Getting Tested For Hiv
HIV testing is important. Someone living with HIV who isnt getting treatment can still transmit the virus, even if they have no symptoms. Others may pass the virus to others through an exchange of bodily fluids. But todays treatment can effectively eliminate the risk of transmitting the virus to a persons HIV-negative sexual partners.
According to the CDC , antiretroviral therapy can lead to viral suppression. When someone with HIV can maintain an undetectable viral load, they cant transmit HIV to others. The CDC defines an undetectable viral load as fewer than 200 copies per milliliter of blood.
Taking an HIV test is the only way to determine whether the virus is in the body. There are known risk factors that increase a persons chance of contracting HIV. For example, people whove had sex without a condom or shared needles may want to consider seeing their healthcare professional about getting tested.
How Is An Hiv Test Performed
Before taking an HIV test:
- Ask the clinic what privacy rules it follows.
- Ask your healthcare provider any questions you have about HIV, AIDS, or the HIV test.
To do the HIV test, a small sample of blood is taken from your arm. The blood is sent to a lab and tested for HIV.
Home testing is available. The sample can be obtained via oral secretions , or a blood sample from a finger-stick test strip that is then mailed to a laboratory for screening. Positive results must be confirmed by your doctor before a diagnosis of HIV infection can be established.
Some clinics perform HIV tests without ever taking your name . You must go back to the clinic to get your results. A positive test means you have HIV. A negative test means no signs of HIV were found in your blood.
If your test comes back positive, your healthcare provider is likely to recommend other tests to assess your health. These may include a complete blood count , along with:
- Viral hepatitis screening.
Hiv 1st Stage Symptoms And Signs
- Pain in the head
- A red-colored rash that doesnt inflame, generally on your trunk
Physicians can now protect HIV from establishing itself within your body as long as they take action immediately. Individuals who might have been affected for instance, had unprotected intercourse with somebody who is HIV-positive can take anti-HIV medicines to prevent themselves. This is exactly referred to as PEP. However, you need to begin the procedure within 72 hours of whenever you were uncovered, along with the medications could have uncomfortable negative effects.
Second Phase: Long term HIV Contamination
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St Stage: Symptoms Of Hiv In Men Acute Retroviral Syndrome
When a body is infected by HIV for the first time, you may witness flu like symptoms. These symptoms are reactions of human body to the HIV infections. The primary stage is also called ARS i.e. Acute Retroviral Syndrome. The symptoms of first stage of HIV infections includes:
The common reasons for Acute Retroviral Syndrome are as follows:
- Contaminated Blood Transfusion
- Unprotected vaginal and anal sex
- Using used syringes and needles
2nd Stage: Symptoms of HIV in Men Asymptomatic Stage
The second stage is the stage which can long for many years together and is also known as silent phase. This is the most dangerous stage as the person wont know if he is infected with HIV and will carry on his routine for many years. But sometimes infected men can experience symptoms such as swollen & painless lymph gland, etc.
3rd Stage: Symptoms of AIDS
If HIV is not treated in 1st & 2nd stage, it becomes severe and reaches to the 3rd and the final stage of HIV infection AIDS i.e. Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. This occurs when HIV has damaged the immune system to an extent that the human body becomes vulnerable to any opportunistic infection. According to WHO, the development of infection from HIV to AIDS takes about 10-15 years and even more. The symptoms of AIDS are as follows:
- Fatigue and weakness
Apart from these symptoms, body get easily infected from opportunistic infections such as Tuberculosis, etc.
Tests against HIV
Prepare for HIV Test
How Does Aids Spread
There are different methods from where HIV can spread. Here are the AIDS/HIV possible ways:
- Not using protection is the primary concern of spreading HIV
- Transmitting through pharmaceutical syringes
- Through touch with the blood of an individual with HIV
- Transferring from mother to child during pregnancy, childbirth, or breastfeeding
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How Do I Get Tested For Hiv
A small blood sample, mouth swab, or urine sample is used to test people for HIV. It can take as long as three to six months after initial exposure for the signs of the virus to show up in your blood, and years before you show any symptoms.
