Polymerase Chain Reaction Test
If a person had a recent exposure to HIV, or is experiencing symptoms of acute HIV infection such as fever, fatigue, and swollen lymph nodes, a doctor may order a polymerase chain reaction test. Unlike antibody and antigen tests that look for the bodys response to HIV, the PCR test detects HIV itself. This test is typically used three days to one month after an exposure. An early diagnosis allows people to begin treatment immediately and helps them take extra precautions to prevent spreading HIV to others.
If a person receives a positive HIV test result, a doctor schedules a follow-up appointment to discuss the results and the next steps for treatment. The doctor may order several additional blood tests to estimate how long the person has been infected and how far the condition has progressed.
A doctor may also use blood tests to screen for complications or other infections, such as other sexually transmitted infections, as well as toxoplasmosis, which is a parasitic infection, or hepatitis, a liver infection.
Early Signs And Symptoms Of Hiv In Men
Early symptoms of HIV in men are often vague and unspecific.
In men, initial HIV symptoms are typically unspecific. Early symptoms are usually bearable and frequently mistaken for flu or another mild condition. People may easily underestimate them or mistake them for minor health conditions.
Men can experience flu-like symptoms some days to weeks after contracting the virus, which may include:
- pain in the joints
- swollen lymph nodes
Men may undervalue initial symptoms and put off seeing a doctor until the symptoms worsen, by which time the infection might have advanced.
The fact that some men do not seek timely treatment may be why the virus affects men more severely than women.
Although scientists and researchers have made significant progress in the prevention and treatment of HIV over the last decades, it remains a serious health problem in most countries around the world.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , in 2016, an estimated 39,782 people were diagnosed with HIV in the U.S.
Although the number of new diagnoses fell by 5 percent between 2011 and 2015, there were still around 1.1 million people in the U.S. living with HIV in 2015.
A higher number of men than women are living with the virus. By the end of 2010,
In 2016, 44 percent of new HIV diagnoses were among African Americans, compared with 26 percent among white people and 25 percent among Hispanics and Latinos.
How Can You Prevent Hiv
HIV can be spread by people who don’t know they are infected. To protect yourself and others:
- Practice safe sex. Use a condom every time you have sex until you are sure you and your partner are not infected with HIV.
- Don’t have more than one sex partner at a time. The safest sex is with one partner who has sex only with you.
- Talk to your partner before you have sex the first time. Find out if he or she is at risk for HIV.
- Get tested together and retested 6 months later. Use condoms in the meantime.
- Don’t drink a lot of alcohol or use illegal drugs before sex. You might let down your guard and not practice safe sex.
- Don’t share personal items, such as toothbrushes or razors.
- Never share needles or syringes with anyone.
Sonora Quest Laboratories is committed to the fight against HIV and AIDS, supporting various programs and fund-raising events through The Apothecary Shops, Aunt Ritas Foundation, the Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation, and the Southwest Center for HIV/AIDS. Our expansive HIV test offerings allow us to assist doctors and patients in all stages of the disease.
To learn more about HIV/AIDS, talk with your doctor, go to your local health department, or visit:
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How Can I Get Tested
To get tested, you can:
- Ask your doctor to test you.
- Go to a local clinic or community health center.
- Go to National HIV and STD Testing Resources to find a testing center near you.
- Buy a test at a pharmacy and do the test at home.
Many testing centers will do an HIV test for free. Ask if there is a fee before you go for testing. In most states you do not need a parent’s permission to get tested for HIV. And you can buy the test at the pharmacy without a parent.
One Surprising Fact About Being Hiv Positive
If you learn that youre HIV positive and get to know other people living with HIV, youll soon find out something you never expected:
A lot of peoples lives change for the better after they learn they have HIV.
This happens because they have to take direct action to save their own lives. Once they learn they can face their fears, get into a treatment program and do everything it takes to stop HIV, they realize something else:
Theyre calling the shots in their life now.
That gives people a sense of confidence they may never have had before. They can set goals and get things done in ways they never imagined possible before their diagnosis.
Knowing you can change your life for the better is one of the most powerful things you can learn, and its true no matter what the result of your test may be.
But youll never find out if you dont get tested.
