What Is A False Positive Test Result
A false positive test is when the test result shows positive but the person is negative.
This can happen with antibody tests when the test picks up antibodies for other infections.
Approximately 15 out of every 1000 antibody tests are a false positive .
The fourth generation tests have a much lower chance of a false positive. This is why you should always have a second confirmatory test if the result is positive.
The test used to confirm a positive result is 100% accurate. If the second test does not confirm you are positive then you do not have HIV.
How Is Hiv Treated
Australians can live well with HIV. Treatments have changed over time, dramatically improving the quality and length of life for someone who is HIV positive.
It is also important to have a strong support network. Evidence suggests that involving others can improve your mental health and wellbeing and help you maintain treatment.
Stage : Acute Hiv Infection
Within 2 to 4 weeks after infection with HIV, about two-thirds of people will have a flu-like illness. This is the bodys natural response to HIV infection.
Flu-like symptoms can include:
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Mouth ulcers
These symptoms can last anywhere from a few days to several weeks. But some people do not have any symptoms at all during this early stage of HIV.
Dont assume you have HIV just because you have any of these symptomsthey can be similar to those caused by other illnesses. But if you think you may have been exposed to HIV, get an HIV test.
Heres what to do:
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How Do You Get Or Transmit Hiv
You can only get HIV by coming into direct contact with certain body fluids from a person with HIV who has a detectable viral load. These fluids are:
- Semen and pre-seminal fluid
- Rectal fluids
- Vaginal fluids
- Breast milk
For transmission to occur, the HIV in these fluids must get into the bloodstream of an HIV-negative person through a mucous membrane open cuts or sores or by direct injection.
People with HIV who take HIV medicine daily as prescribed and get and keep an undetectable viral load have effectively no risk of sexually transmitting HIV to their HIV-negative partners.
Do I Still Need To Use Condoms If Im Undetectable
HIV medicines only prevents HIV transmissionthey dont prevent other sexually transmitted infections , either from you to others, or others to you. Condoms are still very useful, especially if youre having sex with multiple partners or in situations when you dont know if your partner could have a detectable HIV viral load or might have an STI. I do recommend that people strongly consider using condomsbut its often for the other STIs or due to an unknown HIV status of their partners.
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Side Effects Of Hiv Treatment
People on current HIV treatments may experience mild side effects including:
- tiredness and fatigue
- skin rashes.
If you are on treatment, see your doctor every 3 to 6 months.
Regular blood tests are necessary to make sure your treatment is working and not causing serious side effects. It is recommended that you also get tested for STIs and talk to your doctor about your sexual health and overall wellbeing. Ensure you are having routine screening for cancers and keeping your vaccinations up to date.
Stages Of Hiv Infection
The stages of infection from person to person vary slightly, both in severity and the speed of progression. These stages map the depletion of immune cells as the body’s defenses further and further degrade.
With each progression, the risk of opportunistic infections increases until the immune system is said to be fully compromised. It is at this stage that the risk of illness and death is particularly high.
The stages of infection can be roughly classified as follows:
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What Is The Hiv Prognosis If Not Treated
If untreated, HIV infection will progress to AIDS and the mortality rate is 90 percent. Though it cannot be cured, with appropriate treatment and precautions, patients can live up to a normal life expectancy .
The cause of death in HIV is usually due to serious complications from unusual opportunistic infections because of a weakened immune system or side effects of antiviral therapy.
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 Can You Reduce Your Risk Of Contracting Hiv
Ultimately, you shouldnt try to gauge your own risk of contracting HIV. The best thing to do is to assume that you always have a chance of contracting it when engaging in risky behavior. When it comes to sex, the best way to prevent HIV infection is to always use a condom. Not only should you use them every time, but you should use them properly, too. This may seem simple, but there are some important rules to follow. For example, no one should use a condom that has been in their wallet for the last year. Its important to use condoms as instructed and handle them with care. Taking one out of its packet with long fingernails isnt a good idea. You might also choose to use internal condoms, dental dams or gloves for protection.
There are other risks to manage, aside from having sex. Anyone who injects drugs should be sure to use clean equipment and never share with anyone else. Seeking out needle programs and other services makes this easier to do. Although it is an unlikely method of transmission, people in health care professions should be careful. They should ensure they have adequate training and knowledge. Health and safety in the workplace should involve methods for managing sharps and fluids.
