What Should I Do If I Think I Could Have Hiv
Only an HIV test can tell you whether you have HIV.
Try not to guess based on any symptoms you may or may not have, or on the HIV status of a person you have had sex with.
If you test, tell whoever tests you if youve recently taken risks or had symptoms similar to seroconversion illness, as this will affect the kind of HIV test you should have.
To be on the safe side, and until you know your test result, use condoms to protect anyone you have sex with.
You can also call THT Direct on 0808 802 1221.
Symptom : Nausea Vomiting And Diarrhoea
Many people experience digestive system problems as a symptom of the early stages of HIV. However, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea can also appear in later stages of infection, usually as the result of an opportunistic infection.
It is important to stay hydrated. Diarrhoea that is unremitting and not responding to usual therapy might be an indication of HIV, and it would be best to seek the advice of a doctor to help determine its cause.
How Long Do Tension Headaches Last
The most common types of headaches are the tension headaches and these headaches usually tend to happen again and again especially if an individual is under stress. Though tension headaches are not a sign of something serious however, they can be very much painful and it may be very difficult for the person to live with it.
Tension headaches can last anywhere from about 30 minutes to almost 7 days. In case you have a tension headache for 15 or more days each month for over a period of 3 months then you may suffer from chronic tension headaches. Such types of chronic tension headaches may lead to stress and depression, which in turn can lead to more tension headaches.
Recommended Reading: Odds Of Male Getting Hiv From Female
Hiv: A Brief Overview
HIV, or human immunodeficiency virus, is a sexually transmitted virus that spreads through exposure to certain body fluidsâlike genital secretions or blood. HIV transmission can also occur from a mother to a child during pregnancy, childbirth, or breastfeeding.
HIV attacks and impairs the bodyâs immune cells, which weakens the immune system and can eventually progress to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome if it isnât treated. AIDS can be a life-threatening condition, particularly if HIV treatment is not initiated promptly, which is why HIV testing is crucial for protecting your health. HIV infection passes through an earlier stage before the development of AIDS: acute HIV, the period right after the infection began. If untreated, the infection progresses to chronic HIV and ultimately AIDS.
Learn more: What is the difference between HIV and AIDS?
Preventive Measures For Tension Headaches:
Knowing your headache triggers and working on them accordingly would help you greatly to avoid situations that cause tension headaches. Below are some of the preventive measures for tension headaches.
- Practice good posture while working, reading or doing other activities
- Use a different pillow or change your sleeping position
- Go for more vigorous exercises. Also exercise and stretch your back, neck and shoulders, especially while typing or working over computers.
- Have your eyes checked properly.
- Learn and practice stress management well. Go for relaxation exercises and meditations which would really help.
Recommended Reading: Anti Hiv 1 2 Test Positive
How Long Does Hiv Live Outside The Body
There are many myths and misconceptions about how long HIV lives and is infectious in the air or on a surface outside the body.
Unless the virus is kept under specific conditions, the true answer is not very long.
Although it causes a serious disease that cant be cleared by the body, HIV is very fragile in the outside environment. It quickly gets damaged and becomes inactive, or dies. Once inactive, HIV cant become active again, so its the same as if its dead.
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.
Read Also: How Do They Do Hiv Test
Why Do You Get Headaches With Hiv
You may think of headaches as relentless and reoccurring when you experience this symptom. In some cases, low CD4 T-cell counts are responsible for these infections, while other disorders can be caused by drug toxicity, cancer, nervous system complications, malignancies, or HIV-related systemic ailments.
When Should You Start Hiv Treatment
If you have HIV, its important to start treatment with HIV medicine as soon as possible after diagnosis,regardless of how long youve had the virus or how healthy you are. HIV medicine slows the progression of HIV and can keep you healthy for many years.
It is especially important for people with HIV who have early HIV infection or an AIDS-defining condition to start HIV medicines right away.
People with HIV who become pregnant and are not already taking HIV medicines should also start taking HIV medicines as soon as possible to protect their health and to prevent transmitting HIV to their babies.
If you have been diagnosed with HIV and are not currently taking HIV medicines, talk to a health care provider about the benefits of getting on treatment.
Don’t Miss: What Is The First Sign Of Hiv
Days To 20 Years After Exposure
The chronic stage of infection occurs once the immune system brings the virus under control. During this phase, HIV will go into hiding, where it resides in various cells and tissues throughout the body in a dormant state known as latency. HIV latency can persist without symptoms for 10 years or more, although some people may experience signs within a year or two.
During the early chronic phase, lymphadenopathy may be the only notable sign of an HIV infection. In some cases, the glands may be visibly enlarged and reach up to an inch or more in size. If the condition persists for more than three months, its referred to as persistent generalized lymphadenopathy .
