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.
Dont Miss: Does Walgreens Do Hiv Testing
Understanding A Negative Result
What does a negative test result mean?
A negative result doesnt necessarily mean that you dont have HIV. This is due to the window period.
If you test again after the window period, have no possible HIV exposure during the window period, and the result comes back negative, you do not have HIV.
If you have certain risk factors, you should continue getting tested at least once a year. Learn more about who is at risk for HIV and why they should be tested more often.
If I have a negative result, does that mean my partner is HIV-negative also?
No. Your HIV test result reveals only your HIV status.
HIV is not necessarily transmitted every time you have sex or share needles, syringes, or other drug injection equipment. And the risk of getting HIV varies depending on the type of exposure or behavior. It is important to remember that taking an HIV test is not a way to find out if your partner has HIV.
Its important to be open with your partners and ask them to tell you their HIV status. But keep in mind that your partners may not know or may be wrong about their status, and some may not tell you if they have HIV even if they are aware of their status. Consider getting tested together so you can both know your HIV status and take steps to keep yourselves healthy.
Hiv Test To Take Hiv Test After Sex
Didnt find the answer you are looking for?
Talk to experienced doctor online and get your health questions answered in just 5 minutes.
This question featured in :
Internet is not a doctor
Consult with real doctors online
- Private consultation
The question asked on this page is a free question. You can ask a free health question by downloading the Practo app.
Also Check: Can Hiv Be Transferred Through Saliva
Also Check: Can You Have Hiv Without Being Sexually Active
How Can I Be Absolutely Sure That I Am Free From Hiv
Answered by: Dr LM Nath | Consultant, Community Medicine,New Delhi
Q: I tested my blood for HIV-1 and HIV-2 118 days after my last exposure . The test was negative. This test was not done by the card method but was an ELISA test where they give us the percent of the infection. After the test the doctor said I have absolutely no problem with my blood. I want to know is the HIV virus suppressed in my blood and will I get a clear result after a couple of months? All the symptoms I had are HIV symptoms but the test was negative. I still have some stomach and throat problem which are persisting. My throat is swollen for the past 2 1/2 months while the scattered body rashes are still there on the shoulders and hands while other problems seem to have vanished.
A:I am happy to learn that your test was negative or non-reactive. Very good.To be sure, another test should be done 3 months after the exposure but Iwould not worry about the symptoms. As you know, early HIV infection iswithout symptoms and even in late disease or AIDS, the symptoms vary withthe nature of the opportunistic infection. What you describe could be due tomany reasons other than HIV. See your doctor and stop worrying and startliving!
What Are The 3 Stages Of Hiv When Does Hiv Infection Transition To Aids
There are 3 stages of HIV infection.
- Stage 1: Flu-like symptoms after initial HIV infection
- Stage 2: Clinically latency may last for 10 or more years in some individuals
- Stage 3: After HIV reactivation and/or HIVs progressive attack on the immune system, the damaged immune system has a reduced or an inability to protect the individual from serious infections and other illnesses. This stage is termed AIDS. In this stage, lab testing reveals high viral loads and CD4 counts < 200 cells/mm3.
Don’t Miss: How Do You Treat Hiv
Is Testing For Hiv And Stis Confidential
Is testing for HIV and STIs confidential?
In NSW and Australia, the law requires all consultations with doctors and health professionals to be confidential, including sexual health testing. Though, there are rare situations where they may be required under law to report information if they have concerns around yours or someone elses safety, for example if someone is at risk of harm. You can find information around confidentiality of sexual health testing on NSW Healths website here.
If you live in other parts of the world, we recommend doing research into local laws around confidentiality and privacy.
What Is The Difference Between Prep And Pep
What is the difference between PrEP and PEP?
PrEP is a HIV prevention method where a HIV negative person takes HIV medication prior to potential HIV exposure to prevent infection. This can be taken daily, on-demand or on a periodic basis, depending how they identify, preferences and the type of sex they have. Learn more about PrEP here.
PEP is a month-long course of HIV medication that, if started within 72 hours after a potential exposure, can prevent a HIV infection. Read more about PEP here.
Read Also: When Can Hiv Be Detected
How Long Do I Need To Wait Before I Test
Thereâs a window period between exposure to HIV and a positive test because it takes time for your body to either build a response to the infection or for the virus to replicate enough for a test to detect it. HIV window periods can vary.
For example, if you have unprotected sex on a Friday night, and get an HIV test Monday morning, the test wonât be able to detect HIV or an immune response to HIV yet. There hasnât been enough time for a positive result, even if the virus is in your body.