What Is The Treatment For Hiv
Individuals who are HIV positive will likely need to see a specialist. As with many other conditions, early detection offers more options for treatment. Today, there are medical treatments that can slow down the rate at which HIV weakens the immune system. However, there are other treatments that can prevent or cure the conditions associated with HIV. Anti-retroviral drug therapy may be given to a pregnant woman, which has proven to greatly reduce the chance of an infant developing HIV. A cesarean section may be recommended to reduce infant transmission from the birth canal. In the U.S., where other feeding options are available, an infected mother should be discouraged from breastfeeding her infant. Consult your child’s doctor for more information regarding various drug therapies.
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How Long Does It Take For Hiv To Progress To Aids
How long does it take for HIV to progress to AIDS? In all but a few rare cases, if left untreated, HIV will progress to a stage of infection called AIDS. This is when the immune defenses have been compromised, and the body is less able to defend itself against potentially life-threatening infections.
Are These Figures Always Accurate
In some situations, these figures should be interpreted with caution:
- When tests are done with samples of fingerprick blood or oral fluid , their window periods are likely to be longer.
- Individuals who are taking pre-exposure prophylaxis or post-exposure prophylaxis may have a delayed antibody response, extending the window period.
- The data are based on individuals with HIV-1 subtype B and its possible that tests are less sensitive to other subtypes.
British HIV Association, British Association for Sexual Health and HIV and British Infection Association. Adult HIV Testing Guidelines 2020.
Delaney KP et al. Time from HIV infection to earliest detection for 4 FDA-approved point-of-care tests. Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections, abstract 565, 2018.
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Getting Your Hiv Test Results
Most HIV test results are available within a week.
If the test result is negative, you may receive your results within a few days.
If the initial test result is positive, then additional testing to confirm the result needs to be performed in a reference laboratory and this can take up to a week to get a result.
Undetectable: Your Burning Questions Answered Get An Hiv Doctors Answers To Your Burning Questions About Undetectable Viral Loadand What It Means For Your Health And Your Sex Life
In 2013, BETA published an article about viral suppression and having an undetectable viral load. A lot has changed since the original article was published.
To keep us up-to-date, Barry Zingman, MD, the medical director of the AIDS Center at Montefiore Medical Center and professor of medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine joins us to answer our questions about what it means to be undetectable, the risk of HIV transmission, and more.
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What To Expect Next
If you find out you are HIV-positive, its important to keep in mind the condition is treatable. Antiretroviral therapy is recommended for all people with HIV, regardless of how long theyve had the virus or how healthy they are. It works by lowering the amount of virus in the body to very low levels. This treatment can also slow the progression of the infection and protect the immune system.
Taking ART medications is vital to slowing the progression of HIV. Left untreated, HIV will progress to the second stage. During this stage, people may experience no symptoms at all. If no treatment is administered, an individual can stay in this stage for 10 to 15 years.
For people who have no symptoms of an acute HIV infection, it takes an average of seven years to proceed to AIDS.
Stage : Acute Primary Infection
The early symptoms of HIV can feel like having the flu. Around one to four weeks after getting HIV, you may start to experience these flu-like symptoms. These normally dont last long . You may only get some of the symptoms and some people dont have any symptoms at all.
Symptoms can include:
- joint aches and pains
- muscle pain.
These symptoms happen because your body is reacting to the HIV virus. Cells that are infected with HIV are circulating throughout your blood system. In response, your immune system tries to attack the virus by producing HIV antibodies this process is called seroconversion. Timing varies but once you have HIV it can take your body up to a few months to go through the seroconversion process.
Having these symptoms alone does not mean you definitely have HIV. The only way to know if you have HIV is by taking a test. You should always visit your healthcare professional if youre worried about or think youve been at risk of getting HIV, even if you feel well and dont have any symptoms. They can then arrange for you to get tested.
HIV will not always show up in a test at this early stage, and you may need to test again later to confirm your result . Your healthcare professional will talk to you about the timing of your test and answer any concerns. Its important not delay speaking to a healthcare worker if you are worried about HIV.
