Can Hiv/aids Be Prevented
You can reduce the risk of spreading HIV by
- Getting tested for HIV
- Choosing less risky sexual behaviors. This includes limiting the number of sexual partners you have and using latex condoms every time you have sex. If your or your partner is allergic to latex, you can use polyurethane condoms.
- Getting tested and treated for sexually transmitted diseases
- Not injecting drugs
- Talking to your health care provider about medicines to prevent HIV:
- PrEP is for people who dont already have HIV but are at very high risk of getting it. PrEP is daily medicine that can reduce this risk.
- PEP is for people who have possibly been exposed to HIV. It is only for emergency situations. PEP must be started within 72 hours after a possible exposure to HIV.
NIH: National Institutes of Health
The Hiv Antibody/antigen Test Checks Whether Or Not You Test Positive For Hiv
This HIV test checks a sample of your blood for antibodies against HIV Antibodies are produced by your immune system when youâre exposed to a virus, like HIV. Tests that only measure antibodies can take 23-90 days to detect an HIV infection after an exposure. This HIV test can usually detect an HIV infection in only 18-45 days after exposure because it also checks for HIV p24 antigens in the blood. Tests that are both an HIV antigen test and an HIV antibody test are often referred to as 4th generation HIV tests.
In the event that your HIV test results are abnormal, an associate from our physician network will contact you directly to discuss your particular case as well as provide information on how to take the next steps to get treatment. We take customer privacy very seriously and will never share your information with a third-party with the exception of the lab we use to test your sample and our physician network. As is the case with all HIV testingâwhether through Everlywell or your doctorâwe are required by law to report positive test results to state health departments. These reports of infection are confidential and used by state health departments and the CDC as a means of disease surveillance to inform disease prevention activities.
Sore Throat And Headache
According to Dr. Horberg, sore throat and headache are frequently recognized as ARS only in context.
One should be aware that the body still hasnt produced antibodies to HIV, so an antibody test may not pick it up . One should find some other test options, like the one that detects viral RNA, usually within 9 days of the infections.
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How Do We Know Treatment As Prevention Works
Large research studies with newer HIV medications have shown that treatment is prevention. These studies monitored thousands of male-female and male-male couples in which one partner has HIV and the other does not over several years. No HIV transmissions were observed when the HIV-positive partner was virally suppressed. This means that if you keep your viral load undetectable, there is effectively no risk of transmitting HIV to someone you have vaginal, anal, or oral sex with. Read about the scientific evidence.
Seborrheic Dermatitis Or Other Skin Rashes
One of the earliest symptoms of HIV is seborrheic dermatitis. This effects between 30 and 83 percent of those affected with HIV, according to a 2008 study published in Acta Dermatovenerol Croatia. Sebaceous glands are found on the head, face, chest, groin, and upper back area. Early symptoms included patches of red, itchy, flaky, inflamed skin on the scalp, face, or chest. Some studies have found that this itchy rash was the second most commonly reported symptom.
Remember that you cannot get the HIV virus if you do not engage in risky behavior. Sharing towels or hugging someone is not enough to become infected. Never share needles and never have unprotected sex with strangers.
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Stage : The Asymptomatic Stage
Once a person has been through the acute primary infection stage and seroconversion process, they can often start to feel better. In fact, HIV may not cause any other symptoms for up to 10 or even 15 years .
However, the virus will still be active, infecting new cells and making copies of itself. HIV can still be passed on during this stage. If left untreated, over time, HIV infection will cause severe damage to the immune system.
Benefits Of Early Detection
Recognizing the symptoms of ARS is important as it affords a person the opportunity for early detection. This not only helps ensure that HIV is not spread to others, but offers benefits in the way of early treatment.
Studies published in 2013 indicate that the early initiation of antiretroviral therapy correlates to a reduced risk of both HIV-related and AIDS-defining illnesses. By contrast, delaying therapy until a persons CD4 count drops below 350 cells/mL is associated with not only more adverse clinical events, but a significantand even profoundreduction in life years.
Early treatment prevents often-irreversible damage to the immune system. It also reduces the risk of passing the virus to others, a strategy known as treatment as prevention .