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Hiv Symptoms Every Woman Needs To Know
Human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV, attacks the bodys infection-fighting immune system. Without treatment, HIV;can lead to AIDS . At the start of the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s, people who were infected with HIV quickly progressed to serious disease. But todays treatments;help lower the amount of virus in the bloodso people who are HIV-positive can live healthier, longer lives and not necessarily;progress to AIDS.
More than one million people in the US live with HIV, and scarily, one in seven of them dont know they have it. HIV symptoms can be hard to detect. Within a month or two of HIV entering the body, 40% to 90% of people experience flu-like symptoms known as acute retroviral syndrome . But sometimes HIV symptoms don’t appear for yearsor even a decadeafter infection.
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“In the early stages of HIV infection, the most common symptoms are none,” Michael Horberg, MD, director of HIV/AIDS for Kaiser Permanente, in Oakland, California, tells Health. As many as one;in five people in the United States with HIV doesn’t know they have it, according to the Centers for Disease Control . That’s why it’s so important to get tested, especially if you currently have or have had unprotected sex with more than one partner or use intravenous drugs.
HIV symptoms for women and for men are often the same; here are 16 of the most common signs.
If You Have A Negative Test Result Does That Mean That Your Partner Is Hiv
No. Your HIV test result reveals only your HIV status.
HIV is not necessarily transmitted every time you have sex. Therefore, taking an HIV test is not a way to find out if your partner is infected.
It’s important to be open with your partner and ask them to tell you their HIV status. But keep in mind that your partner may not know or may be wrong about their status, and some may not tell you if they have HIV even if they know they’re infected. Consider getting tested together so you can both know your HIV status and take steps to keep yourselves healthy.
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How Is Hiv Treated
There is no vaccine or cure for HIV infection. However, there are effective treatments that can help prevent the progression to AIDS and help ensure a near-normal life expectancy.
These treatments are known as antiretroviral therapy. They stop the virus from reproducing itself, which leads to a lower viral load. The treatment involves a combination of drugs used together.
Improvements in treatment now mean that HIV infection is a manageable chronic disease for many people in countries like Australia. People with HIV who are effectively treated are also highly unlikely to pass the virus on to others.
Im Pregnant When Should I Test
Testing for HIV during your pregnancy is very important. Left undiagnosed and untreated women living with HIV can pass the virus on to their unborn babies. In most countries, HIV tests are a routine part of the care women receive during pregnancy . Partners of pregnant women should also get tested during this time.
The earlier you test in your pregnancy the better. You’ll usually be tested in your first appointment, ideally before your tenth week. These tests should be repeated, either every three months or at least once again in your third trimester. ;
Your doctor will tell you everything you need to know about HIV testing alongside the other blood tests they do during pregnancy.
If you find out you are positive, youll be given treatment to prevent passing HIV on to your child. The earlier you start treatment, the greater the chance your child will be born HIV-negative. Check out our section on Pregnancy, childbirth & breastfeeding for more information.
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Is There A Period When The Virus Isnt Transmittable
HIV is transmittable soon after its introduced into the body. During this phase, the bloodstream contains higher levels of HIV, which makes it easy to transmit it to others.
Since not everyone has early symptoms of HIV, getting tested is the only way to know if the virus has been contracted. An early diagnosis also allows an HIV-positive person to begin treatment. Proper treatment can eliminate their risk of transmitting the virus to their sexual partners.
What Is Hiv What Is Aids
HIV is a virus that attacks the immune system, the bodys natural defense system. Without a strong immune system, the body has trouble fighting off disease. Both the virus and the infection it causes are called HIV.
White blood cells are an important part of the immune system. HIV invades and destroys certain white blood cells called CD4+ cells. If too many CD4+ cells are destroyed, the body can no longer defend itself against infection.
The last stage of HIV infection is AIDS . People with AIDS have a low number of CD4+ cells and get infections or cancers that rarely occur in healthy people. These can be deadly.
Having HIV does not mean you have AIDS. Even without treatment, it takes a long time for HIV to progress to AIDSusually 10 to 12 years. If HIV is diagnosed before it becomes AIDS, medicines can slow or stop the damage to the immune system. With treatment, many people with HIV are able to live long and active lives.
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Symptoms And Stages Of Hiv Infection
- There are three stages of HIV infection. The symptoms vary in type and severity from person-to-person.
- Stage 1 after initial infection can feel like flu but not everyone will experience this.
- Stage 2 is when many people start to feel better and may last for 10 years or more. During this time a person may have no symptoms.
