When Your Viral Load Is Undetectable
Eventually, you want to have an undetectable viral load — one so low that a lab test canât find it. When you have an undetectable viral load, you canât spread the virus to your sexual partner.
Even when you reach that point, you must remember that the virus is still in your body. To keep it at bay, take your medicine every day, just as your doctor prescribes. If you skip doses or stop treatment, your viral load can go up quickly. The chance that you can transmit the virus to your partners also goes way up.
Tell your doctor if you have trouble sticking to your treatment. Talk to your partners, too. Discuss other kinds of protection, like condoms, safer sex, or pre-exposure prophylaxis . This daily pill can lower the chance of infection in people who donât have HIV by up to 99%.
How Confidential Are Hiv Test Results
Your HIV status, like other medical conditions and test results, is protected by the HIPAA Privacy Rule and cannot be shared with friends, family, or employers without your written permission. Your HIV status may be shared with your healthcare providers who have a “need to know” in order to treat you. Also, in order to determine the incidence of HIV and to provide appropriate prevention and care services, all new cases of HIV are reported to state and local health departments.
Certain testing centers provide either anonymous or confidential HIV testing and counseling. You can also contact your state or local health department to find out where testing may be available.
How Is The Test Used
HIV tests are used to screen for and diagnose HIV infections.
Different types of tests may be used for HIV screening:
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Enhancing Healthcare Team Outcomes
In order to detect undiagnosed HIV, the entire healthcare system needs to integrate HIV screening practices. Routine HIV screening can easily be offered not only in established at-risk populations, such as areas of high prevalence or in the prenatal care standards, but also in specialist offices such as dermatology, ENT, or general surgery. Widening HIV screening to include all persons ages 13-75 should not be limited to the primary care office, especially in patients who are less likely to access care in this setting.
Emergency room HIV testing is becoming accepted as an essential component of HIV detection. Non-targeted screening in the emergency department was found to have improved acceptance based on where in the patient’s process it was offered and what test was offered. Linking HIV and HCV screening has been shown to also be effective and efficient.
Sharing Needles And Injecting Equipment
If you inject drugs, this could expose you to HIV and other viruses found in blood, such as hepatitis C.
It’s important not to share needles, syringes, injecting equipment such as spoons and swabs, or the actual drugs or liquids used to dilute them.
Many local authorities and pharmacies offer needle exchange programmes, where used needles can be exchanged for clean ones.
If you’re a heroin user, consider enrolling in a methadone programme. Methadone can be taken as a liquid, so it reduces your risk of getting HIV.
A GP or drug counsellor should be able to advise you about both needle exchange programmes and methadone programmes.
If you’re having a tattoo or piercing, it’s important that a clean, sterilised needle is always used.
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Donor Information And Counselling
Recommendations on how to inform a donor with positive HIV test results are given in the vote on look-back procedures of the Arbeitskreis Blut . HIV-infected donors should be informed in person and in writing by the blood establishment. HIV-infected donors should be counselled and referred to a general practitioner or a specialised centre for further care. The counselling should include information about the HIV transmission routes and the possibility of antiretroviral therapy . The information given should also include the fact that they are no longer suitable as a blood, plasma or organ donor in Germany.
In South Africa, the possibility of exceptions in cases of kidney transplantation to HIV-infected recipients is suggested .
Clarification of the possible origin of the donor’s infection is of epidemiologic interest. Efforts should be made in the donor interview to identify the route and the cause of infection, especially in order to prevent further transmission of the HIV infection. Such data are also required for the anonymous reporting of HIV diagnoses according to the German Transfusion Act and IfSG. A template provided by the Robert Koch Institute with a standardized questionnaire simplifies clarification and supports a nationwide standardised registration system of HIV transmission modes in the donor population.
Symptoms And Stages Of Hiv Infection
- There are three stages of HIV infection. The symptoms vary in type and severity from person-to-person.
- Stage 1 after initial infection can feel like flu but not everyone will experience this.
- Stage 2 is when many people start to feel better and may last for 10 years or more. During this time a person may have no symptoms.
- Stage 3 is when a persons immune system is very badly damaged and can no longer fight off serious infections and illnesses.
- The earlier a person is diagnosed with HIV and starts treatment, the better their health will be over time.
- Some people dont get any symptoms during stages 1 and 2, and may not know they have the virus, but they can still pass on HIV.
The signs of HIV infection can vary in type and severity from person-to-person, and some people may not have any symptoms for many years.
