hiv
There are medications that can help prevent HIV in people who have been exposed or are at high risk for exposure. These include pre-exposure prophylaxis and post-exposure prophylaxis .
PrEP is a pill you take every day if you dont have HIV but are at high risk of getting infected.
Specifically, its recommended that you take PrEP if you dont have HIV, if you have had anal or vaginal sex in the past six months and at least one of the following is true:
- You have a sexual partner with HIV.
- You havent consistently used a condom.
- In the past six months, youve been diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease .
PrEP is also recommended if you dont have HIV, you inject drugs and at least one of the following is true:
- You inject drugs with a partner who has HIV.
- You share needles or other equipment to inject drugs.
PrEP is not a replacement for other preventative measures. You should still use condoms and avoid sharing needles to inject drugs while taking PrEP.
PEP uses HIV medicines to try to prevent an HIV infection soon after you are exposed. PEP is for those who dont have HIV or dont know if they have HIV and think theyve been exposed through consensual sex, sexual assault, shared needles , or work.
You must start PEP within 72 hours of exposure and take it every day for 28 days. PEP is only for emergency use and does not replace other precautions, like condom use.
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When And Where To Get An Hiv Test
If you have had sex without condoms or barriers, or shared injection equipment without prevention methods such as clean needles, and you dont know your partners HIV status , its a good idea to get tested for HIV, even if you have had no symptoms.
With the right treatment, people can live well with HIV for as long as people who do not live with HIV.Again, it can take as long as three months for a person to produce enough antibodies to be detected by standard HIV tests. This means that if you have a negative HIV test sooner than three months after you think you may have been exposed, it is a good idea to get tested again after that three month-period has elapsed. If you test positive for HIV at any time, you will need a second test to confirm the results.
You can get tested at a health care providers office, an HIV or other health clinic, a health department or sometimes at a mobile testing center or during an outreach event. At-home test kits, which you can order online, are also available. In the US, you can go to the National HIV and STD Testing Resources website or the HIV.gov website to find a testing site near you. You can also call the CDC’s information line at 800-232-4636 or your state’s HIV/AIDS hotline to learn where to get tested for HIV.
Some symptoms of a recent HIV infection include:
- Extreme tiredness
What Happens During An Hiv Test
You will either get a blood test in a lab, or do your own test at home.
For a blood test in a lab:
- A health care professional will take a blood sample from a vein in your arm, using a small needle. After the needle is inserted, a small amount of blood will be collected into a test tube or vial. You may feel a little sting when the needle goes in or out. This usually takes less than five minutes.
For at home test, you will need to get a sample of saliva from your mouth or a drop of blood from your fingertip.
- The test kit will provide instructions on how to get your sample, package it, and send it to a lab.
- For a saliva test, you will use special spatula-like tool to take a swab from your mouth.
- For a fingertip antibody blood test, you will use a special tool to prick your finger and collect a sample of blood.
For more information on at-home testing, talk to your health care provider.
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Hiv Testing After A Recent Infection
If you are concerned about a possible recent HIV infection, you should take an HIV test. If this test result is non-reactive or negative, it can be repeated in a few weeks to be sure. Not everyone has symptoms after a recent infection and thus testing is the only reliable way to know whether you have HIV.
If you might have been exposed to HIV within the last 72 hours, you and your doctor should also discuss whether post-exposure prophylaxis is appropriate in your case. PEP is taken in order to prevent HIV from taking hold and to remain HIV negative.
The most accurate tests for HIV diagnosis after recent infection are antigen/antibody laboratory tests . An HIV antigen is part of the virus itself and is present in high levels in the blood between HIV infection and seroconversion. During seroconversion, HIV antibodies are produced by the body in response to infection and they persist for life.
“Symptomatic seroconversion illness occurs in at least 50%, and possibly as many as 80 or 90%, of infected individuals.”
HIV antigen/antibody tests will detect the majority of those infected with HIV within four weeks of infection but can sometimes detect infections as early as ten days afterward. While they are extremely accurate, they require blood to be drawn with a needle and results are not available immediately. These tests tend to be offered in hospital settings or for confirmatory purposes.
When Should I Test If I Think I Have Been Exposed To Hiv
Speak to a healthcare professional immediately. They will talk to you about your situation and help you decide what to do next. The most important thing is to take a test. Read the next question to find out how long you will need to wait after you were exposed to HIV before you can test.
Itâs important to speak to a healthcare professional immediately because you could get PEP if it is within 72 hours of when you think you were exposed to HIV. This is emergency HIV treatment that can prevent HIV in people who were recently exposed to HIV.