You can be tested at a doctor’s office, hospital, community health center, or other health clinic. Some places have mobile testing vans. AIDS services organizations also may provide testing. At-home testing kits are also available.
Depending on where you go, testing may be free. You may be able to choose to take the test without giving your name. Many providers or groups that offer HIV testing also provide counseling.
If you choose to take a test at home, make sure to use a test that has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration . If the test has not been approved by the FDA, it may not give accurate results. Home tests are sold at drugstores and online. Follow up with your doctor to confirm the results of at-home tests and, if necessary, begin treatment.
To Prevent Mother To Child Transmission Of Hiv
1.Take antiretroviral drugs during your pregnancy and childbirth.If youre HIV positive and pregnant, you can take antiretroviral drugs during your pregnancy and childbirth to avoid passing HIV to your baby.2.Caesarean section.Consider getting a Caesarean section, if youre HIV positive and pregnant. It decreases the chance that youll pass HIV on to your baby.3. If possible, avoid breastfeeding.When possible, the World Health Organization advocates HIV positive mothers to use breast milk replacement.However, if youre living in a place where safe drinking water isnt available, and youre unable to boil water daily, you may opt not to use breast milk replacement. The risk of catching a life threatening disease from unsafe drinking water may outweigh the risk of getting HIV infection from breast milk. These are things to consider with your health care provider. Consider getting a Caesarean section, if youre HIV-positive and pregnant. It decreases the chance that youll pass HIV on to your baby.
These are things to consider with your health care provider.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Hiv/aids
HIV/AIDS symptoms may vary from person to person. The symptoms of HIV may worsen, consult the specialist to get the precautions and treatment procedure. Here are the symptoms that include:
- Muscle aches
Muscle aches are the common symptoms of AIDS in women and also lead to HIV infection. First few weeks, you may get continuous muscle aches that include joint pain. But after consulting specialists, you may get pain killer medicines, which will help your muscle pain to go away.
- Weight loss
HIV infection leads to weight loss, occasionally called HIV wasting syndrome, which is a surprising weight loss that happens to both men and women drastically, leading to weakness, fever, and more that can happen almost 30 days or more as per your HIV treatment.
The initial phase of AIDS can be seen as mild or severe, leading to chills in the body. The HIV/ AIDS symptoms can lead to infectious mononucleosis, including night sweats, fever, sore throat, and more. Chills can be treated as per doctor or healthcare consultations or their recommendations.
The rash appears in any body parts that can be seen as a red, flattened area, small red bumps, dryness, and lead itchiness. The first signs of AIDS are hard to detect, but while taking HIV/AIDS medications, you may get rash symptoms accordingly.
- Sore throat
- Night sweats
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Mouth ulcers
How Often Should A Man Get Tested
Sexually active men should get routine tests for HIV.
Men who are sexually active should get tested for HIV at least once in their lifetime as part of their routine health care.
The CDC recommend that everyone between the ages of should take an HIV test.
The CDC also recommend that people with specific risk factors should take a test at least once a year . This recommendation applies to gay and bisexual men, and men who have sex with men, and users of injectable drugs.
Besides these formal recommendations, everyone who may have been exposed to HIV or had sex without a condom should also take a test.
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How Do People Get Hiv
You can get HIV when body fluids from an infected person enter your bloodstream. Body fluids are blood, semen, vaginal fluids, fluids from the anus, and breast milk.
The virus can enter the blood through linings in the mouth, anus, or sex organs , or through broken skin. Both men and women can spread HIV.
You can have HIV and feel okay and still give the virus to others. Pregnant women with HIV can also give the virus to their babies.
The most common ways that people get HIV are having sex with an infected person and sharing a needle to take drugs.
