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
How Do You Know If You Need Pep
PEP may be right for you if you are HIV-negative or dont know your HIV status, and you think you may have been exposed to HIV in the last 72 hours:
- During sex
- Through shared needles, syringes, or other equipment used to inject drugs, or
- Through sexual assault
Contact your health care provider immediately or go to an emergency room or urgent care clinic right away.
Your health care provider or emergency room doctor will evaluate you, help you decide whether PEP is right for you, and work with you to determine which medicines to take for PEP.
In addition, if you are a health care worker, you may be prescribed PEP after a possible exposure to HIV at work, such as from a needlestick injury.
How Well Does Pep Work
PEP is effective in preventing HIV infection when its taken correctly, but its not 100% effective. The sooner you start PEP after a possible HIV exposure, the better.
While taking PEP, its important to use other HIV prevention methods, such as using condoms the right way, every time you have sex and using only new, sterile needles and works when injecting drugs
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What Happens After I Take Pep
You need to visit your nurse or doctor for follow-up testing after you finish PEP. Youll get another HIV test 4-6 weeks after you were first exposed to HIV, and then youll be tested again 3 months later. Depending on your situation, your doctor may recommend another HIV test 6 months later.
Its really important to get these follow-up tests to make sure PEP worked. In the meantime, keep protecting yourself and others from HIV by using condoms when you have sex, and not sharing needles or works.
How Do I Get Pep
You can get PEP from emergency rooms. It might also be available at some health clinics or Planned Parenthood health centers, and some doctors offices, but call first to make sure they have PEP in stock.
You can start PEP up to 72 hours after you were exposed to HIV, but dont wait its really important to start PEP as soon as possible. So if you cant get to a doctor or nurse right away, go to the emergency room as soon as you can. Every hour counts.
Before you get PEP, the nurse or doctor will talk with you about what happened, to decide whether PEP is right for you. Theyll give you a blood test for HIV . Youll also be tested for Hepatitis B. And if you were exposed to HIV through sex, youll get tests for other STDs like gonorrhea, chlamydia, and syphilis.
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Types Of Hiv Tests And Their Window Periods
- Nucleic Acid Test A NAT can usually tell you if you have HIV infection 10 to 33 days after exposure
- Antigen/Antibody TestAn antigen/antibody test performed by a laboratory on blood from a vein can usually detect HIV infection 18 to 45 days after exposure. Antigen/antibody tests done with blood from a finger prick take longer to detect HIV .
- Antibody TestAn antibody test can take 23 to 90 days to detect HIV infection after an exposure. Most rapid tests and self-tests are antibody tests. In general, antibody tests that use blood from a vein detect HIV sooner after infection than tests done with blood from a finger prick or with oral fluid.
Ask your health care provider or test counselor about the window period for the test youre taking and whether you will need a follow-up test to confirm the results. If youre using a self-test, you can get that information from the materials included in the tests package.
If you get an HIV test after a potential HIV exposure and the result is negative, get tested again after the window period. Remember, you can only be sure you are HIV-negative if:.
- Your most recent test is after the window period
- You havent had a potential HIV exposure during the window period. If you do have an exposure, then you will need to be retested.
Should Pregnant Women Get Tested For Hiv
CDC recommends that all pregnant women get tested for HIV so that they can begin taking HIV medicines if they are HIV positive. Women with HIV take HIV medicines during pregnancy and childbirth to reduce the risk of mother-to-child transmission of HIV and to protect their own health. For more information, read the ClinicalInfo fact sheet on Preventing Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV.
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Types Of Condomless Sex And Risk Of Hiv
During condomless sex, HIV in the bodily fluids of one person may be transmitted to the body of another person through the mucous membranes of the penis, vagina, and anus. In very rare cases, HIV could potentially be transmitted through a cut or sore in the mouth during oral sex.
Out of any type of condomless sex, HIV can most easily be transmitted during anal sex. This is because the lining of the anus is delicate and prone to damage, which may provide entry points for HIV. Receptive anal sex, often called bottoming, poses more risk for contracting HIV than insertive anal sex, or topping.