Even during latency, the virus will multiple imperceptibly and gradually deplete immune cells known as CD4 T-cells. As immune deficiency develops, a number of nonspecific symptoms are likely to appear, including:
- Oral candidiasis , a fungal infection that causes the formation of creamy, white lesions on the sides of the tongue and lining of the mouth
- Unexplained fevers and drenching night sweats that soak through bedsheets and nightclothes
- Severe, uncontrolled diarrhea that lasts for more than three days
Each of these symptoms is commonly seen in persons with immune deficiency. They may, in some cases, be caused by HIV itself or by an infection that has yet to be diagnosed.
Unexplained Or General Headaches
For unexplained, ongoing headaches, you may be able to manage or ease your symptoms at home through comfort measures, rest, and responsible use of medication.
Massage therapy can ease muscle tension that contributes to headaches, or you can perform self-massage techniques at home.
Managing your stress can help reduce your pain. Also, consider reducing the intensity of your exercise schedule or focusing on your form while exercising.
If your headache continues to persist, see your doctor. You may have an underlying condition that they can diagnose. With proper treatment, youll be able to address your persistent headache pain and return to your normal quality of life.
Don’t Miss: Is Hiv Transmitted Through Saliva
How To Tell If Symptoms Are Hiv
There are three types of HIV tests:
- An NAT involves drawing blood from a vein. It can tell if you have HIV or how much virus is present in your blood. While an NAT can detect HIV sooner than other types of tests, this test is very expensive and not routinely used for screening individuals unless they recently had a high-risk exposure, or a possible exposure and have early symptoms of HIV infection. This test takes several days for results to come back.
- An antigen/antibody test is recommended for testing done in labs and is now common in the United States. It involves drawing blood from a vein, and results take several days to come back. There is also a rapid antigen/antibody test available that is done with a finger prick and takes 30 minutes or less to get results.
- HIV antibody tests only look for antibodies to HIV in your blood or oral fluid. In general, antibody tests that use blood from a vein can detect HIV sooner after infection than tests done with blood from a finger prick or with oral fluid. Antibody tests can detect an HIV infection 23 to 90 days after exposure. Most rapid tests and the only currently approved HIV self-test are antibody tests. They take 20 minutes or less to provide results.
Keep in mind, any positive result would necessitate a second test to confirm it. The only test that would not require a second confirmatory test is the NAT.
When Do Symptoms Occur
Some people have flu-like symptoms within two to four weeks after infection, but others may not feel sick or not develop symptoms at all until later.
See a healthcare provider if you have symptoms of HIV and think you may have been exposed to HIV. Getting tested for HIV is the only way to know for sure.
In the United States, HIV is spread mainly through having anal or vaginal sex or sharing needles or syringes with an HIV-positive partner. Anal sex is the highest-risk behavior.
You can prevent HIV by using condoms correctly every time you have sex pre-exposure prophylaxis, a prevention method in which the HIV-negative partner takes daily HIV medicine to prevent HIV and treatment as prevention, a method in which the HIV-positive partner takes daily HIV medicine to achieve and maintain an undetectable viral load.
Only antigen/antibody tests or nucleic acid tests can diagnose acute HIV infection. NATs look for actual virus in the blood, and antigen/antibody tests look for HIV antibodies and antigens. Antibodies are produced by your immune system when youre exposed to viruses like HIV, and antigens are foreign substances that cause your immune system to activate.
However, no test can detect HIV immediately after infection. NATs can usually tell if you have an HIV infection 10 to 33 days after exposure, while antigen/antibody tests can tell 18 to 45 days after exposure.
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Mouth ulcers or sores
Also Check: Can You Get Rid Of Hiv
People With Hiv Or Aids Experience Frequent Headache
Half of all people with HIV or AIDS are affected by headache, most of them severely, a new study shows.
Researchers at the University of Mississippi assessed 200 patients with HIV/AIDS and found that 53.5% reported headache. More than 85% of those people met the criteria for migraine, and 27.5% met the criteria for chronic migrainea rare condition that causes migraine symptoms 15 or more days per month.
This translates into a 13-fold increased risk of chronic migraine among patients with HIV disease, stated Todd Smitherman, PhD, a UM assistant professor of psychology and a lead researcher.
The severity of HIV and severity of headache were closely linked.
The strongest predictor of headache was the severity of HIV disease, such that patients with more advanced disease had more frequent, more severe and more disabling migraines, Smitherman said.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, most Americans with HIV do not have the disease under control, despite available medications to slow the course of the disease. Researchers noted their findings highlight the importance of patients adhering to their treatment plans and physicians attending to headache symptoms. They also hope their findings will help infectious disease physicians talk with patients about what to expect regarding headache and help prevent costly procedures to rule out opportunistic infections.