The stages below describe how HIV infection progresses in the body if it is left untreated. Without antiretroviral treatment for HIV, the virus replicates in the body and causes more and more damage to the immune system.
However with effective treatment, you can keep the virus under control and stop it from progressing. This is why its important to start treatment as soon as possible after testing positive.
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Cdc Examines Confirmed And Suspected Cases
In the January 9, 2015 issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly, CDC officials identified 58 confirmed and 150 possible cases of occupationally acquired HIV between the years 1985 and 2013.
Confirmed cases were those in which the healthcare worker was established to be HIV-negative while the source patient was shown to be HIV-positive. By contrast, possible cases were those in which the HIV status of the source patient was unknown or no documented link was established between the healthcare worker and source patient.
Of the 58 confirmed cases, all but four occurred between the years 1985 and 1995, just prior to the advent of antiretroviral therapy and the release of the first U.S. guidelines for the use of post-exposure prophylaxis in cases of accidental HIV exposure.
Since 1999, only one confirmed case of occupationally-acquired HIV has ever been reported to the CDC.
While the CDC report in no way lessens the importance of PEP in cases of needlestick and other percutaneous injuries, it does suggests that, in the words of the researchers, “more widespread and earlier treatment to reduce patient viral loads” has contributed to the almost complete mitigation of HIV risk insofar as occupational exposure is concerned.
What Are The Symptoms Of Hiv Infection
Symptoms of the initial HIV infection can mimic those of influenza and other viral infections. The only reliable way to tell if you are infected is to get tested. Many people with HIV do not experience symptoms for years after the initial infection or have symptoms that are very similar to symptoms of other illnesses. For more, see this CDC web page: About HIV.
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What You Can Do To Reduce Stigma
You can help reduce stigma by being respectful, compassionate and non-judgemental. Model this behaviour for others when you witness stigmatizing behaviours.
When talking about HIV, certain terms can be stigmatizing. Be thoughtful about the words you use when discussing the topic.
Learn more about the facts of HIV. Treatment can lower the amount of virus in a person’s blood to a level that’s too low to be measured on a standard blood test. This means it’s undetectable.
People living with HIV on treatment who maintain an undetectable viral load have effectively no risk of transmitting HIV to their sexual partners.
Knowing and sharing these facts widely can help to reduce stigma. Share our Undetectable = Untransmittable infographic to help us raise awareness.
In addition, HIV is not transmitted through:
- healthy, unbroken skin
When To Get Tested
Seek medical advice immediately if you think there’s a chance you could have HIV. The earlier it’s diagnosed, the earlier you can start treatment and avoid becoming seriously ill.
Some HIV tests may need to be repeated 1-3 months after exposure to HIV infection, but you should not wait this long to seek help.
A GP or a sexual health professional can talk to you about having a test and discuss whether you should take emergency HIV medicine.
Anti-HIV medicine called post-exposure prophylaxis may stop you becoming infected if taken within 72 hours of being exposed to the virus.
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How Soon Can Hiv Be Detected In Blood
Human immunodeficiency virus, better known as HIV, is a virus that attacks the bodys immune system. It is usually contracted through contact with bodily fluids such a blood, semen and vaginal fluids. It can be transmitted through sexual contact or by sharing needles with an HIV-infected person. HIV cannot be spread by saliva or touching someone with HIV. If left untreated, HIV can lead to the development of AIDS , which is the most severe stage of HIV.
What tests are available for HIV?
The only way to know for sure whether you have HIV is to get tested. The CDC recommends anyone ages 13-64 be tested at least once a year and with any new sexual partner.
There are three types of tests available to check for HIV:
- A nucleic acid testis a blood test that looks for the virus in the blood. After blood is drawn from a vein and sent to a lab, the blood is tested to see if a person has HIV and see how much of the virus is present, which is known as HIV viral load. Results may take several days to be available.
- Antibody testsonly look for antibodies present in someones blood or saliva. Your healthcare provider can check for antibodies by drawing blood from a vein, which is then sent to a lab for testing. These test results may take several days to be available. For rapid results, they can perform a finger prick or take a swab of oral fluid, and results are available within 30 minutes.
- Getting tested yearly and with every new sexual partner
- Condom use
Symptoms With An Hiv Rash
A rash can be an early sign of HIV, occurring as a result of seroconversion. This is the acute, or early stage of HIV, which occurs within 12 weeks of exposure to the virus.
During the seroconversion or acute HIV stage, the body produces antibodies to the virus. Between half and 8090% of all people with HIV experience flu-like symptoms at this stage and some people may develop a rash.