HIV can also be transmitted during vaginal sex without a condom, although the vaginal lining is not as susceptible to rips and tears as the anus.
The risk of getting HIV from oral sex without using a condom or dental dam is very low. It would be possible for HIV to be transmitted if the person giving oral sex has mouth sores or bleeding gums, or if the person receiving oral sex has recently contracted HIV.
In addition to HIV, anal, vaginal, or oral sex without a condom or dental dam can also lead to transmission of other STIs.
How Are Testing Technologies Used To Diagnose Hiv Infection
To test for HIV, a sample of a persons blood is taken. With the most common test, a vial of blood taken from a vein is sent to a laboratory to be tested for HIV . There are also rapid tests available, which use a drop of blood from a finger prick to test for HIV immediately after the sample is taken.
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What If Im Asymptomatic And Dont Know It Could I Spread The Virus Even Beyond My 10
Theres a lot we still dont know about COVID-19, but the answer is: probably not. Although many infected people experience symptoms for two weeks or more, that doesnt mean theyre contagious the entire time they feel sick. And even if they still have symptoms and continue to test positive for the virus, that doesnt necessarily mean theyre contagious. I know that last part is particularly confusing. Lets unpack it.
A viral infection ends once your body kills all remaining functioning viruses, putting an end to their replication. Your immune system takes no prisoners when it goes to task, Messaoudi says. After the interferon alarm goes off, what she calls the heavy artillery arrive: a dramatic burst of T-cells that go around killing all the cells in your body that are harboring virus. You start out with 100 to 500 T-cells and in three to four days you expand to millions of cells, she says. Quite the dramatic ramp-up.
For Pitzer, best practices would be getting tested on day 3 or 4 after an exposure and then again between days 7 and 10. Messaoudi and Lee recommend similar timelines.
Even if that attack is successful and there arent any more infected cells to kill, theres plenty of bits of virus floating around in the chaosmanufacturing errors that wont ever replicate, pieces of genetic material left over from the inside of cells that died.
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.
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Who Should Get Tested
The only way to know for sure whether you have HIV is to get tested. CDC recommends that everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 get tested for HIV at least once as part of routine health care. Knowing your HIV status gives you powerful information to help you take steps to keep you and your partner healthy. About 1 in 8 people in the United States who have HIV do not know they have it.
Hiv Testing And Your Rights
Testing for HIV is voluntary and can only be done with your informed consent, except in exceptional circumstances.
Before you are tested, you will be provided with information about what is involved. what the results might mean for you, and how to prevent HIV transmission in the future. All people who request an HIV test must receive this information from the test provider.
Under Australian and Victorian law, it is unlawful to discriminate against anyone who has HIV. Test results, and details on whether someone has been tested are strictly confidential. It is illegal for any information about a person being tested or a person with HIV to be disclosed without their permission.
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Making Hiv Testing Routine
You might want to test more regularly than this, for example, if you are having sex with a new partner or feel you are more at risk. Groups who are more at risk are recommended to test more regularly. Testing every 3-6 months is often advised for men who have sex with men.
Testing regularly helps keep your mind at rest, and if you test positive, it means you can start treatment quickly, protecting your health.
What Happens If The Test Is Positive
If you receive a positive result, you will want to work with your healthcare provider on a treatment plan. Your healthcare provider will determine how far HIV has progressed and recommend medicines to help you manage it.
You will also want to talk about your diagnosis with your sexual partner. If you and your partner have had unprotected sex, you could have transmitted the virus to them. They should get tested, too.
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What Support Is Available
If you receive an HIV diagnosis, you can find help. Your healthcare provider can recommend support groups and counselors.
If someone tells you they are HIV-positive, they are telling you because they trust you. The time right after diagnosis can be very tough. You can support them in many ways:
- Be a friend. While they may not be ready to talk about their diagnosis right away, show them you care by treating them as you did before.
- Listen. Your friend may just need someone to listen to their concerns and fears. Be there for them.
- Learn about the disease. The reference section of this article has additional information to learn about the condition.
- Encourage them to seek treatment. Your friend may not realize they have options available. They do, and they can get treatment. Help them find it and stick to it.
