When To Contact A Doctor
Anyone who is showing symptoms of HIV should contact a doctor as soon as possible. This is especially important if the individual has recently had sexual contact with someone else or shared a needle with someone else.
HIV can remain asymptomatic for a long time. For this reason, anyone who has recently had unprotected sex and is concerned about exposure to HIV should contact a doctor as soon as they can, even if they do not have any symptoms. The same goes for anyone who has recently shared a needle.
It can be difficult to discuss the possibility of having HIV. However, without proper treatment, HIV can be life threatening. In these situations, it is very important for people to put their long-term health first and to discuss the matter with a doctor.
Where To Get Tested For Hiv
Getting an HIV test is easy. Tests for HIV and other STIs are confidential and available from your local doctor , or a sexual and reproductive health clinic.
It is a good idea to have some pre-test counselling. Before the test, talk with your doctor, nurse, or peer tester about any concerns, your level of risk, whether you are likely to be HIV-positive and what a positive result may mean.
How Is Hiv/aids Transmitted
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 mouth during sexual activity.
HIV may also be spread through contact with infected blood. However, due to the screening of blood for evidence of HIV infection in the U.S., the risk of acquiring HIV from blood transfusions is extremely low.
HIV is often spread by sharing needles, syringes, or drug use equipment with someone who is infected with the virus. Transmission from patient to healthcare worker, or vice-versa through accidental sticks with contaminated needles or other medical instruments, is rare.
HIV also can be spread to babies born to, or breastfed by, mothers infected with the virus.
|HIV/AIDS cannot be spread through:|
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How Long Does It Take For Hiv Symptoms To Develop
It may be many months or years until they take an HIV test and get their diagnosis. But when people do notice symptoms, they usually develop within one to four weeks after acquiring HIV and last for two to four weeks. These symptoms are associated with the immune systems natural defense against HIV.
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Stage : Clinical Latency
In this stage, the virus still multiplies, but at very low levels. People in this stage may not feel sick or have any symptoms. This stage is also called chronic HIV infection.
Without HIV treatment, people can stay in this stage for 10 or 15 years, but some move through this stage faster.
If you take HIV medicine every day, exactly as prescribed and get and keep an undetectable viral load, you can protect your health and have effectively no risk of transmitting HIV to your sexual partner.
But if your viral load is detectable, you can transmit HIV during this stage, even when you have no symptoms. Its important to see your health care provider regularly to get your viral load checked.
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Who Needs Hiv Testing
The CDC advises that routine HIV testing should be provided in all healthcare settings, especially if testing for other sexually transmitted infections at the same time.
People engaging in behaviors that puts them at an increased risk for contracting HIV should be tested at least once a year.
Known risk factors include:
HIV testing is also recommended:
- before a person begins a new sexual relationship
- if a person learns that theyre pregnant
- if a person has symptoms of another sexually transmitted infection
An HIV infection is now considered a manageable health condition, especially if treatment is sought early.
If a person has contracted HIV, early detection and treatment can help:
- improve their frame of mind
- lower their risk of disease progression
- prevent the development of stage 3 HIV, or AIDS
It can also help reduce their risk of transmitting the virus to other people.
The life expectancy of people with an HIV diagnosis who start treatment early is the same as those without the virus. People who know that theyve been exposed to HIV should seek care as soon as possible.
In some cases, if theyre treated within 72 hours, their healthcare provider may prescribe post-exposure prophylaxis .
These emergency medications may help reduce their chances of contracting HIV after theyve been exposed to it.
Not all tests require a blood sample or a visit to a clinic.
This is because it generally takes 3 months for the body to produce a detectable number of antibodies.
Lack Of Symptoms In Early Stages
ARS is common once a person has HIV. Still, this isnt the case for everyone. Some people have HIV for years before they know they have it. According to HIV.gov, symptoms of HIV may not appear for a decade or longer. This doesnt mean that cases of HIV without symptoms are less serious. Also, a person who doesnt experience symptoms could still transmit HIV to others.
Symptoms in early HIV tend to appear if the rate of cell destruction is high. Not having symptoms can mean that not as many CD4 cells, a type of white blood cell, are killed early on in the disease. Even though a person has no symptoms, they still have the virus. Thats why regular HIV testing is critical to prevent transmission. Its also important to understand the difference between a CD4 count and a viral load.