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Days To 20 Years After Exposure
The chronic stage of infection occurs once the immune system brings the virus under control. During this phase, HIV will go into hiding, where it resides in various cells and tissues throughout the body in a dormant state known as latency. HIV latency can persist without symptoms for 10 years or more, although some people may experience signs within a year or two.
During the early chronic phase, lymphadenopathy may be the only notable sign of an HIV infection. In some cases, the glands may be visibly enlarged and reach up to an inch or more in size. If the condition persists for more than three months, its referred to as persistent generalized lymphadenopathy .
Even during latency, the virus will multiple imperceptibly and gradually deplete immune cells known as CD4 T-cells. As immune deficiency develops, a number of nonspecific symptoms are likely to appear, including:
- Oral candidiasis , a fungal infection that causes the formation of creamy, white lesions on the sides of the tongue and lining of the mouth
- Unexplained fevers and drenching night sweats that soak through bedsheets and nightclothes
- Severe, uncontrolled diarrhea that lasts for more than three days
Each of these symptoms is commonly seen in persons with immune deficiency. They may, in some cases, be caused by HIV itself or by an infection that has yet to be diagnosed.
Treatment Of Acute Hiv Infection
Patients identified during acute primary HIV infection should be treated with combination antiretroviral therapy to suppress viral replication to levels below the limit of detection on plasma HIV-1 RNA assays.1,23 Although opponents of this recommendation argue for conservative management,21 compelling arguments for early aggressive therapy have been presented.22
Patients who present with symptomatic acute HIV syndrome have a poorer prognosis than those with asymptomatic primary HIV infection.24 Early treatment may preserve immune system function by blunting the high level of HIV replication and reducing damage to the immune system during this period. Thus, early treatment has the potential to decrease the set point , reduce the viral mutation rate and decrease the risk of HIV transmission.1 The current recommendation is to use, for an indefinite duration, combination antiretroviral therapy with at least three drugs to which the patient has never been exposed.
In most untreated patients, set-point plasma HIV-1 RNA levels stabilize between 1,000 and 10,000 copies per mL for a number of years. In the advanced stages of AIDS, HIV-1 RNA levels exceed 1 million copies per mL. In the absence of treatment, the apparent nonprogessor with an HIV-1 RNA level of less than 400 copies per mL is rare. Nonprogression is the state hopefully achievable with early aggressive therapy.1
A nonthymidine NRTI such as didanosine , lamivudine or zalcitabine .
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Personal Stories About Considering Getting Tested For Hiv
These stories are based on information gathered from health professionals and consumers. They may be helpful as you make important health decisions.
My partner and I have been together a few months. Ive had several HIV tests over the years and all were negative, including one I had in the beginning of our relationship. My partner said since Im HIV-negative, he doesnt need a test. But my doctor said thats not true. He suggested that I talk to my partner about the kind of sex he had previously and ask him to get tested with me. Im going to do that.
Kevin, age 25
I dont plan to have a test now. I talked with my doctor at my last physical, and she said my risk of HIV was very low since Im a widow and not sexually active.
Jocelyn, age 60
Ive never had an HIV test, and Im getting ready to start college. I fooled around some in high school, and sometimes we used protection. My mom and I talked, and Ive decided to have a test. Im pretty scared about doing something like that, but she says shell go with me.
Heather, age 18
When Is Genital Herpes Most Contagious
During active outbreaks, your viral load is heavier, and at those times you are most likely to infect a sexual partner, says Dr. Baill. Without an outbreak, the viral load is usually insufficient to infect a normal, healthy partner.
Remember, some people with HSV infections never have signs or symptoms of genital herpes at all. Although you are most contagious during outbreaks when sores are visible, you can also be contagious at times when you are free of any visible sores.
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Herpes Signs And Symptoms
While some people realize that they have genital herpes, many do not. It is estimated that one in eight persons in the United States has genital herpes however, as many as 90 percent are unaware that they have the virus. This is because many people have very mild symptoms that go unrecognized or are mistaken for another condition or no symptoms at all.
Because signs can vary a great deal, we recommend that an individual see a healthcare provider to be tested if they have a lesion of any kind. This can be swabbed for testing.
A person may show symptoms within days after contracting genital herpes, or it may take weeks, months, or even years. Some people may have a severe outbreak within days after contracting the virus while others may have a first outbreak so mild that they do not notice it. Because of these possibilities, it can be difficult for people to know when and from whom they may have contracted the virus.