- Get help for yourself. While it will be a challenging time for your friend, you may need some support too. Talk to others a counselor, for example about any concerns or anxieties you may have.
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.
What Should I Do If My Test Is Negative
If your test result is negative, youll probably breathe a big sigh of relief. But dont let down your guard. Its important to protect yourself in the future. Talk to your healthcare provider about whether PrEP is right for you. The PrEP daily pill can reduce your risk of getting HIV from sexual contact by 99%. For IV drug users, it lowers the risk by 74%. PrEP is very important if you are HIV negative and in a stable monogamous relationship with HIV positive partner.
Even if you take PrEP, its still smart to practice safer sex. Always use a condom to reduce your risk of getting HIV and other STDs.
Based On Cdc Guidance As Of 07/30/21 Youve Been Exposed To
You should get tested 3 – 5 days after your exposure, even if you dont have symptoms. Wear a mask at all indoor public locations before your test and continue doing so until you get your test results. When you get your test results, follow the appropriate advice below. If you do develop symptoms, follow the instructions below for people
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So What Are Testing Best Practices Then
For someone showing symptoms, Pitzer, Lee, and Messaoudi suggest getting tested as soon as possible.
But as a general rule, greater frequency is important it scales with the risks, Pitzer says. The higher the likelihood of exposure, the more frequently you should be tested. That makes it more likely you’ll catch an infection early and be able to isolate during your presymptomatic period. In that way, testing can be a useful tool, especially in situations where you might have been exposed but youre not sure.
For Pitzer, best practices would be getting tested on day 3 or 4 after an exposure and then again between days 7 and 10. As an epidemiologist, to be on the safe side, Id want to see two negative tests a few days apart before feeling free, she says. Messaoudi and Lee recommend similar timelines. And a recent preprint study looking at strategies for shortening quarantine periods suggests that the optimal time for testing is day 6 or 7 after exposure.
But even as he gives his recommendation, Lee remains concerned about overgeneralization. Its natural that people want to be given one number, but theres no one number, he says, because we all receive different infectious doses. Some people might test positive two days after exposure, others might wait 10 days. And whos to say people were exposed when they say they were? Humans are notoriously poor reporters of their own health status.
Where Can You Get Tested For Hiv
Many places offer HIV testing, including your healthcare providers office, hospitals, community health centers or clinics, local health departments, and substance abuse clinics. Many pharmacies also offer testing.
Under the Affordable Care Act, HIV testing is covered by health insurance without a copay. If youre uninsured, check the CDCs HIV service locator to find free or low-cost testing options.
- Rapid Self-Test This is done completely at home and can provide results within 20 minutes. The only rapid self-test currently approved by the Food and Drug Administration is OraQuick, an oral fluid test.
- Mail-In Self-Test With this finger-stick test, you send your sample to a lab and test results are given to you by a healthcare provider.
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How The Oraquick In
What is the OraQuick In-Home HIV Test and how does it work?
The OraQuick In-Home HIV Test is a rapid self-administered over-the-counter test. The OraQuick In-Home HIV Test kit consists of a test stick to collect the specimen, a test tube to insert the test stick and complete the test, testing directions, two information booklets , a disposal bag and phone numbers for consumer support.
This approved test uses oral fluid to check for antibodies to HIV Type 1 and HIV Type 2, the viruses that cause AIDS. The kit is designed to allow you to take the HIV test anonymously and in private with the collection of an oral fluid sample by swabbing your upper and lower gums with the test device. After collecting the sample you insert the device into the kits vial which contains a developer solution, wait 20-40 minutes, and read the test result. A positive result with this test does not mean that an individual is definitely infected with HIV but rather that additional testing should be done in a medical setting to confirm the test result. Additionally, a negative test result does not mean that an individual is definitely not infected with HIV, particularly when exposure may have been within the previous three months. Again an individual should obtain a confirmatory test in a medical setting.
When should I take a test for HIV?
How reliable is the OraQuick In-Home HIV Test?
OraQuick In-Home HIV Test Fact Sheet