How Long Does It Take To Show Symptoms Of Hiv
Some people notice flu-like symptoms 1-4 weeks after they’re first infected. They often only last a week or two. This stage is called acute or primary HIV infection.
Then, you may go for 10 years or more without further symptoms. This is called asymptomatic HIV infection. Even though you feel fine, the virus is still active in your body. And you can still give it to someone else.
Once HIV has seriously harmed your immune system, you’re at risk for diseases that a healthy body could fight off. In this stage, symptomatic HIV infection, you start to notice problems caused by those “opportunistic” infections.
#asktyler: I’m Undetectable Do I Have To Disclose To A Hook
For some people, the answer depends on whether you’re asking from a legal standpoint or a moral one.
I am undetectable, so do I still have tell someone Im HIV-positive if it is just a hook-up? Leo from Texas
Talk about a controversial topic. On one hand, having an undetectable viral load means that it would be virtually impossible for you to transmit the virus. Disclosing your status even when there is no threat of your hook-up contracting the virus may still be ideal, but not a moral imperative. This answer may alarm some people, but in regard to the transactional nature of hook-ups, it is the truth. If he didnt ask, you didnt tell, and a condom was involved, you hardly deserve to feel bad about doing something that did not put him at any risk. As far as what is right and wrong, the only thing that matters is that you dont spread the virus.
On the other hand, there is a general consensus that disclosing your status is the right thing to do. And there are some very real legal consequences that can result from a hook-up scorned. People are funny about HIV, and if a one-night stand finds out about your status after the fact, it has the potential to cause you some unnecessary grief and possibly even some potentially serious legal ramifications. It doesnt matter whether your hook-up asked about your status or not, the law still unfairly places the bulk of the responsibility on your shoulders.
Who Do I Have To Tell
In many states, youâre legally required to tell those with whom you may exchange bodily fluids, such as sexual partners. The rules vary by state and, in some cases, thereâs federal regulation. So you may want to check with your doctor or social worker.
- Sexual partners. You should tell any sexual partner before you have oral, vaginal, or anal sex. You should also inform past partners within a reasonable time fame, says Jeffrey T. Kirchner, DO, chief medical officer for the American Academy of HIV Medicine. âYour doctor can guesstimate roughly how long youâve had HIV.â
- Needle-sharing partners. If youâre a drug user, you should disclose to anyone you share needles with.
- Blood, tissue, organ, or semen donation staff. You should share your HIV status before you donate. In some cases, it may not be allowed. For example, anyone who has ever tested positive for HIV canât donate blood.
- Doctors and dentists. Informing your health care providers allows them to give you the best care. For instance, they wonât prescribe medications that could interact with your HIV drugs. Health care professionals are bound by privacy rules. They arenât allowed to share your HIV status unless not doing so would result in harm to another person. Some states require you to tell a doctor or dentist before they treat you, so you should find out what the laws are in your state before you get any health care service.
Read Also: How Long Can Hiv Go Undetected
Which Law Is Used To Prosecute Hiv Transmission In Scotland
The common law offence of Culpable and Reckless Conduct is used to prosecute cases in Scotland.
This is a legal catch-all vehicle which criminalises acts that cause injury to others or create a risk of injury. This means that people can technically be prosecuted for both passing on the virus and for putting someone at risk through unprotected sex.
The law in Scotland focuses on the behaviour of the defendant, rather than the harm caused, and whether their conduct can be considered reckless or not.
What We Know About Hiv Testing
About 1 in 7 people in the United States who have HIV dont know they have it. Getting an HIV test is the only way to know your HIV status. HIV testing is easier, more available, and more accurate than ever. There are three types of HIV tests available in the United States some can detect HIV sooner than others.
What You Can Do
Get tested for HIV. CDC recommends that everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 get tested for HIV at least once as part of routine health care. People with certain risk factors should get tested at least once a year.
If you were HIV-negative the last time you were tested and answer yes to any of the following questions, you should get an HIV test because these things inc rease your chances of getting HIV.
- Are you a man who has had sex with another man?
- Have you had sex —anal or vaginal— with a partner who has HIV?
- Have you had more than one sex partner since your last HIV test?
- Do you have another sexually transmitted disease ?
- Do you have hepatitis or tuberculosis ?
- Have you had sex with someone who could answer yes to any of these questions or someone whose sexual history you dont know?
You should be tested at least once a year if you answered yes to any of these questions. Sexually active gay and bisexual men may benefit from more frequent testing , depending on their risk.
If you think youve recently been exposed to HIV during sex or through sharing needles, syringes, or other injection equipment , talk to your health care provider or an emergency room doctor right away about taking post-exposure prophylaxis . You must start PEP within 72 hours of a possible exposure, but the sooner you start PEP, the better.