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Hiv Stigma And Discrimination
HIV can prompt intense feelings in people, regardless of their HIV status. It is sometimes viewed with a sense of unacceptability or disgrace. A person with HIV may feel shame and despair about their status. An HIV-negative person may be fearful or angry when they discover someone has HIV. The relationship of these feelings to HIV is referred to as stigma.Felt stigma refers to deep feelings of shame and self-loathing, and the expectation of discrimination. It can have serious negative impacts on the health and wellbeing of people living with HIV by discouraging them from getting tested, receiving support, or taking treatment. It may also lead people to engage in high-risk behaviours that harm their health, and contribute to new HIV infections.Enacted stigma is the experience of unfair treatment by others. For people living with HIV this can be in the form of being treated differently and poorly, or through rejection, abuse, or discrimination.HIV stigma is particularly harmful when it overlaps with other factors that are stigmatised such as if a person uses drugs, is a sex worker, is trans or gender diverse.Breaking down stigma is a community response where:
If you have experienced stigma or discrimination from a health care provider, and are unable to resolve your complaint with them directly, contact the Health Complaints Commissioner
Symptoms Of Hiv In The Early Stage
HIV is a progressive disease which means that in most cases, it deteriorates as time goes on from the first infection. Some of the symptoms that come up in the early stages are mild, and in most cases, they can be mistaken for common diseases. Once the HIV gets entry into the body, most people will suffer from the short flu which in some cases can turn severe. The flu is the body’s natural way of responding to the intrusion of the virus, and it can be accompanied with other symptoms such as fever, fatigue, headache, skin rashes, sore throat and weight loss, which are discussed below.
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Integrase Strand Transfer Inhibitors
Integrase inhibitors stop the action of integrase. Integrase is a viral enzyme that HIV uses to infect T cells by putting HIV DNA into the human DNA.
Integrase inhibitors are usually among the first HIV drugs used in people who have recently contracted HIV. This is because they work well and have minimal side effects.
The following drugs are integrase inhibitors:
- tenofovir disoproxil fumarate
As a stand-alone drug, tenofovir alafenamide fumarate has received full FDA approval to treat chronic hepatitis B but only tentative FDA approval to treat HIV. A person with HIV who takes tenofovir alafenamide fumarate will likely receive it as part of a combination HIV drug, not as a stand-alone drug.
Tenofovir disoproxil fumarate, emtricitabine, and lamivudine can treat hepatitis B as well.
Zidovudine was the first FDA-approved HIV drug. Its also known as azidothymidine or AZT. Zidovudine is rarely used in adults now. Its mainly given to babies born to HIV-positive mothers as a form of post-exposure prophylaxis .
Nausea Vomiting And Diarrhea
In the early stages of infection, most people suffer from vomiting, diarrhea, and nausea for some time. These symptoms can be a result of HIV medication or opportunistic bacterial and fungal infections which tend to overcome the already weak immune system. Diarrhea that goes for a long time without responding to routine treatment can be a manifestation of HIV.
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How Long Does It Take For Hiv Symptoms To Show
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Get Treated To Prevent Symptoms
The symptoms and illnesses described above are likely the result of advanced HIV, which means that the virus has been growing unchecked in your body for months to years.
If youâre not on ART or youâre not taking it exactly as youâre supposed to, now is the time to start taking it correctly. These medications will lower the amount of the virus in your blood so your immune system can recover. Even people with uncontrolled HIV can get the right treatment and go on to live a healthy life. Make sure to follow your doctorâs advice regarding your HIV medicine and other medicines prescribed for your specific conditions.
You may need to change your meds if you canât stand the side effects or if theyâre not controlling your disease well. But donât stop taking them before you talk to your doctor.
Gary Sinclair, MD, HIV/AIDS specialist in Dallas.
Averting AIDS and HIV: âSymptoms and Stages of HIV Infection,â âTuberculosis and HIV Co-infection.â
AIDS.gov: âViral Load,â âHIV Lifecycle,â âChanging or Stopping Treatment.â
U.S Department of Veterans Affairs: âCD4 counts and infections,â âHIV Wasting Syndrome.
NAM AIDSMap: âFact Sheet: Unintentional Weight Loss,â Fact Sheet: Skin Problems,â âCough.â
American Academy of Dermatology: âMolluscum Contagiosum.â
The Mayo Clinic: âHIV/AIDS Symptoms.â
CDC: âShingles ,â âPneumocystis pneumonia.â
International Hyperhidrosis Society: âNight Sweats.â
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How Does Chronic Hiv Affect The Body
The chronic HIV stage is known as the latent or asymptomatic stage. During this stage, a person usually wont have as many symptoms as they did during the acute phase. This is because the virus doesnt multiply as quickly.
However, a person can still transmit HIV if the virus is left untreated and they continue to have a detectable viral load. Without treatment, the chronic HIV stage can last for many years before advancing to AIDS.