You cannot get HIV from:
- Touching or hugging someone who has HIV/AIDS.
- Public bathrooms or swimming pools.
- Sharing cups, utensils, or telephones with someone who has HIV/AIDS.
- Bug bites.
- Donating blood.
What Conditions Are Considered To Be Opportunistic
Some of the most common of these OIs/cancers among HIV-positive people include:
Cancer: The types of cancers that are you are more likely to get if you have AIDs include lymphoma, Kaposis sarcoma, invasive cervical cancer, anal cancer, liver cancer, and cancers of the mouth, throat and lungs.
Candidiasis : This condition is caused by Candida fungus. It can happen in the skin, nails and mucous membranes throughout the body, such as the mouth or the vagina. The cases can be troublesome, but thrush is especially dangerous when it affects the esophagus or parts of the respiratory system .
Pneumonia: This respiratory condition is most commonly caused by _Pneumocystis jirovecii and the bacterium Streptococcus pneumoniae._
Salmonella: This infection is spread through contaminated food and water. It causes diarrhea, vomiting and nausea.
Toxoplasmosis: This disease is caused by a parasites that live in cats and rodents and other warm-blooded animals. The infection is spread through the feces. Toxoplasmosis can cause severe problems in the lungs, heart, brain and other organs. If you have a cat, wear gloves to change the litter and be thorough in washing your hands.
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Where Did Hiv Come From
Scientists identified a type of chimpanzee in West Africa as the source of HIV infection in humans. They believe that the chimpanzee version of the immunodeficiency virus most likely was transmitted to humans and mutated into HIV when humans hunted these chimpanzees for meat and came into contact with their infected blood. Studies show that HIV may have jumped from apes to humans as far back as the late 1800s. Over decades, the virus slowly spread across Africa and later into other parts of the world. We know that the virus has existed in the United States since at least the mid- to late 1970s.
Hiv Symptoms In Men And Women
- Fatigue: HIV infection often makes you getting tired early compared to your previous stamina. Fatigue is caused due to inflammatory response caused by immune system.
- Acute Retroviral Syndrome : This is a condition when you experience flu like symptoms. A mild fever of around 102 degree is also noticed.
- Short term Nausea: 30 to 60% patients in the early stages of HIV infection experience Short- term nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
- Weight Loss: HIV infection can cause weight loss in a short period of time even if you are having a good diet.
- Skin Rashes: Rashes on the trunk of body and boil-like pink areas on arms are both early and late symptoms of AIDS.
- Swollen Lymph Nodes: Lymph Nodes are a part of our body’s immune system and Lymph Nodes usually get inflamed when HIV is present in our body.
- Muscle and Joint Pain: People often take it as a viral infection but sometimes muscle and joint pain is a result of HIV infection.
- Prolonged Dry Cough: Dry Cough is an early symptom of HIV infection.
- Confusion and Difficulty in Concentration: This symptom is often taken as a psychiatric problem, but its a sign of HIV- related dementia. Its also accompanied by memory and behavioral problems.
- Numbness or Tingling sensation: numbness and tingling sensation is also noticed in some cases of HIV AIDS.
- Menstrual Irregularities: Menstrual irregularities are also noticed by women suffering from HIV Infection.
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Early Signs And Symptoms Of Hiv
Some people experience flu-like symptoms at the start of an HIV infection. These early HIV symptoms usually develop within 2-4 weeks in an infected person and may last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. This early stage of the infection is known as an acute HIV infection.
Possible early symptoms include:
- Night sweats
- Mouth ulcers
Itâs worth keeping in mind that such early symptoms can also be caused by other health conditionsânot just HIV. In short, if youâre experiencing these symptoms, it doesnât necessarily mean that you have HIVâwhich is why STI testing and consulting with your healthcare provider can be helpful next steps to take.