Also, anyone who has been sexually assaulted should get an HIV test as soon as possible after the assault.
Who Needs To Know
You do not have to tell everyone that you are living with HIV. It is important that you tell your current and past sexual partners and anyone with whom you have shared drug injection equipment. This way, they can be tested and seek medical attention if needed. If you are afraid or embarrassed to tell them yourself, the health department in your area can notify your sexual or needle-sharing partners without even using your name.
You also need to tell your health care providers to ensure you receive appropriate care. Your health care provider may ask questions to determine if you are at risk for other diseases, such as hepatitis C or other sexually transmitted infections .
Recommended Reading: How Long For Hiv To Show Up On Test
How Disclosure Affects You And Others
Disclosing your HIV status can be stressful. While you may receive love and support from some of the people you tell, others may not be as accepting. Try to find someone who can support you through this process. If you have not told any family members or close friends yet, turn to your health care provider, social worker, counselor, or AIDS service organization . To find the ASO closest to you in the US, click here. If you would like to connect with other women ) in The Well Project community, visit our page on Getting Connected.
Disclosing your HIV status will also have an effect on the people you tell. People will react differently to the news. Some may immediately embrace you and accept your diagnosis. Others may react negatively or need some time to process what you have told them. They may be scared for you or for themselves and may need some information in addition to time to adjust.
Some people, especially sexual partners who may be afraid they have acquired HIV, may react with anger. If you feel threatened or unsafe, it is important that you get safe and stay safe. Call the National Domestic Violence hotline in the US at 800-799-SAFE for support. You can also check our fact sheet about Violence Against Women and HIV.
Meeting At Online Dating Sites
Sometimes the fear of disclosure is so great that people will access online dating sites, like pozmingle.com, to meet their match or turn to anonymous hookup sites where they can freely post their HIV status.
Dating in real life, of course, doesn’t afford such shortcuts. Disclosing your HIV status to a love interest can be a challenging, even frightening process. But with a little time and preparation, as well as a degree of self-reflection, there are ways to significantly reduce these anxieties.
Don’t Miss: What Happens If Your Hiv Positive And Pregnant
How To Tell Someone You Have Hiv
You’ve just been diagnosed with HIV, and every thought you can imagine has been through your mind. Undoubtedly, one of those thoughts is — how do you tell someone that you have HIV?
Some health issues can be difficult to talk about: Transparency creates vulnerability, and vulnerability requires trust. For people who live with HIV, trust is usually cautiously rationed — and for good reason.
Before considering disclosing your status, there are some things you need to understand about the unfortunate realities of HIV stigma.
For most people, just hearing those letters — HIV — gives us chills. And why wouldn’t it, when the first image they conjure in our minds is death? That reflex/default reaction is based on an antiquated understanding of the virus and no longer has any bearing on truth. But it still affects people living with HIV because too many people don’t know the facts about the modern science of the disease.
When I was diagnosed with HIV, I thought I was dying, so I didn’t think the stigma would have much effect on my life. I was wrong on both points. I told everyone about my diagnosis I thought transparency was the right thing to do. I wasn’t prepared for what would happen next. People I had known for years disavowed me family and friends avoided me even some in my church asked that I not return.
Now let me tell you something else you need to know.
Telling Your Partner And Former Partners
If you have HIV, it’s important your current sexual partner and any sexual partners you’ve had since becoming infected are tested and treated.
Some people can feel angry, upset or embarrassed about discussing HIV with their current or former partners. Discuss your concerns with a GP or the clinic staff.
They’ll be able to advise you about who should be contacted and the best way to contact them, or they may be able to contact them on your behalf.
They’ll also advise you about disclosing your status to future partners and how you can reduce the risk of transmitting the virus to someone else.
Nobody can force you to tell any of your partners you have HIV, but it’s strongly recommended that you do.
Left untested and untreated, HIV can have devastating consequences, and eventually lead to serious illness and death.
You May Like: Can Hiv Be Treated If Caught Early
Disclosure Policies In Correctional Facilities
Any individual who believes that his or her employment rights have been violated may file a charge of discrimination with the Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission . In addition, an individual, an organization, or an agency may file a charge on behalf of another person in order to protect the aggrieved person’s identity.
How Do I Tell People
How, when and where you tell someone about your HIV status is completely up to you. It can be helpful to think a few things through:
- What are you going to say?
- What questions might the person ask you? How would you answer these?
- Is there anything you are expecting from that person after you tell them?
- Do you feel able to cope with a bad reaction from this person?