Advances in antiretroviral treatments have significantly improved the outlook for people living with HIV. With proper treatment, many people who are HIV-positive are able to achieve viral suppression and live long, healthy lives. Learn more about HIV and life expectancy.
A normal CD4 count ranges from approximately 500 to 1,600 cells per cubic millimeter of blood in healthy adults, according to HIV.gov.
A person receives an AIDS diagnosis when they have a CD4 count of fewer than 200 cells/mm3.
The survival rate for people with AIDS varies depending on treatment and other factors.
How Are Hiv And Aids Treated
Medicines can help people with HIV stay healthy. They can also prevent HIV from progressing to AIDS.
Health care providers prescribe a combination of different medicines for people with HIV and AIDS. They must be taken exactly as prescribed or they wont work. These medicines:
- help keep the number of CD4 cells high
- reduce the viral load of HIV
Regular blood tests will check the number of CD4 cells in the body and the viral load.
If an HIV-positive persons CD4 count gets low, doctors prescribe daily antibiotics. This prevents pneumocystis pneumonia, which happens in people with weakened immune systems.
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How Soon Do Hiv Symptoms Appear
One of the main reasons why HIV is quite a devastating condition is the fact that it lacks early signs and no one can tell how long does it take for HIV symptoms to show. Some people are infected with the disease but they are not aware, and they might pass viruses to other people unknowingly. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one person in every 8 HIV positive people is unaware that they are positive.
Most people ask how long does it take for HIV symptoms to show after the initial infection. How long it takes for HIV symptoms to show up varies from one person to the other. In most people, it will take three to four weeks, but in some other people, it might go up to six months without any visible symptoms. The reason why it takes longer for the symptoms to show is that the virus takes time to infect the cells of the body before the infection can be spread throughout the body to affect a person’s wellbeing.
How Long Does It Take For Hiv To Show Up Its Symptoms
Symptoms can vary depending on the stage of HIV you are in. Please look at the details below that may help you out if you suspect yourself as HIV positive.
- Acute HIV stage: Early symptoms occur two to four weeks after the first exposure at this phase. Please note that in some cases, there are no symptoms at this stage.
Although we managed to identify various symptoms associated with HIV, some cases dont show signs. Symptoms may not appear for a decade or longer. In this case, there could be a possibility of high HIV transmission to others.
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Where Can I Get More Information
For more information on neurological disorders or research programs funded by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, contact the Institute’s Brain Resources and Information Network at:
Office of Communications and Public LiaisonNational Institute of Neurological Disorders and StrokeNational Institutes of HealthDepartment of Health and Human ServicesBethesda, MD 20892
NINDS health-related material is provided for information purposes only and does not necessarily represent endorsement by or an official position of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke or any other Federal agency. Advice on the treatment or care of an individual patient should be obtained through consultation with a physician who has examined that patient or is familiar with that patient’s medical history.
Hiv Testing: Its Important To Get Tested Regularly
The HIV virus is a retrovirus that attacks the cells in the immune system, weakening your ability to properly fight disease and infections. While AIDS is not transmitted from one person to another, HIV can. HIV can be active in your body for up to five years after becoming infected with it, or longer if youre taking certain medications. In addition, HIV is the cause of cervical cancer, which means it can attack your reproductive organs.
So why does the HIV virus attack the immune system? Its simple: the HIV virus makes a person much more vulnerable to other infections, especially Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome . As a result, HIV infection takes up a lot of resources in the body, making it difficult to fight off infections. If you have a higher viral load in your blood, it means your body is having to create more antibodies to battle the HIV infection. This can make you more prone to serious health problems.
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Stds Make It Easier To Get Hiv
Having an STD can make it easier for you to get HIV. When you have an STD, it can change the cells in your vagina, penis, rectum, or mouth. Sometimes these changed cells cause visible open sores or ulcers, but cells can also be changed without any signs or symptoms.
These changed cells make it easier for HIV to enter your body. That means that if you already have an STD and you have unprotected sex with someone with HIV, youre more likely to contract HIV from the encounter.
Additionally, people who have both an STD and HIV are more likely to spread HIV to partners. Having an STD and HIV increases the amount of the HIV virus in semen or vaginal fluid. The increased amount makes it more likely that the virus will get passed on to a sexual partner.
Some STDs are more closely linked with HIV than others. For example, a 2010 study in Florida found that 42 percent of people with infectious syphilis also had HIV. Gonorrhea and herpes have also been found to have strong links to HIV.
Its important to remember that many STDs have no symptoms and that a person can have HIV for years before any symptoms begin. This means that its very possible to have an STD, HIV, or both and not know it.
This is why safe sex practices are so important. Unless you and any sexual partners have recently been tested for STDs and HIV, its best to use protection every time.