To get the earliest, most accurate result, first consider when you were exposed and whether youâre showing symptoms.
- If you know exactly when you may have come into contact with the virus, take a test 3 months after that date. Tests 3 months after exposure should be 99% accurate.
- If you are having symptoms of HIV, see your doctor right away. Your doctor may want to use a test that can look for the virus directly in your body.
Read Also: Can You Get Hiv From Dried Blood
Hiv Negative: Last Tested On
Listen to an audio recording of this blog.
Part of the Post-test Series
- All of us get an HIV test at least once in our lives as part of routine medical care.
- Annual screening for people who are at high risk for HIV including people who inject drugs and their sex partners, people who exchange sex for money or drugs, sex partners of people living with HIV, and gay, bisexual or other men who have sex with men or heterosexual persons who themselves or whose sex partners have had more than one sex partner since their most recent HIV test.
- More frequent testing for those of us whose behavior might put us at an even higher risk for HIV infection or those of us who use PrEP.
- Using a condom correctly every time
- Reducing your number of sexual partners
Don’t Miss: Hiv Medication Class Action Lawsuit
How Does Acute Hiv Infection Usually Manifest
Acute HIV infection, typically occurring within weeks of an exposure to HIV-infected bodily fluids, represents the time in which a patient has high levels of plasma HIV RNA and an emerging humoral immune response with the development of detectable viral protein-specific antibodies. This period is frequently associated with an acute illness referred to as an acute retroviral syndrome . This stage of HIV disease is also referred to as primary HIV infection. Often described as an influenza- or mononucleosis- like illness, the signs and symptoms are nonspecific and occur with variable frequency and severity. Symptoms can be minimal, very mild, or severe. Up-to-date screening tests are able to identify those with evidence of viremia in the absence of antibodies, regardless of presence of symptoms. For those presenting with symptoms, the more commonly described manifestations include:
The natural history of HIV infection
Who Can Get Hiv/aids
HIV/AIDS can be spread through bodily fluids that include blood, semen and breast milk.
Sexual contact with someone with HIV puts you at risk of contracting HIV. HIV can be spread through vaginal, anal, or oral sexual contact. It is also spread through sharing needles or other contact between your blood and an HIV positive persons blood.
Using condoms greatly reduces the chances of passing HIV on to another person.
Taking daily medicine to prevent HIV reduces the chance of getting HIV from an HIV-positive partner.
Never share needles or syringes. The HIV virus can live for more than a month in a used needle.
Read Also: Does Hiv Die When It Hits The Air
Im Experiencing Symptoms That I Think Might Be Hiv Or An Sti What Should I Do
Im experiencing symptoms that I think might be HIV or an STI, what should I do?
If you have been sexually active and are experiencing symptoms such as discharge, pus, soreness or pain coming from the area of your genitals or rectum then you may have an STI. But the best way to be sure is to get tested.
You can visit a sexual health clinic or doctor/GP. Some sexual health services such as a only offer asymptomatic screening, which means they will be unable to see you if you are experiencing symptoms, so be sure to check in advance that the service is right for you.
If you are in NSW, you can use our Where To Test tool or call the NSW Sexual Health InfoLink on to speak with a sexual health nurse and find a testing site near you.
What Is The Hiv Window Period
My partner says hes undetectable, can he still give me HIV?
If someone living with HIV is undetectable, it means they have achieved an undetectable viral load and suppressed the virus in their body. When a person living with HIV has an undetectable viral load, it is not possible for them to pass on the virus to their HIV negative sexual partners. This is because there is not enough of the virus in their system for it to be transmitted. Undetectable viral load is one of the most effective HIV prevention strategies, along with condoms and pre-exposure prophylaxis .
Read about undetectable viral load and the studies that support its effectiveness here.
Recommended Reading: How To Know If Someone Has Hiv
Dried Blood Spot Test
A DBS test is a free, accurate and convenient way to test for HIV in the comfort and privacy of your home.
It involves collecting a few drops of blood from your finger and allowing the blood to dry on a test card. You then send the card away to get tested and wait around a week to get the result back. You can register for a DBS HIV test here.
What If I Dont Have Hiv Symptoms
Always get tested if you believe you have been at risk from HIV infection. On exceedingly rare occasions the seroconversion illness can take up to a year to manifest. Sometimes the symptoms wont occur at all. Regular HIV testing is important if you are somebody who might be at risk from HIV: frequently practicing unprotected sex or sharing needles. Even if not, getting tested for HIV once a year is an individually and socially responsible act.
