Protect Others From Becoming Hiv
Because you’re HIV-positive, you can give the virus to others, even if you don’t feel sick. This can happen through unprotected sex or by sharing needles. You can protect others by using condoms and clean needles. By doing this, you can also protect yourself from other strains of HIV. Also, don’t donate blood.
If you are a woman, you can spread HIV to your baby during pregnancy, birth, or breastfeeding. Ask your doctor what you can do to protect your child. Proper treatment has nearly wiped out the spread of infection to newborns in the U.S.
Uninfected sexual partners can take a daily pill called PrEP for extra protection against HIV.
What Are The Tests For Detecting Hiv
Various tests may be used for HIV detection:
- HIV antibody test: This test detects the antibodies produced in the body in response to HIV.
- Antigen test: This test can be done at an earlier stage than an HIV antibody test. It measures a protein called p24 antigen, present in the virus and produced in high amounts after the infection.
- Nucleic acid test : It is also called an RNA test. It is a very specific test that looks for the virus itself and can detect HIV as early as about 10 days of infections.
- In-home test kits: Although less accurate than the laboratory-based tests, home-based kits have the advantage of testing in the privacy and comfort of the home. Only FDA approved home-based kits should be used.
- Viral culture: This involves using the patients sample and growing the virus in the lab. It takes longer to get the results and is not the most preferred test for HIV.
Learn What It Means To Be Hiv
Information is power, especially when that information can save your life. These steps will allow you to take an active role in your care.
- Read about HIV in other sections of this website.
- Seek information from government or nonprofit educational organizations with a focus on HIV and AIDS.
- Learn about experimental and standard HIV treatments, as well as their side effects.
- Talk with others who are HIV-positive.
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Male Vs Female Partners
When having vaginal sex without a condom with a partner who has a penis, the vaginal membranes are more likely to tear than the partners penis.
In condomless anal sex with a partner who has a penis, the rectal membranes are also more likely to tear than the partners penis. Microscopic tears create an easier path for HIV and other STIs to enter the body when exposed.
Its possible for a partner with a penis to contract HIV during vaginal and anal sex. If a female partner is living with HIV with a detectable viral load, it can be carried in her vaginal secretions. If her partner has open sores on their mouth or penis, they can create a gateway for vaginal secretions or other bodily fluids with HIV to enter the body.
Uncircumcised men are at higher risk of contracting HIV from condomless sex than circumcised men. The delicate membranes of foreskin can tear during sex, creating a pathway for HIV to enter the body.
How Do You Get Hiv
HIV infection can occur in the following ways:
- Unprotected sexual intercourse, especially receptive anal intercourse
- Multiple sexual partners
- Sexually transmitted diseases: Chlamydia and gonorrhea infections increase the HIV transmission risk by three times syphilis raises the transmission risk by seven times and genital herpes raises the infection risk by 25 times during an outbreak
- Sharing IV needles or injections
- Receiving HIV infected blood products
- Needle-stick injuries
- Maternal HIV infection : The risk of transmission can be reduced at birth by practices like cesarean delivery and prenatal antiretroviral therapy in the mother, and antiretroviral therapy in the newborn immediately after birth
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Caring For An Hiv+ Family Member Or Friend
HIV cannot penetrate healthy skin. In order for it to enter the body, there must be a break in the skin. As a safeguard against contact with blood or body fluids, a person providing care for bleeding wounds should wear disposable gloves. This is a precautionary measure to ensure that the person is not exposed to the virus through tiny cuts in the hands that may be unnoticed.
The infected person should reserve a thermometer for personal use. It should be washed with warm soapy water after each use, soaked in rubbing alcohol for 10 minutes, dried and stored.
We Know That Men Who Have Sex With Men In Illinois Are At Higher Risk For Hiv What About Women Who Have Sex With Women
It is not a personâs gender, sexual orientation, race or class that puts them at risk for HIV. People are at risk for HIV when they practice risky behaviors. Women who identify as lesbian or gay can be at risk for HIV by practicing any of the behaviors that place women at risk. Lesbian women have become infected with HIV by using injection drugs or having unprotected sex with male or female partners who are already infected with HIV. Women who have sex with other women should follow guidelines in this fact sheet to protect themselves, and can call the Illinois AIDS/HIV/STD Hotline at 800-243-AIDS for specific information.
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What We Know About The Types Of Hiv Tests
HIV tests are very accurate, but no HIV test can detect HIV immediately after a person gets the virus. Some kinds of tests detect HIV sooner than others. In general, nucleic acid tests can detect HIV the soonest, followed by antigen/antibody tests, and then antibody tests.