HIV Doctor Discussion Guide
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Skin Rash And Hiv: What You Need To Know
Medically reviewed by Neka Miller, PhD on July 10, 2020. To give you technically accurate, evidence-based information, content published on the Everlywell blog is reviewed by credentialed professionals with expertise in medical and bioscience fields.
Notice an unusual skin rash and concerned it might be due to HIV?
HIV, or human immunodeficiency virus, is a sexually transmitted infection that can trigger skin changes. So continue reading to learn more about HIV-related rashes, other possible symptoms of HIV, and more.
How Do People Get Hiv
HIV spreads when infected blood or body fluids enter the body. This can happen:
HIV also can pass from mother to child during pregnancy, childbirth, or breastfeeding.
HIV is NOT spread through:
- pee, poop, spit, throw-up, or sweat
- coughing or sneezing
- sharing eating utensils or drinking glasses
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Diagnosis In Men Vs Women
Doctors diagnose HIV in both men and women by testing a blood or saliva sample, although they could also test a urine sample. This test looks for antibodies produced by the person to fight the virus. The test typically takes around 3 to 12 weeks to detect antibodies.
Another test looks for HIV antigens, which are substances that the virus produces immediately after transmission. These antigens cause the immune system to activate. HIV produces the p24 antigen in the body even before antibodies develop.
Usually, both the antibody and the antigen tests are done in labs, but there are also home tests that people can take.
Home tests may require a small sample of blood or saliva, and their results are quickly available. If the test is positive, it is essential to confirm the results with a doctor. If the test is negative, a person should repeat it after a few months to confirm the results.
What Are The Symptoms Of Hiv/aids
The first signs of HIV infection may be flu-like symptoms:
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Mouth ulcers
These symptoms may come and go within two to four weeks. This stage is called acute HIV infection.
If the infection is not treated, it becomes chronic HIV infection. Often, there are no symptoms during this stage. If it is not treated, eventually the virus will weaken your body’s immune system. Then the infection will progress to AIDS. This is the late stage of HIV infection. With AIDS, your immune system is badly damaged. You can get more and more severe infections. These are known as opportunistic infections .
Some people may not feel sick during the earlier stages of HIV infection. So the only way to know for sure whether you have HIV is to get tested.
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Where Can You Get Tested For Hiv
You can get an HIV test at many places:
- Your health care providers office
- Health clinics or community health centers
- STD or sexual health clinics
- Your local health department
- Substance abuse prevention or treatment programs
Many pharmacies and some community-based organizations also offer HIV testing.
HIV testing is covered by health insurance without a co-pay, as required by the Affordable Care Act. If you do not have health insurance, some testing sites may offer free tests.
These places can connect you to HIV care and treatment if you test positive or can discuss the best HIV prevention options for you if you test negative.
You can also buy a home testing kit at a pharmacy or online.
What Are The Signs & Symptoms Of Hiv And Aids
When first infected with HIV, a person may have:
- increased number of infections
- infections that are more severe than is typical
Without treatment, HIV can lead to a very weakened immune system and progress to AIDS. Illnesses that happen in AIDS are called “AIDS-defining conditions.”
AIDS-defining conditions include:
- very fast and severe weight loss
- a lung infection called pneumocystis pneumonia
- Kaposi sarcoma
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Progressing To Stage 3 Hiv
If a person with HIV does not receive treatment, the condition may eventually progress to stage 3 HIV, also known as AIDS. Thanks to modern medical advances, HIV infection rarely reaches stage 3 in the U.S. nowadays.
Stage 3 HIV is not a specific disease but a syndrome with a wide range of identifiable symptoms. The symptoms can also stem from other illnesses that occur because opportunistic infections take advantage of reduced immune activity.
Treatment will depend on the individual and any complications. The persons healthcare team will help them make a suitable plan.
Hiv Testing With Early Symptoms
Because these symptoms are all associated with other types of illnesses and conditions, experiencing them doesnt mean you have HIV. Additionally, some people dont show any symptoms of HIV for up to 10 years after infection.
If you think youve been exposed to HIV, the only way to know your status for certain is to get tested. That way, if you determine that you do have HIV, you can begin treatment to slow the progression of the virus. The earlier you start treatment, the more successful it generally is at preventing the virus from progressing and at protecting your partners from infection.