Sometimes, a rash is the only symptom of HIV, but because HIV impacts the immune system, there are often other symptoms, too.
Early of an HIV infection that can occur alongside a rash include:
- muscle aches
after exposure and last between a few days and several weeks.
Anyone who experiences these symptoms after possible exposure to HIV should seek advice about testing.
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When Should You Get Tested For Hiv After Condomless Sex
Theres a window period between the time a person is first exposed to HIV and when it will show up on different types of HIV tests.
During this window period, a person may test HIV-negative even though theyve contracted HIV. The window period can last anywhere from ten days to three months, depending on your body and the type of test that youre taking.
A person can still transmit HIV to others during this period. In fact, transmission may even be more likely because there are higher levels of the virus in a persons body during the window period.
Here is a quick breakdown of different types of HIV tests and the window period for each.
How Is Hiv Spread From Person To Person
HIV can only be spread through specific activities. In the United States, the most common ways are:
- Having vaginal or anal sex with someone who has HIV without using a condom or taking medicines to prevent or treat HIV. Anal sex is riskier than vaginal sex.
- Sharing injection drug equipment , such as needles, with someone who has HIV.
Less common ways are:
- From mother to child during pregnancy, birth, or breastfeeding. However, the use of HIV medicines and other strategies have helped lower the risk of mother-to-child transmission of HIV to 1% or less in the United States.
- Getting stuck with an HIV-contaminated needle or other sharp object. This is a risk mainly for health care workers. The risk is very low.
HIV is spread only in extremely rare cases by:
- Having oral sex. But in general, the chance that an HIV-negative person will get HIV from oral sex with an HIV-positive partner is extremely low.
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How Long Does It Take To See The Signs Of Hiv
The signs and symptoms of HIV may first appear within two to four weeks of infection. The stage in which the symptoms appear is called the stage of acute HIV infection. The symptoms appear due to the resistance or fight of the immune system against HIV. In the initial stage, the virus multiplies rapidly and spreads throughout the body. It targets and destroys the CD4 cells . As a result, the level of HIV in the blood and the chances of transmission at this stage are very high. It is crucial to recognize the early signs and seek medical help, since early diagnosis and treatment of HIV gets the best results.
Where Can People Find More Information About Hiv Testing
There are several resources for people interested about the facts of HIV testing.
- The national HIV, STD, and hepatitis testing site Get Tested helps visitors find free, fast, and confidential testing.
The CDC web site is also an excellent source of information: https://www.cdc.gov/hiv/basics/testing.html.
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S For Removal And Inactivation Of The Infectious Agent
The production and purification of individual proteins from plasma is not sufficient to completely rem ove HIV. Therefore additional validated procedures for an effective depletion and inactivation of viruses must be applied . No transmissions of HIV by plasma derivatives have been reported since the consistent implementation of effective methods for removing and inactivating viruses in the production process. Accordingly, the experimentally determined inactivation capacity of the manufacturing process is supported by epidemiologic data.
HIV is sensitive to heat and detergents . HIV can be inactivated by the solvent-detergent technique, with reagents such as tri-n-butyl phosphate and Triton X-100 or polysorbate 80 . Pasteurisation at 60 °C for 10 h reliably inactivates HIV even in the presence of stabilisers . Heat treatment of lyophilized products inactivates HIV, provided there is appropriate residual moisture of about 1% .
Because of the heat sensitivity of plasma proteins the inactivation procedures must be carried out under appropriate validated conditions . The product should optimally maintain its biologic activity and native conformation, while potentially contaminating viruses should be inactivated under the production conditions . Treatment with -propiolactone and UV light is effective when applied at low protein concentrations, but not in plasma . The transmission of HIV by PCC preparations was not prevented by treatment with -propiolactone .
If I Test Positive For Hiv What Follow
If you are HIV-positive, follow-up tests may include the following:
- HIV viral load testingmeasures the amount of HIV in the blood. It is performed when you are first diagnosed to help determine the status of the disease and is ordered at intervals to monitor the effectiveness of therapy.
- CD4 countmeasures the number of CD4 T-cells in the blood. It is ordered when you are first diagnosed to get a baseline assessment of your immune system and it is done at intervals to monitor therapy and the status of the immune system.
- HIV antiretroviral drug resistance testing, genotypicordered when you are initially diagnosed to determine whether the particular strain of HIV that you have is resistant to certain antiretroviral drug therapies. This testing is also ordered when treatment is changed or when there is evidence of treatment failure.
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