- Stage 3 is when a persons immune system is very badly damaged and can no longer fight off serious infections and illnesses.
- The earlier a person is diagnosed with HIV and starts treatment, the better their health will be over time.
- Some people dont get any symptoms during stages 1 and 2, and may not know they have the virus, but they can still pass on HIV.
The signs of HIV infection can vary in type and severity from person-to-person, and some people may not have any symptoms for many years.
The stages below describe how HIV infection progresses in the body if it is left untreated. Without antiretroviral treatment for HIV, the virus replicates in the body and causes more and more damage to the immune system.
However with effective treatment, you can keep the virus under control and stop it from progressing. This is why its important to start treatment as soon as possible after testing positive.
Why Is It Important To Know If Youve Got Hiv
Worrying about whether youve been infected with HIV can drive you nuts. All that stress is bad for your health..
Theres always a chance youll test negative and all your worrying was a waste. There are tons of misconceptions about how HIV gets transmitted. Some people who think they have been exposed have nothing to fear.
Lets hope thats true, but lets also be realistic. If youve ever had unprotected sex , theres a chance you could be infected.
If thats the case, you most definitely need to get tested and find out for sure. Heres why:
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What Are Hiv And Aids
The human immunodeficiency virus is a virus that affects the immune system. It gradually destroys cells called CD4 cells, which usually help the body stay healthy by fighting off disease.
If HIV is not treated, most people will develop severe immune deficiency within 10 years. At this point, the body is no longer able to fight infection and stop cancer from developing. This late stage of HIV infection is called acquired immunodeficiency syndrome .
How Hiv Is Transmitted
The first step in determining whether you are at risk of HIV is to better understand how the virus is transmitted.
HIV thrives in certain body fluids, including blood, semen, vaginal secretions, and breast milk. Most people get infected when exposed to HIV through these fluids.
HIV is transmitted through:
HIV can also be passed from mother to child during childbirth, although this is less common in the developed world due to advances in prevention and treatment.
It is important to note that HIV cannot penetrate intact skin. The virus can enter the body either through porous mucosal tissues , through breaks in vulnerable tissues , or directly through the bloodstream.
HIV infection can occur with just one exposure, particularly in high-risk individuals.
By contrast, HIV does not thrive in saliva, urine, tears, or feces and cannot survive in infectious quantities when exposed to air and environmental conditions.
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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.
How Do People Become Infected With Hiv
HIV is in the blood, semen, vaginal fluid and breast milk of an infected person. It can be spread by exposure to these body fluids by:
- unprotected anal or vaginal sex without a condom
- sharing drug injecting equipment
- tattooing, piercing and other procedures with unsterile needles or equipment
- transmission from mother to baby during pregnancy, childbirth or breastfeeding
- oral sex, although this is rare
- sharps injuries
It is important to remember that HIV is not spread through activities such as kissing, sharing cups and cutlery, normal social contact, toilet seats or mosquitoes.
You are at higher risk of HIV infection if:
- you are a man, a transgender woman or a person who identifies as gender diverse who has sex with men
- you have sex or share needles with someone else at risk of HIV
- you share sex toys
- you have sex with people from countries with a high rate of HIV infection
- you inject drugs
- you have had tattoos or other piercings overseas using unsterile equipment
- you have a sexually transmitted infection . People can be infected with several different STIs at the same time. Having an STI can make it easier to become infected with HIV and pass it on to sexual partners
- you have had a blood transfusion in a country where the blood supply is not safe
Some people are at a higher risk of HIV infection because they are exposed to more people with HIV infection and/or engage in more high-risk behaviour. These include:
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Facts About Hiv/aids Everyone Should Know
Learning the truth about HIV and AIDS can help prevent transmission and save lives beginning with your own.
Contracting the human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV, is no longer seen as a death sentence in developed countries, which have the resources to treat it. Still, millions of people around the world contract;HIV and die of the last stage of the viruss infection: acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, or AIDS.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , an estimated 1.1 million Americans over the age of 13 were living with HIV at the end of 2014.
There are a lot of reasons why people need to know about HIV/AIDS, from determining whether they are at risk themselves to even how to speak sensitively to someone who has the disease, says Steven Santiago, MD, the chief medical officer of Care Resource, a nonprofit HIV/AIDS organization in South Florida. Here are 10 facts that you should know.