Is Hiv/aids Different In Older Adults
A growing number of older people are living with HIV/AIDS. One reason is because improved treatments are helping people with the disease live longer. Nearly half of people living with HIV in the United States are age 50 and older. Many of them were diagnosed with HIV in their younger years. However, thousands of older people get HIV every year.
Older people are less likely than younger people to get tested, so they may not know they have HIV. Signs of HIV/AIDS can be mistaken for the aches and pains of normal aging. Older adults might be coping with other diseases and the aches and pains of normal aging, which can mask the signs of HIV/AIDS.
Some older people may feel ashamed or afraid of being tested. Plus, doctors do not always think to test older people for HIV. Some people may not have access to high-quality health facilities and services, which can limit their treatment options. By the time the older person is diagnosed, the virus may be in the late stages and more likely to progress to AIDS.
Remember, if you are at risk, get tested regularly for HIV.
For people who have HIV, it is important to start treatment as soon as possible after diagnosis. Treatment can help reduce the level of HIV in the blood to undetectable levels. When treatment makes HIV undetectable, the possibility of spreading the virus to a sexual partner becomes very low. This is known as treatment as prevention .
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What Cdc Is Doing
CDC is pursuing a high-impact HIV prevention approach to maximize the effectiveness of current HIV prevention interventions and strategies. Funding state, territorial, and local health departments and community-based organizations to develop and implement tailored programs is CDCs largest investment in HIV prevention. This includes longstanding successful programs and new efforts funded through the Ending the HIV Epidemic in the U.S. initiative. In addition to funding health departments and CBOs, CDC is also strengthening the HIV prevention workforce and developing HIV communication resources for consumers and health care providers.
a Adult and adolescent men aged 13 and older.b Based on sex at birth and includes transgender people.c HIV diagnoses refers to the number of people who received an HIV diagnosis during a given time period, not when the people got HIV infection.d Unless otherwise noted, the term United States includes the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the 6 dependent areas of American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, the Republic of Palau, and the US Virgin Islands.e The term male-to-male sexual contact is used in CDC surveillance systems. It indicates a behavior that transmits HIV infection, not how individuals self-identify in terms of their sexuality. This fact sheet uses the term gay and bisexual men.f Includes infections attributed to male-to-male sexual contact and injection drug use .
Symptom : Night Sweats
Night sweats are repeated episodes of extreme sweating, causing bedding and any nightclothes to become soaked. Many people will get night sweats during the early stages of HIV. These can be even more common later in infection and arent related to exercise or the temperature of the room.Get tested if symptoms of HIV appear
With such a vast array of symptoms, HIV testing is vital to ensure a proper diagnosis. If you think youve been exposed to HIV, or have an active sex life with casual sex partners, regardless of whether you are showing symptoms of HIV or not, its important to get tested as soon as possible.
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What If My Hiv Test Result Is Positive
If you had an antibody test and the result was positive, the first thing to do is get a follow-up test to confirm the results. If the follow-up test is positive, it means you have HIV. We know how stressful this diagnosis can be. You will feel many emotions such as anger, fear, or sadness.
Having HIV does not mean you have AIDS, which is the most severe and advanced form of the illness. Please know that millions of people live decades with HIV and have full, happy, productive lives. To start down that path, the next step after your diagnosis is to get HIV treatment immediately.
Antiretroviral therapy is the process of taking medication to treat your HIV infection. While ART cannot cure HIV, it can keep your symptoms from progressing. Reducing the HIV in your body also means that you lower the risk of transmitting the disease to someone else. Everyone who has HIV, no matter their symptoms, typically takes medications to lower the viral load in the body.
Today, we have a variety of medications available to treat your HIV. There are seven classes of drugs, all with different effects on the body, so talk with your doctor about a personalized drug therapy regimen designed specifically for you, your body, and your treatment goals.
A diagnosis of HIV, while serious, doesnt mean your health has to decline. Get tested, and talk with the team at the Orlando Immunology Center about your options.