When And Where Should I Get Tested For Hiv
Do not assume you have HIV based only on your symptoms. If you think you may have been exposed or are unsure, get an HIV test. The best place to start is with your primary care doctor. Discuss your risk factors with your doctor.
If you do not have a primary care doctor or are concerned about healthcare coverage, you can search online for free HIV testing centers. Or go to an Urgent Care Center.
Another option is to buy a home test kit. You can find these tests online or at your pharmacy. Be sure to purchase a test kit that is approved by the FDA.
These kits will either be a blood test in which you prick your finger to obtain a drop of blood or a rapid oral test that will give you results in around 20 minutes.
Magic Johnsons Hiv Diagnosis
Its November 7, 1991, and Magic Johnson has just announced at a press event that he has tested HIV positive. Beside him at the podium is his wife of only two months and the soon-to-be mother of his son, Cookie Johnson.
The nation is utterly floored by the news. This is because, in 1991, Magic Johnson was the face of the NBA, possibly one of the most beloved players at the time.
A lot of people started to wonder if Johnson was gay because up to this point it had only been queer celebrities who had been diagnosed with the disease. A lot of the celebrities were outed for their sexuality.
People like Liberace, Freddie Mercury, and Rock Hudson had all been outed because of either their deaths from HIV/AIDS-related illness or their diagnosis.
In reality, Magic Johnson was the very first heterosexual celebrity to announce their diagnosis publicly. His decision to go public was mostly due to the insistence of an AIDS activist.
As this article from Frontline explains, it was Elizabeth Glaser who convinced Magic to go public with his HIV diagnosis. Glaser ended up with the disease when she had to have a blood transfusion while giving birth to her daughter.
Glasers infection led to the infection of both her daughter and her son. This was because during the height of the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s and 90s, donated blood wasnt tested for HIV.
You can watch Magic Johnsons announcement to the press of his HIV diagnosis in the below video.
My Husband Was Diagnosed With Hiv This Is How I Went From Anger To Acceptance
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Im sick, he said.
Sick how? What do you mean? I asked him. I looked at his face, searching for answers while he avoided my eyes.
Im sick! he yelled at me in Spanish, Im not well!
Well, what kind of sick? Would you just tell me whats going on? I asked him. I turned in the drivers seat, still trying to meet his eyes while he actively avoided my gaze, staring at the floor.
I have AIDS! he yelled.
Shockwaves reverberated through the car as an awkward silence settled between us. One heartbeat, two heartbeats, threefor a moment, I was torn between how I should reply. My first thought was that it had to be a joke, but my husband is not the joking type. Still, the bomb he had just dropped on me was so completely outside the realm of possibility, all I could do was laugh and say, Yeah, OK.
But he wasnt laughing. He wasnt smiling, either. You are joking, right? I asked, not sure if I wanted to hear what came next. He finally tore his eyes away from the floor of my car and looked at me. Before the words even left his lips, I knew what I would hear.
No. I have AIDS, he said.
My eyes lingered on a three-letter word about halfway down the page: HIV. What is this? What kind of tests did they do to you? I asked.
They asked me if I wanted an HIV test, and I said no, but then I changed my mind. They swabbed something in my mouth, he replied, staring at the floor again.
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Get Testing And Treatment
If youre an MSM, consider getting tested at least once a year for HIV. People who have sex with multiple partners or partners of unknown HIV status should consider getting tested more frequently, such as every 3 to 6 months.
People who test positive for HIV should follow their doctors recommended treatment plan. Taking antiretroviral medication will lower the risk of complications and help prevent HIV transmission.
It also helps to ask your sexual partners about their testing history and status.
Condoms And Antiretroviral Therapy
HIV is treated with antiretroviral drugs. These are medications that are taken daily to help prevent the virus from replicating and further weakening the immune system.
A large 2016 study looked at HIV transmission risk in 888 heterosexual and 340 MSM couples who were not using condoms. In the study, one partner was HIV-negative, and the other partner had HIV with an undetectable viral load and was taking antiretroviral drugs.
During 2 years of follow-up with 58,000 reported condomless sex acts, no HIV transmission from HIV-positive partners to HIV-negative partners was seen.
A big part of a condoms effectiveness at preventing HIV has to do with using it correctly. Now lets examine how to put on and remove a condom if you have a penis.
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Why Is Hiv More Common In Men Who Have Sex With Men
Around the world, MSM are 25 times more likely than average to contract HIV, reports UNAIDS.
In the United States, gay men, bisexual men, and other MSM account for the majority of new HIV diagnoses.
Because HIV is more common among MSM, these men are more likely to have sex with someone who has the virus.
Several other factors also raise the chances of transmission across MSM.
How Is Hiv Transmitted Or Spread
The following are the means by which the HIV virus is spread:
Vertical transmission. HIV can be spread to babies born to, or breastfed by, mothers infected with the virus.