Recommended Reading: How Do Men Catch Hiv
Diagnosis Of Acute Hiv Infection
The only way to confirm an acute HIV infection diagnosis is to be tested for HIV. There are different types of tests, depending on how long it has been since the personâs potential exposure to the HIV virus. Testing will involve either a sample of fluid swabbed from the mouth, or a blood sample.
Antibody tests are the most common tests for HIV, including rapid tests and home tests. Antibody tests screen for HIV-1 antibodies, which are produced by the immune system after exposure to the HIV virus. It takes at least three weeks, and sometimes up to 12 weeks, for a person to develop enough antibodies to be detectable in this type of test.
Combination, or fourth-generation, tests detect both HIV-1 antibodies and p24 antigens. The p24 antigen is part of the HIV virus and can be detected as early as two weeks after infection in some people, although for others it can take up to six weeks. The amount of p24 antigen in the blood is gradually reduced by antibodies, which makes it unsuitable for use in diagnosing HIV after the very early stages.
Nucleic acid tests detect the HIV virus itself in the blood. The test is expensive and usually only used in cases where high-risk exposure has occurred, or the person has symptoms of acute HIV infection. Nucleic acid tests can detect the HIV virus as early as one week after infection in some people, but it may take up to four weeks until detection is possible for others.
Antiretroviral Treatment Of Acute Hiv Infection
To quote from the current Treatment Recommendations as published by the NIH in 2016:
Antiretroviral therapy is recommended for all HIV-infected individuals, regardless of CD4 T lymphocyte cell count, to reduce the morbidity and mortality associated with HIV infection .
ART is also recommended for HIV-infected individuals to prevent HIV transmission .
When initiating ART, it is important to educate patients regarding the benefits and considerations regarding ART, and to address strategies to optimize adherence. On a case-by-case basis, ART may be deferred because of clinical and/or psychosocial factors, but therapy should be initiated as soon as possible.
These recommendations also apply to patients with acute HIV infection. Prevention of transmission is a important concern such patients are particularly infective because of their high viral load.
The rationale for considering early treatment includes:
Shorten the duration and/or severity of symptoms
Reduce risk for more rapid disease progression
Reduce the risk of transmission to others Preserve immune reserve and gastrointestinal integrity
Preserve HIV-specific immune responses, which might allow for enhanced viral control if treatment is stopped or to be stimulated by therapeutic immunogens that might become available in the future
Limit size of the viral reservoir
Recommended Reading: Who Is Patient Zero For Hiv
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.
Negative Hiv Test Accuracy
Some types of HIV tests will only look for antibodies. HIV testing done in a healthcare provider’s office may also detect HIV proteins produced by the virus, which can be detected sooner after exposure, shortening the window of detection.
Most healthcare providers will recommend repeat testing three months after exposure to ensure one has a truly negative HIV test result. Some healthcare providers will also recommend another HIV test six months after.
Newer testing assays, employing combination antibody/antigen detection, are far more accurate and sensitive than older generation antibody tests. These are more capable of detecting HIV during the early, acute stages of infection, shortening the window period by as much as a month.
These tests work by detecting the HIV-specific proteins called antigens, which initiate the immune response and are therefore produced more rapidly after infection than antibodies.
If all of the tests are negative, and a person has had no new HIV exposures, then they are considered to be HIV negative and clear of infection.
However, if a person has another possible exposure to the virus between tests , the tests will need to be repeated, starting over from the point of the new exposure.
Always speak with your healthcare provider about when you need to be tested and if retesting may be needed to provide greater confidence in the results.
Recommended Reading: How Do Anti Hiv Drugs Work
What Does A Negative Hiv Test Result Mean
A negative result doesnt necessarily mean that you dont have HIV. Thats because of the window periodthe time between when a person gets HIV and when a test can accurately detect it. The window period varies from person to person and is also different depending upon the type of HIV test.
Ask your health care provider about the window period for the kind of test youre taking. If youre using a home test, you can get that information from the materials included in the tests package. If you get an HIV test after a potential HIV exposure and the result is negative, get tested again after the window period for the test youre using to be sure. To learn more about the window period and when a person should get retested, see CDCs How soon after an exposure to HIV can an HIV test if I am infected?. If you get an HIV test within 3 months after a potential HIV exposure and the result is negative, get tested again in 3 more months to be sure.
If you learned you were HIV-negative the last time you were tested, you can only be sure youre still negative if you havent had a potential HIV exposure since your last test. If youre sexually active, continue to take actions to prevent HIV, like using condoms the right way every time you have sex and taking medicines to prevent HIV if youre at high risk.
Dont Miss: Does Cookie Johnson Have Hiv