During the first stage of HIV, the body hasnt yet created HIV antibodies, which is what many HIV tests look for. Someone recently infected with HIV may test negative for the virus using certain testing methods. If you believe youve recently been exposed to HIV, its important to communicate this to your local health care provider so you can get the right test to diagnose your symptoms.
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Signs And Symptoms Of Hiv Infection
In 2014, a UNAIDS report claimed that 35 million people across the world were living with HIV. Of them, 19 million did not know they had the virus. By the end of;2015, the number of affected had risen to 36.7 million.12
The fact that so many people were unaware of carrying the virus tells us two very important things:
1. HIV does not present unique symptoms that would help you identify it in the initial stages.
2. Many people spread the virus without knowing have it. So you are always at risk of contracting HIV infection through unsafe interactions.
What Are The First Signs Of Hiv
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Human immunodeficiency virus is a type of virus that attacks the immune system, thus lowering a persons ability to resist or fight diseases and infections. About 1.2 million people had HIV infection in the United States at the end of 2019. Of these people, 13 percent did not know that they had the infection. In recent years, HIV has emerged as a global problem and continues to affect people of all ages.
HIV infection makes affected people vulnerable to several other infections and diseases, such as cancer. Presently, there is no cure for HIV; however, it can be well managed with medical treatment. If left untreated, HIV can lead to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome . Thus, early diagnosis of HIV is essential for effective management of HIV and preventing its progression to AIDS.
Initial signs and symptoms of HIV generally appear within two to four weeks of infection. This stage in which symptoms start appearing is called the acute HIV infection stage, or Acute Retroviral Syndrome . Symptoms appear because of resistance or fight of the immune system against HIV.;
The initial presentation of HIV infection is a flu-like illness with symptoms lasting for a few days or few weeks. Early symptoms may include:
Swollen lymph nodes
Some people may not get any significant symptoms; however, the infection can spread from one person to another regardless of the presence or absence of symptoms.;
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Hiv Treatment As Prevention
Treatment as prevention refers to taking HIV medication to prevent the sexual transmission of HIV. It is one of the highly effective options for preventing HIV transmission. People living with HIV who take HIV medication daily as prescribed and get and keep an undetectable viral load have effectively no risk of sexually transmitting HIV to their HIV-negative partners.
TasP works when a person living with HIV takes HIV medication exactly as prescribed and has regular follow-up care, including regular viral load tests to ensure their viral load stays undetectable.
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.
- 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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Clinical Latency Stage Of Hiv Infection
The symptoms during ARS may last for a few weeks, according to the National Institutes of Health.
After this point, the infection progresses to the clinical latency stage, a period during which the virus reproduces at very low levels, but it is still active.
Also known as asymptomatic HIV infection or chronic HIV infection, the clinical latency stage typically causes no HIV-related symptoms.
For people who are not taking any anti-retroviral medication for their infection, the clinical latency stage lasts for 10 years, on average, but it may progress quicker.
ART,;though, can keep the virus from growing and multiplying, prolonging the clinical latency state for several decades.
It’s important to note that people living with HIV in the clinical latency stage are contagious and can still transmit the virus to other people. But, as the CDC notes, people who take ART exactly as prescribed and maintain an undetectable viral load have effectively no risk of transmitting HIV to their HIV negative-partner through sex.
How Do I Know If I Have Hiv
The only way to know for sure if you have HIV is to get tested. Testing is relatively simple. You can ask your health care provider for an HIV test. Many medical clinics, substance abuse programs, community health centers, and hospitals offer them too. You can also buy a home testing kit at a pharmacy or online.
To find an HIV testing location near you, use the HIV Services Locator.
HIV self-testing is also an option. Self-testing allows people to take an HIV test and find out their result in their own home or other private location. You can buy a self-test kit at a pharmacy or online. Some health departments or community-based organizations also provide self-test kits for free.
Read the U.S. Food and Drug Administrations fact sheet on the OraQuick In-Home HIV Test, the only FDA-approved in-home HIV test.
The coronavirus pandemic has made it more difficult for some people to access traditional places where HIV testing is provided. Self-testing allows people to get tested for HIV while still following stay-at-home orders and social distancing practices. Ask your local health department or HIV service organization if they offer self-testing kits.
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