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What Happens If You Have Hiv

Whats The Outlook For Those With Syphilis And Hiv

What Happens If You Get HIV / AIDS?

Antibiotics can often effectively treat syphilis in those with and without HIV. When identified and treated promptly, the outlook for syphilis in people with HIV is generally good.

Taking antiretroviral drugs as directed can also help to improve syphilis outlook in people living with HIV. In addition, sticking to treatment can slow HIV disease progression and lower the risk of HIV transmission.

In some cases, syphilis may progress faster or be harder to treat in those living with HIV. This appears to be more likely in people with a higher viral load and lower CD4 count.

After treatment, its possible to get syphilis again in the future. This can be prevented using many of the same strategies used to prevent HIV, such as always using a condom during sex, getting tested regularly for STIs, and asking sexual partners to be tested too.

How Is Hiv Treated

Australians can live well with HIV. Treatments have changed over time, dramatically improving the quality and length of life for someone who is HIV positive.

It is also important to have a strong support network. Evidence suggests that involving others can improve your mental health and wellbeing and help you maintain treatment.

During A Persons First Visit With A Health Care Provider Is There Time To Ask Questions

  • Because I have HIV, will I eventually get AIDS?
  • What can I do to stay healthy and avoid getting other infections?
  • How can I prevent passing HIV to others?
  • How will HIV treatment affect my lifestyle?
  • How should I tell my partner that I have HIV?
  • Is there any reason to tell my employer and those I work with that I have HIV?
  • Are there support groups for people with HIV?
  • Are there resources available to help me pay for my HIV medicines?

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How To Stay Healthy Even If You Have Hiv

When you are tested positive for HIV, it can stir up a lot of emotions and questions. It sometimes feels that you are going crazy and hopeless. But it is important to note that HIV can be managed with the use of HIV medicines. Apart from the medications, here are some of the ways that can help you stay healthy even with your current condition.

Can Hiv Be Prevented

What happens when you go for an HIV test

Yes. HIV/AIDS can be prevented because there is no cure for AIDS, people must be very careful to change their sexual behaviour. Here are some ways to help prevent the spread of AIDS:

  • Abstain or delay sex
  • Be faithful to one uninfected partner
  • Use a latex condom every time you have sex with every partner
  • Do not do drugs or share injection needles
  • Seek early and complete treatment for STIs
  • Get the facts on STIs and AIDS

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Stage : Acute Primary Infection

The early symptoms of HIV can feel like having the flu. Around one to four weeks after getting HIV, you may start to experience these flu-like symptoms. These normally dont last long . You may only get some of the symptoms and some people dont have any symptoms at all.

Symptoms can include:

  • joint aches and pains
  • muscle pain.

These symptoms happen because your body is reacting to the HIV virus. Cells that are infected with HIV are circulating throughout your blood system. In response, your immune system tries to attack the virus by producing HIV antibodies this process is called seroconversion. Timing varies but once you have HIV it can take your body up to a few months to go through the seroconversion process.

Having these symptoms alone does not mean you definitely have HIV. The only way to know if you have HIV is by taking a test. You should always visit your healthcare professional if youre worried about or think youve been at risk of getting HIV, even if you feel well and dont have any symptoms. They can then arrange for you to get tested.

HIV will not always show up in a test at this early stage, and you may need to test again later to confirm your result . Your healthcare professional will talk to you about the timing of your test and answer any concerns. Its important not delay speaking to a healthcare worker if you are worried about HIV.

Effects On The Immune System

HIV primarily affects the body by targeting and damaging cells in the immune system. The immune system protects the body against viruses, bacteria, and fungi.

After attaching itself to a type of white blood cell called a CD4 T cell, the virus merges with it. These T cells are an important part of the immune system.

Once inside the CD4 T cell, the virus multiplies. It damages or destroys the cell, then moves on and targets other cells.

A persons CD4 T-cell count is an indication of the health of their immune system.

A healthy CD4 T-cell count is 5001,600 cells/mm3 of blood. If a person does not receive treatment for HIV, their CD4 T-cell count drops over time.

When it drops below 200 cells/mm3, the persons immune system is significantly impaired, making them more susceptible to opportunistic infections.