Sexual contact. In adults and adolescents, HIV is spread most commonly by sexual contact with an infected partner. The virus enters the body through the lining of the vagina, vulva, penis, rectum, or abraded or irritated tissues in the lining of the mouth through sexual activity.
Blood contamination. HIV may also be spread through contact with infected blood. However, due to the screening of donated blood for evidence of HIV infection, the risk of acquiring HIV from blood transfusions is extremely low.
Needles. HIV is frequently spread by sharing needles, syringes, or drug use equipment with someone who is infected with the virus. Transmission from patient to health care worker, or vice-versa, through accidental sticks with contaminated needles or other medical instruments, is rare.
No known cases of HIV/AIDS have been spread by the following:
Enlarged lymph nodes
An HIV-infected child is usually diagnosed with AIDS when the immune system becomes severely damaged or other types of infections occur. As the immune system deteriorates, complications begin to develop. The following are some common complications, or symptoms, of the onset of AIDS. However, each child may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:
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Hiv/aids In The 1990s And 2000s
In 1991, the red ribbon became an international symbol of AIDS awareness.
In that year, basketball player Magic Johnson announced he had HIV, helping to further bring awareness to the issue and dispel the stereotype of it being a gay disease. Soon after, Freddie Mercurylead singer of the band Queenannounced he had AIDS and died a day later.
In 1994, the FDA approved the first oral HIV test. Two years later, it approved the first home testing kit and the first urine test.
AIDS-related deaths and hospitalizations in developed countries began to decline sharply in 1995 thanks to new medications and the introduction of HAART. Still, by 1999, AIDS was the fourth biggest cause of death in the world and the leading cause of death in Africa.
Pathogenicity Of Siv In Non
In most non-human primate species, natural SIV infection does not cause a fatal disease . Comparison of the gene sequence of SIV with HIV should, therefore, give us information about the factors necessary to cause disease in humans. The factors that determine the virulence of HIV as compared to most SIVs are only now being elucidated. Non-human SIVs contain a nef gene that down-regulates CD3, CD4, and MHC class I expression most non-human SIVs, therefore, do not induce immunodeficiency the HIV-1nef gene, however, has lost its ability to down-regulate CD3, which results in the immune activation and apoptosis that is characteristic of chronic HIV infection.
In addition, a long-term survey of chimpanzees naturally infected with SIVcpz in Gombe, Tanzania found that, contrary to the previous paradigm, chimpanzees with SIVcpz infection do experience an increased mortality, and also suffer from a Human AIDS-like illness. SIV pathogenicity in wild animals could exist in other chimpanzee subspecies and other primate species as well, and stay unrecognized by lack of relevant long term studies.
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What Is Art And How Does It Help Prevent Hiv
Antiretroviral therapy is a combination of medicines that slows down the effects of HIV in your body and can help you stay healthy for many years. It can also lower or even stop your chances of giving HIV to anyone else.
ART lowers the amount of HIV in your body sometimes to the point where HIV wont show up on standard blood tests. If your HIV viral load is so low that certain tests cant see it, its called undetectable. When someone has an undetectable viral load, they cant spread HIV to others during sex.
Its important to remember that even with an undetectable viral load, HIV is still present in your body. If you stop treatment your viral load can go up, making it possible to pass HIV to others you have sex with. Your doctor or nurse can help you find the treatment thats best for you to help keep your viral load low, so you can stay healthy.
Anal Sex Without A Condom
HIV can be transmitted through sex without a condom or other barrier method.
The chance of transmission is higher during anal sex without a condom or other barrier method than vaginal sex without a condom or other barrier method.
This is because the skin around the anus is thinner than the skin around the vagina, so small tears are more likely to occur during anal sex.
Someone without HIV is more likely to contract the virus during anal sex if they are the receptive partner .
Early diagnosis and treatment for HIV are important. Treatment with antiretroviral therapy prevents progression to AIDS. It can also reduce the virus to undetectable levels, at which point it cant be transmitted to others.
The CDC recommends that MSM get tested for HIV at least once a year. People at higher risk of HIV may benefit from more frequent testing, such as every 3 to 6 months.
Not all MSM follow these recommendations. As a result, some may have HIV without realizing it. This can lead to delays in treatment and increase the chances of transmission.
As of 2018, approximately 1 in 6 MSM with HIV in the United States didnt know they had the virus, reports the . In that same year, per the CDC, only 65 out of 100 gay and bisexual men with HIV in the United States received some HIV care.
Some MSM dont seek testing or treatment due to homophobic stigma or fear of discrimination.
Medications are available to reduce your likelihood of acquiring HIV.
In 2017, the CDC reported, PrEP was taken by:
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Magic Johnsons Life Now
Thanks to the invention of the triple-drug cocktail to treat HIV/AIDS positive individuals in 1995, Magic Johnson was able to avoid the agonizing and drawn-out deaths that were suffered by the likes of Eazy E and Freddie Mercury.