Its also worth planning the practicalities of where and when would be best to do it. Think about a time and place where you can both be relaxed and feel safe. Youll want to have plenty of time together, so you can talk about it uninterrupted.
It can help to have some information on hand to share with them. They may not know about how HIV is passed on, or about HIV treatment. They may assume that you dont have long to live, or that you wont be able to have relationships or have a family. If you can help them to understand the facts about HIV, they are less likely to react negatively.
Its important to remember that having HIV is nothing to be ashamed of. Hopefully whoever you decide to share your status with will see that and support you, though you may need to give some people time to process the information.
You May Like: How Do You Know If You Got Hiv
Advice If You’re Pregnant
HIV treatment is available to prevent you passing HIV to your child.
Without treatment, there’s a 1 in 4 chance your baby will become infected with HIV. With treatment, the risk is less than 1 in 100 .
Advances in treatment mean there’s no increased risk of passing the virus to your baby with a normal delivery.
But in some cases, a caesarean section may still be recommended, often for reasons not related to your HIV.
Discuss the risks and benefits of each delivery method with the staff at your HIV clinic. The final decision about how your baby is delivered is yours, and staff will respect that decision.
If you have HIV, do not breastfeed your baby as the virus can be transmitted through breast milk.
Sharing Your Hiv Positive Status With A Partner
Because HIV can be passed on during sex, telling someone who is a current or previous sexual partner can be particularly difficult and emotional. But the process of deciding how and when to tell a partner involves a lot of the same thinking as telling a friend.
Before you talk to your partner it can help to have some information on hand to share with them. If you can help them to understand the facts about HIV, and reassure them, they are less likely to react negatively.
Many people worry that sharing their HIV status will lead to rejection that the person they tell may react badly and that this may damage their relationship.
While you cant control how others react, remember, that negative reactions are normally based on poor knowledge of HIV. Giving someone the correct information on how HIV is passed on and how it can be prevented will help to reassure them and deal with some of the common fears and myths around HIV.
Communicating with your partner about your HIV status can be a very positive step in a relationship and means you can also discuss how to keep both of you healthy. Using PrEP, condoms and taking your HIV treatment correctly are all ways which will protect your sexual partner from HIV.
Also Check: How To Know If I Have Hiv
Background On Hiv Criminalization In Us
The following resources provide a broad overview of HIV criminalization in the United States. Specifically, these resources address the science of HIV, provide background literature on the history and practices of HIV criminalization, and the current status of HIV criminalization laws and statutes in the United States.
How Hiv Is Transmitted
The first step in determining whether you are at risk of HIV is to better understand how the virus is transmitted.
HIV thrives in certain body fluids, including blood, semen, vaginal secretions, and breast milk. Most people get infected when exposed to HIV through these fluids.
HIV is transmitted through:
HIV can also be passed from mother to child during childbirth, although this is less common in the developed world due to advances in prevention and treatment.
It is important to note that HIV cannot penetrate intact skin. The virus can enter the body either through porous mucosal tissues , through breaks in vulnerable tissues , or directly through the bloodstream.
HIV infection can occur with just one exposure, particularly in high-risk individuals.
By contrast, HIV does not thrive in saliva, urine, tears, or feces and cannot survive in infectious quantities when exposed to air and environmental conditions.
Read Also: When Should I Get Tested For Hiv
Telling Your Sex Partners
Sex and Sexuality
This may be one of the hardest things you have to do. But you need to tell your sex partner that you are living with HIV, whether you have a primary partner such as a spouse or girlfriend or boyfriend, have more than one partner, or are single or casually dating.
What follows are tips for talking to your main partner, other partners, and former partners.
Who Should I Tell
Its up to you to decide who you tell. You may decide you want to be completely open about your HIV status, or you may decide to only tell a small number of people close to you its your choice.
You might find it helpful to tell some people, especially those you trust, and you know care for you. You could start with a close friend or family member. Whether youve just been diagnosed or have been living with HIV for a while, talking about your status can help you get the emotional and practical support you need.
Sharing your HIV status should always be your decision. You should never feel pressured into it. Ultimately, your HIV status is your private information and it is down to you to choose whether to share your status and with who.
My parents have been nothing less than supportive and helpful through this entire time. They bought a ton of books about HIV and informed themselves as much as they possibly could about prevention and nutrition and how to help physically and emotionally. I am forever grateful to have their unwavering support and unconditional love.
Some people find it easy to tell others that they have HIV while others may find it very difficult and emotional. You may feel fearful, embarrassed, excited or relieved. Whatever you feel is OK. Remember that you dont have anything to apologise for, simply because you are living with HIV.
Recommended Reading: Can Hiv Be Transferred By Saliva