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How Accurate Is A Test At 14 18 24 27 49 100 Days Etc
Test accuracy data based on 28 days. It is not available at other time points. Information on the i-Base website is based on 4th generation tests being 95% accurate at 4 weeks, and that this needs to be confirmed after three months with a second test. A negative text after three months mean you are HIV negative.
- Testing earlier is less accurate, but can help if someone is anxious.
- Later testing later is more accurate, but involves a longer wait.
Test accuracy at different time points is difficult to estimate and study. It requires each type of HIV test being checked on blood samples from several hundred people who were donating blood frequently and who then became infected without realising it.
Only a small proportion of people regularly give blood and only a small proportion of those people catch HIV. These sample are difficult to get. Each manufacturer uses a similar bank of blood samples to estimate the sensitivity of their test.
Some samples show a positive result after only a week, others take several months. This is because of the wide range of individual responses to an infection.
Aids Is The Final Stage
Controlling HIV with medications is crucial to both maintaining quality of life and helping prevent progression of the disease. Stage 3 HIV, also known as AIDS, develops when HIV has significantly weakened the immune system.
According to the CDC National Prevention Information Network, CD4 levels give one indication that HIV has progressed to its final stage. CD4 levels decreasing below 200 cells per cubic millimeter of blood is considered a sign of AIDS. A normal range is considered 500 to 1,600 cells/mm3.
AIDS can be diagnosed with a blood test to measure CD4. Sometimes its also determined simply by a persons overall health. In particular, an infection thats rare in people who dont have HIV may indicate AIDS. Symptoms of AIDS include:
- persistent high fevers of over 100°F
AIDS is the final stage of HIV. According to AIDSinfo, it takes at least 10 years without treatment for most people with HIV to develop AIDS.
At that point, the body is susceptible to a wide range of infections and cant effectively fight them off. Medical intervention is necessary to treat AIDS-related illnesses or complications that can otherwise be fatal. Without treatments, the CDC estimates the average survival rate to be three years once AIDS is diagnosed. Depending on the severity of their condition, a persons outlook may be significantly shorter.
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People Who Are At Increased Risk
HIV can affect anyone but people who are at a higher risk include:
- men who have had unprotected sex with men
- women who have had unprotected sex with men who have sex with men
- people who have had unprotected sex with a person who has lived in, or travelled in, Africa
- people who inject drugs
- people who have had unprotected sex with somebody who has injected drugs
- people who have another sexually transmitted infection
- people who have received a blood transfusion while in Africa, eastern Europe, the countries of the former Soviet Union, Asia or central and southern America
How You Get Hiv
HIV is found in the body fluids of an infected person,which includes semen, vaginal and anal fluids, blood, and breast milk. To get HIV, one of these fluids from someone with HIV has to get into your blood.
HIV is a fragile virus and does not survive outside the body for long. HIV is most commonly transmitted through vaginal or anal sex without a condom.
Other ways of getting HIV include:
- using a contaminated needle, syringe or other equipment to inject drugs
- transmission from a mother to her child before, during or shortly after birth however, with medical treatment it is possible to prevent the virus from being passed on by a mother to her child
- through blood transfusions however, since 1985 all blood donated in the UK must be screened for HIV – screening policies in the developing world may not be as rigorous, so there is a possible risk of developing HIV if you receive a blood transfusion in certain parts of the world
- through oral sex or sharing sex toys
HIV cannot be transmitted from:
- being sneezed on by someone with HIV
- sharing baths, towels or cutlery with an HIV-infected person
- swimming in a pool or sitting on a toilet seat that someone with HIV has used
- animals or insects such as mosquitoes
Saliva, sweat and urine do not contain enough of the HIV virus to infect another person.
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Ways You Can Not Catch Hiv
The following list includes examples or questions we get from people worried about catching HIV.
The information above should have clear enough these are not risks. Similar questions will not be answered in the Q& A pages but may just be added to this list below.
You can NOT catch HIV from:
How To Be Safe When Coming Into Contact With Infected Blood
A condom will act as a barrier against any contact with blood during sex.
As well as sex, sharing equipment for injecting drugs is a way blood can get into someones body. This can be avoided by using fresh needles and not sharing needles, syringes and other equipment.
If a woman has HIV, her menstrual blood also carries a risk of transmission if she has a detectable viral load.
If youre HIV negative and taking pre-exposure prophylaxis youll be protected against getting HIV if you come into contact with infectious blood.
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