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Has The Introduction Of Antiretroviral Therapy Changed The Cancer Risk Of People Infected With Hiv

The introduction of highly active antiretroviral therapy , also called combination antiretroviral therapy , starting in the mid-1990s greatly reduced the incidence of certain cancers in HIV-infected patients, especially Kaposi sarcoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma . The likely explanation for this reduced incidence is that cART lowers the amount of HIV circulating in the blood, thereby allowing partial restoration of immune system function to fight the viruses that cause many of these cancers.

Although the risk of these AIDS-defining cancers among people infected with HIV is lower than in the past, it is still much higher than among people in the general population . This persistently high risk may reflect the fact that cART does not completely restore immune system functioning. Also, many people infected with HIV are not aware they are infected, have had difficulty in accessing medical care, or for other reasons are not receiving adequate antiretroviral therapy.

The introduction of cART has not reduced the incidence of all HIV-related cancers, and in fact AIDS-defining cancers. For example, the incidence of liver and anal cancer may be increasing among HIV-infected individuals .

Telling People You’re Hiv Positive

what happens if you test positive for hiv (what is hiv positive)

Talking about what you’re going through can help, but think carefully about who you tell about your diagnosis.

Work out why you want to tell them and think of the potential consequences .

If you decide to tell them, work out how you will answer any questions they might ask, such as “How did you get it?”

Find out more about telling people you’re HIV positive in the living with HIV section.

If your family or partner would like support to help them cope with your diagnosis, they can also contact HIV organisations.

You might also want to meet other people with HIV. Finding out how other people have coped with a positive diagnosis, and hearing about their experiences of living with HIV, can be helpful for some people.

There are support groups for people who have recently found out they’re HIV positive. Your HIV clinic, a GP or a helpline can let you know what’s available in your area.

There are also support groups for specific people, such as young people, women, gay people, people from Africa and people who are HIV negative and have a partner who is HIV positive.

The website has videos and articles about people’s experiences of living with HIV, including getting an HIV diagnosis.

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Reducing Hiv Risks From Chemsex And Drug Use

Some people use drugs such as ice , GHB, ecstasy , ketamine and cocaine) to enhance their sexual experiences . Chemsex can make you lose your inhibitions and be risky if you:

  • Inject drugs.
  • Forget to take your HIV medications.
  • Are taking PreP it can be less effective if it is mixed with other drugs.

How Often Do You Need To Get Tested For Hiv

How often you should get tested depends on your personal practices, risk behaviours, and how often you engage in them.

For most people, it is important to have a full sexual health test at least once each year. This testing includes:

  • HIV

Even if you always use condoms, it is recommended you get tested annually as condoms dont provide 100% protection against HIV and STIs.

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Do You Need To Be Tested For Hiv

Everyone with HIV should be tested for hepatitis B and hepatitis C. Hepatitis A is a liver infection caused by the hepatitis A virus. People who get hepatitis A may feel sick for a few weeks to several months. While most people recover and do not have lasting liver damage, some people need to be hospitalized.

What Happens If Hiv Is Left Untreated

What happens to your body if you have HIV?

Fast, Easy, Affordable. At-Home Testing

HIV/AIDs is an infection that is commonly transferred through sexual intercourse or any contact with an infected persons blood or bodily fluids. It begins by attacking the immune system and targeting the agents designed to protect the body from other infections and bodily harm. If left untreated, it will progressively attack the immune system until it is too weak to prevent other infections or cancers from entering the body. Even though the infection on its own doesnt have the capacity to kill you, the damage that it does to your immune system will prevent you from defending yourself against any other infection that may, and eventually will, kill you. People that live with untreated HIV will usually see AIDS develop within 2-15 years and will then have a life expectancy of around 3 years.

With recent technological and medical advances, doctors are able to prescribe regimens that can keep you alive and relatively healthy after an HIV diagnosis. However, its extremely important to catch the disease early and recognize any of the three stages that the infection goes through:

  • 8 panel home STD test – just as thorough as going to the clinic.


  • 14 panel STD test – the most comprehensive test ever.


  • 5 panel home STD test – screen for the highest risk factors.


  • Chlamydia + Gonorrhea are 2 of the top 4 new STIs.


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What Else Can I Do To Take Care Of Myself

Many of the things we do to take care of ourselves are common sense, such as eating well, exercising and getting plenty of rest and sleep.

However, if youre living with HIV, checking in with your healthcare professional regularly is also important. They should monitor you for other health conditions, which you may experience more as you age, and adjust your treatment as needed.