While he is still HIV positive as there is no cure for the virus, Johnson has been able to live a relatively normal life. His wife Cookie and son EJ remain HIV negative.
Can Hiv Pass From Mothers To Their Babies
Infection can pass from pregnant women living with HIV to their babies in the womb and during birth. Taking HIV medications during pregnancy and childbirth dramatically lowers the risk of a baby becoming infected with HIV.
After birth, transmission can occur through breast milk. The highest risk may be in the early months after birth. It is recommended that new mothers who are living with HIV formula-feed their babies rather than breast-feed.
If you are a woman living with HIV and you intend to become pregnant, or you find out that you have during your pregnancy, talk to your provider immediately about ways to minimize the chances that your baby will become infected, too.
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How Do People Get Aids
AIDS stands for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, a disease that makes it hard for the body to fight off infectious diseases. The human immunodeficiency virus causes AIDS by infecting and damaging part of the bodys defenses against infection, namely the white blood cells known as CD4 helper lymphocytes .
How does someone become infected? HIV can be spread through any type of unprotected sex if one of the partners has the virus. This can happen when body fluids such as semen , vaginal fluids, or blood from an infected person get into the body of someone who is not infected. Someone can become infected even if only tiny amounts of these fluids are spread. Everyone who has unprotected sex with an infected person is at risk of contracting HIV, but people who already have another sexually transmitted disease are even more at risk.
HIV can be spread sexually from a guy to a girl, a girl to a guy, a guy to a guy, and a girl to a girl.
Sharing needles to inject drugs or steroids is another way that HIV can be passed to other people. Sharing of needles for tattoos, piercings, and body art can also lead to infection. Someone with HIV who shares a needle also shares the virus, which lives in the tiny amounts of blood attached to the needle. Sharing needles also can pass hepatitis and other serious infections to another person.
You’re More Likely To Get Hiv If Your Partner Has Hiv And An Std
People with both HIV and an STD have more HIV in their semen or vaginal fluid. This makes it easier for a person with an STD or HIV to give the virus to others when having sex without a condom.
Remember, many people who have HIV don’t know it. It can take many years for symptoms to show up. That is why it is so important to use condoms during sex, or not to have sex at all.
Understanding Hiv And Aids
Generally speaking, the time it takes to go from HIV infection to AIDS is around five to 10 years if no medical intervention is made. Differences in time can be due to any number of factors, including:
- The genetic strain of HIV a person has been infected with
- The general health of the individual
- The place where the person lives
- A person’s genetics or family history
- Smoking and other personal lifestyle choices
This is, of course, if the person receives no treatment. The picture changes entirely if he or she does.
Since 1996, the introduction of antiretroviral drugs has dramatically altered the natural progression of HIV infection. While HIV still cannot be cured, people newly diagnosed with HIV who get treated and stay in care can be expected to have near-normal to normal life expectancies. As with other chronic diseases, early detection is key to identifying and treating the infection as soon as possible.
How To Identify An Hiv Rash
This article was co-authored by Dale Prokupek, MD. Dale Prokupek, MD is a board certified Internist and Gastroenterologist who runs a private practice based in Los Angeles, California. Dr. Prokupek is also a staff physician at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and an associate clinical professor of medicine at the Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles . Dr. Prokupek has over 25 years of medical experience and specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the liver, stomach, and colon, including chronic hepatitis C, colon cancer, hemorrhoids, anal condyloma, and digestive diseases related to chronic immune deficiency. He holds a BS in Zoology from the University of Wisconsin Madison and an MD from the Medical College of Wisconsin. He completed an internal medicine residency at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and a gastroenterology fellowship at the UCLA Geffen School of Medicine.There are 9 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, 87% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 1,852,350 times.
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Symptoms Of Hiv/aids And Stages
Many people donât have symptoms at first, and sometimes even for years or decades. But there are signs that can happen, such as flu-like symptoms soon after you become infected with HIV. Even if you donât feel sick, HIV damages the immune system. It hijacks infection-fighting white blood cells called CD4 cells and uses them to churn out thousands of copies of itself. Without treatment, HIV destroys so many of these cells that your body canât protect you from life-threatening infections. If your CD4 count drops below 200, you have AIDS.
There are three stages of HIV infection:
Stage 1: This the earliest stage. You may also hear it called the âacuteâ stage. You might have a fever, rash, fatigue, chills, and other flu-like symptoms. But you might not have any symptoms. If you do, they may start 2-4 weeks after youâre infected. During this time, the virus quickly makes many copies of itself.
Stage 2: During this stage, HIV continues to reproduce, and it slowly damages your immune system over time. You might not feel sick or have symptoms. But HIV isnât gone, and you can still spread it to other people. This stage can last for years or even decades.
Stage 3: This is when you have AIDS. Your immune system has been severely damaged, leaving you vulnerable to other illnesses. With AIDS, many people have symptoms such as chills, fever, sweats, swollen lymph glands, weakness, and weight loss.