What Does Retinal Migraine Feel Like
Retinal migraine feels like youre becoming blind in one eye that precedes the headache phase of the migraine attack.
There is a lack of consensus regarding the definition of retinal migraine. Some say it is different from visual or ocular migraine, which is accompanied by visual disturbances, including scintillations and scotoma , whereas others say a retinal migraine can have these types of visual disturbances that are consistent with the International Classification of Headache Disorders.
Experts are divided on whether headaches should always follow visual disturbances or loss of vision in retinal migraine. The migraine with only visual symptoms but not headache has been termed acephalgic migraine.
Don’t Miss: How To Get Hiv Medication
To 14 Days After Exposure
Known as acute retroviral syndrome, or ARS, the acute stage occurs immediately after being infected, when the immune system has yet to control the virus. During this time, an estimated 40 percent to 90 percent of people will experience mild to moderate flu-like symptoms, whereas the rest wont experience any symptoms at all.
Although these signs typically appear within 7 to 14 days of exposure, they can also crop up as early as 3 days. Around 30 percent of people with ARS will develop a maculopapular rash of pink to red bumps, usually on the upper half of the body. The rash will sometimes gradually converge into larger, raised hives.
Other common ARS symptoms include:
What Are The Symptoms Of Later Hiv
As HIV weakens someones immune system, they may experience signs of other illnesses:
- weight loss
- an increase in herpes or cold sore outbreaks
- swollen glands in the groin, neck or armpit
- long-lasting diarrhoea
But remember: people who dont have HIV can also get any of these they can be the signs of other illnesses.
A weakened immune system may leave someone more open to serious infections such as:
Read Also: Icd-10 Code For Hiv
The Most Common Symptoms Of Seroconversion Are:
- sore throat
- rash over the body.
Seroconversion is a sign that the immune system is reacting to the presence of the virus in the body. Its also the point at which the body produces antibodies to HIV. Once seroconversion has happened, an HIV test will detect antibodies and give a positive result.
Seroconversion illness happens to most people shortly after infection. It can be severe enough to put someone in hospital or so mild that its mistaken for something like flu although a blocked or runny nose is not usually a symptom.
If you do have HIV, your body fluids are highly infectious during the early weeks and months after transmission. However, once youre on effective treatment and your viral load becomes undetectable you cannot pass on HIV.
It can take up to six months from starting treatment to become undetectable.
Symptoms Of The Early Stages Of Hiv
Symptoms of HIV can vary between individuals however the first signs of infection generally appear within the first 1-2 months. Many, but not all, people will experience severe flu-like symptoms which is your bodys natural response to the virus. This is called the seroconversion period.
Its during this time that its crucial to identify if HIV is the cause, as your viral load is very high which greatly increases the risk of passing it on. And the only way to know for sure is by getting tested.
Read Also: How Is Hiv Spread Cdc
How Can You Make Hives Go Away Faster
Hives on Back and Face
In some cases, hives will go away on their own even if you do nothing. However, if youre wondering how long hives will last, its probably because youre pretty uncomfortable, if not downright miserable, and would like them to go away as fast as possible.
There are a number of medications that can be used to treat hives.
Antihistamines These medications, available both over the counter and by prescription, relieve symptoms of allergic reactions, including hives. They are often used to treat acute hives and may also be recommended for long-term use for people with chronic hives. Antihistamines are safe for most people to use, but may cause side effects like sleepiness, dizziness, impaired coordination, and blurred vision.
Steroids Available by prescription, these medications are sometimes used short-term to relieve the swelling, inflammation, and itching associated with hives. Steroids are generally only prescribed if antihistamines alone dont do the job, and only for short periods of times, due to the risk of unwanted side effects such as anxiety, irritability, depression, insomnia, increased appetite, weight gain, headaches, dizziness, nausea, increased sweating, difficulty urinating and increased facial hair in women.
Other anti-inflammatory medications Other medications may also be used to decrease redness and swelling associated with hives.
What Is Hiv Treatment
HIV treatment involves taking highly effective medicines called antiretroviral therapy that work to control the virus. ART is recommended for everyone with HIV, and people with HIV should start ART as soon as possible after diagnosis, even on that same day.
People on ART take a combination of HIV medicines called an HIV treatment regimen. A person’s initial HIV treatment regimen generally includes three HIV medicines from at least two different HIV drug classes that must be taken exactly as prescribed. There are several options that have two or three different HIV medicines combined into a once-daily pill. Long-acting injections of HIV medicine, given every two months, are also available if your health care provider determines that you meet certain requirements.
Read Also: Do I Have Hiv Or Am I Paranoid