Most rapid tests and self-tests are antibody tests. Your immune system makes antibodies when youre exposed to bacteria or viruses like HIV. Antibody tests look for these antibodies in your blood or oral fluid. In general, antibody tests that use blood from a vein can detect HIV slightly sooner after infection than tests done with blood from a finger prick or with oral fluid.
More Information With a rapid antibody screening test, results are ready in 30 minutes or less.
A self-test is an antibody test you can buy at a pharmacy or online. There is currently one available FDA-approved self-test, the OraQuick In-Home HIV Test.
The OraQuick In-Home HIV Test gives fast results at home. You have to swab your mouth to get an oral fluid sample and use a kit to test it. Results are ready in 20 minutes. If the test says you have HIV, you should go to a health care provider to get follow-up testing. The manufacturer provides confidential counseling and refers you to follow-up testing sites.
Accept Your New Normal
Living with HIV marks a new phase of your life. But if you take your HIV medicines as prescribed, it can be as healthy, active, and fulfilling as before. Make it a priority to take care of your body and mind. Get help if you feel depressed, and stay connected to people in your life you love and who support you.
CDC: “Basic Statistics,” “A Glance at the HIV/AIDS Epidemic,” âAct Against AIDS: Conversation Starters,â âHIV/AIDS: Telling Others,â âBreastfeeding: Human Immunodeficiency Virus ,â âAIDS and Opportunistic Infections.â
University of California, San Francisco HIVInsite: “I just tested positive — now what?”
AIDS InfoNet: “Safer Sex Guidelines.”
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases: “HIV Infection and AIDS: An Overview.”
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: âJust Diagnosed: Next Steps After Testing Positive for HIV,â âHow to Find HIV Treatment Services,â âHIV/AIDS: The Basics,â âHIV and Mental Health,â âState HIV/AIDS Hotlines.â
HIV.gov: âTalking About Your HIV Status: Should You Tell Other People About Your Positive Test Results?â âPreventing Sexual Transmission of HIV.â
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs: âHIV/AIDS: Protect Others,â âFind Support,â âBe Aware of Possible Complications.â
Canadian AIDS Treatment Information Exchange : âYour Guide to HIV Treatment: Monitoring Your Health.â
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How Can To Help Stop The Spread Of Hiv
To lower the risk of getting HIV and other STIs:
- Those who are HIV-negative should consider PrEP. If a possible HIV exposure occurs, PEP may provide emergency protection.
- Use condoms during vaginal and anal sex.
- Get tested and treated for STIs and follow healthcare providers recommended screening schedule.
- Before having sex with someone, ask them to get tested for HIV and STIs.
- Those who inject drugs should get clean needles from a needle exchange.
- Avoid sharing needles for drugs and tattoos.
Talk to a healthcare provider about PrEP if a sexual partner has HIV with a detectable viral load or theres another known risk of contracting the virus. Heres a search tool for finding healthcare providers who prescribe PrEP.
Anyone who thinks they might have contracted HIV needs to get tested immediately. Early treatment can help manage the symptoms, lower the risk of complications, lower the risk of transmitting HIV to a sexual partner, and help people to live a long and healthy life.
What Should I Do After I Start Pep
You need to see a doctor during the four weeks you are on PEP and again at the end of the four weeks when you are done with the PEP medicines. You will be tested for HIV again after the four weeks. Ask your health care provider for a number to call with questions about your PEP treatment.
While you are on PEP, and after you are done, be sure to protect yourself and others from HIV infection.
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How Can My Hiv+ Partner Help
In addition to keeping themselves healthy, your HIV positive partnerâs treatment plan can also help you stay HIV negative. This is called treatment as prevention, and it works because the less of the virus someone has in their system, the harder it is for them to transmit it to someone else. In fact, an extremely exciting recent study found no instances of transmission between partners when the HIV positive partnerâs viral load count was less than 200 copies per ml of blood .
So if your partner takes their medication and gets their viral load count down, they are also helping your health! Everybody wins.
How To Tell Your Patient He Is Hiv
Lets face itno one wants to have to tell a patient that he is HIV-positive. As hard as it can be to deliver an HIV diagnosis, its also an important opportunity to protect his health by getting him into treatment. You can make a difficult interaction easier by keeping that in mind.
Its good to prepare him for a potential positive HIV test before you have to give the diagnosis. But given that most HIV tests now take 20 minutes or less, you dont really have much time. So when youre explaining how the test works and the possible outcomes, you should also be trying to gauge his ability to cope with an HIV diagnosis. Some good conversation starters include:
What concerns or questions do you have about the test?
How would you feel if your test comes back positive?
If he says he suspects the test will show he has HIV, try asking:
What kind of support do you think you will need if the test shows you have HIV?
If you do have HIV, will it be safe for you to tell your partner?
What have you heard about treatment for people living with HIV?
When the results are positive, its best to be specific in the way you deliver the news: The test confirms that you have HIV.
After sharing the result, you need to gauge how well your patient has absorbed the news, whether he needs support, and whether hes ready to continue the discussion about next steps.
For more on CDCs Recommended Partner Services, visit here.
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What If A Friend Tells You That They Have Hiv
More than a million people in the United States are living with HIV, so you may know someone who has the virus. If your friend, family member, or co-worker has been HIV-positive for some time and has just told you, heres how you can be supportive:
- Acknowledge. If someone has disclosed their HIV status to you, thank them for trusting you with their private health information.
- Ask. If appropriate, ask if theres anything that you can do to help them. One reason they may have chosen to disclose their status to you is that they need an ally or advocate, or they may need help with a particular issue or challenge. Some people are public with this information other people keep it very private. Ask whether other people know this information, and how private they are about their HIV status.
- Reassure. Let the person know, through your words or actions, that their HIV status does not change your relationship and that you will keep this information private if they want you to.
- Learn. Educate yourself about HIV. Today, lots of people living with HIV are on ART and have the virus under control. Others are at different stages of treatment and care. Dont make assumptions and look to your friend for guidance.
Its Always Good To Know Your Status
Knowing your HIV status is an important part of taking care of your overall health. Offer the person encouragement for taking that critical first step. Sometimes a person may confide in you about their status in hopes you will feel comfortable enough to do the same. Feel free to share your status or the date of your last test.
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How Common Is Mother
In the UK all pregnant women are offered an HIV test, because transmission can now be easily prevented.
Once its known that the mother-to-be is living with HIV, shell be put on treatment right away. The doctors will instruct her on how to protect the baby during pregnancy, delivery and once the baby is born. Shell also be advised not to breast feed and the baby will be given a course of HIV treatment.
Thanks to those strategies theres now less than 1% chance of the baby having HIV. This falls to 0.1% if the mother is on treatment with an undetectable viral load. Back when those interventions were not known and commonly used, the risk of transmission was 30-45%.
Sharing Your Hiv Positive Status With A Partner
Because HIV can be passed on during sex, telling someone who is a current or previous sexual partner can be particularly difficult and emotional. But the process of deciding how and when to tell a partner involves a lot of the same thinking as telling a friend.
Before you talk to your partner it can help to have some information on hand to share with them. If you can help them to understand the facts about HIV, and reassure them, they are less likely to react negatively.
Many people worry that sharing their HIV status will lead to rejection that the person they tell may react badly and that this may damage their relationship.
While you cant control how others react, remember, that negative reactions are normally based on poor knowledge of HIV. Giving someone the correct information on how HIV is passed on and how it can be prevented will help to reassure them and deal with some of the common fears and myths around HIV.
Communicating with your partner about your HIV status can be a very positive step in a relationship and means you can also discuss how to keep both of you healthy. Using PrEP, condoms and taking your HIV treatment correctly are all ways which will protect your sexual partner from 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.
Increased Outbreaks Of Other Sexually Transmitted Infections
For people who already have another sexually transmitted infection , HIV can lead to worsening symptoms.
Human papillomavirus , which causes genital warts, is more active in people who have HIV. HIV can also cause more frequent and more intense outbreaks in people with genital herpes. Their bodies may not respond as well to their herpes treatment, either.
HIV is transmitted through bodily fluids. This can happen through sharing needles during drug use or through sexual intercourse. Key ways to reduce the risk of HIV include the following:
- not sharing needles when using injected drugs
- taking pre-exposure prophylaxis the US Preventive Services Task Force recommends this preventive medication for people with known risk factors for HIV
- not douching after sex it can alter the natural balance of bacteria and yeast in the vagina, making an existing infection worse or increasing the risk of contracting HIV and STDs
- using a condom, properly, if not in a monogamous relationship with an HIV-negative partner
Women without HIV who have HIV-positive partners arent at risk of contracting the virus if their partner uses HIV medications daily and achieves viral suppression, though ongoing use of a condom is recommended.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Trusted Source, HIV-positive people pose effectively no risk of transmitting HIV when their viral load is consistently measured at fewer than 200 copies of HIV per milliliter of blood.
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