Teeth and mouth complaints are more common among people living with HIV. Regular brushing, flossing and seeing your dentist can lower the risk of cavities and mouth infections.

Can I Get Hiv From Kissing

You cannot get HIV from kissing an infected person on the cheek. Where saliva is exchanged, it is unlikely that the virus will be transmitted. This is because one would have to swallow one gallon of the saliva from an infected person in order to contract the disease. However, the risk increases if an uninfected person has a sore or cut in the mouth.

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What Can Effective Hiv Treatment Do

HIV medication keeps you healthy so you can live a normal lifespan.

Treatment can also reduce your viral load to undetectable levels so that you wont be able to pass on HIV to anyone else. It can take up to six months from starting treatment to become undetectable, so its important to test and start treatment on time.

Hiv Transmission In Australia

You have HIV… Now what?

In Australia, HIV is commonly transmitted through:

HIV is not transmitted by:

  • kissing, hugging, massaging, mutual masturbation and other body contact
  • social interaction
  • sharing food, dishes, utensils, drinking glasses
  • air, breath, or being coughed or sneezed on
  • mosquito, insect or animal bites
  • use of communal facilities .

It is perfectly safe to consume food and drinks prepared by someone who is HIV-positive even if theyre not receiving treatment.

People with HIV who are on treatment and achieve and maintain an undetectable HIV viral load cannot transmit HIV sexually.

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Get Tested Regularly If You Are At Greater Risk Of Hiv

If you are at greater risk of HIV get tested regularly.

Gay, bisexual, trans and other men who have sex with men should get tested every 3 months . This may vary depending on how many sexual partners you have during the year.

Talk with your doctor or sexual health specialist for advice. They can also provide information about how to reduce your risk for HIV and other STIs.

A Sexually Transmitted Infection

Katie Salerno/Flickr Creative Commons

Contracting other sexually transmitted diseases can significantly increase the risk of getting HIV. For instance, some STDs like syphilis and herpes cause skin lesions that make it easier for HIV to enter the body.

STDs may also cause inflammation, which is something that is triggered by the body’s immune system. HIV preferentially infects defensive white blood cells, so when there are more of them around, it’s easier to contract HIV.

Having an STD like gonorrhea or syphilis means that you’ve engaged in unprotected sex, a key risk factor for HIV. So if you have been diagnosed with an STD, talk to your healthcare provider about how you can reduce your HIV risk.

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Understanding A Positive Result

What does a positive result mean?

If you use any type of antibody test and have a positive result, you will need another test to confirm your results.

  • If you test in a community testing program or take a self-test and its positive, you should go to a health care provider to get follow-up testing.
  • If your test is done in a health care setting or a lab and its positive, the lab will conduct the follow-up testing, usually on the same blood sample as the first test.

If the follow-up test is also positive, it means you have HIV .

It is important that you start medical care and begin HIV treatment as soon as you are diagnosed with HIV. Antiretroviral therapy or ART is recommended for all people with HIV, regardless of how long theyve had the virus or how healthy they are. HIV medicine works by lowering the amount of virus in your body to very low levels. HIV medicine can make the viral load so low that a test cant detect it . HIV medicine slows the progression of HIV and helps protect your immune system. If you take HIV medicine as prescribed and get and keep an undetectable viral load, you can stay healthy for many years. Having an undetectable viral load also helps prevent transmitting the virus to others. For example, if you have an undetectable viral load, you have effectively no risk of transmitting HIV to an HIV-negative partner through sex.

Avoid Excessive Alcohol Or Drug Use

i have AIDS

If you are living with HIV, there are specific risks associated with alcohol and recreational drug use that you should be aware of. Alcohol can damage the liver which the body uses to process anti-HIV drugs, so it is good to keep your alcohol consumption within the recommended limits. Heavy drinking and taking recreational drugs can also weaken your immune system, making it harder for your body to recover from infections.

Certain anti-HIV drugs can interact with recreational drugs and alcohol to cause unwanted side effects, some of which can be severe. For example, you could feel dizzy or pass out, making you potentially vulnerable. If you are worried about drug interactions, have an honest conversation with a healthcare professional and they will be able to advise you. You should also be aware that being under the influence of alcohol or other drugs may stop you taking your HIV medication properly, for example, you may forget to take a dose or too much alcohol may make you vomit. If you are sick within one hour of taking your HIV medication you should retake the dose.

If youre concerned about your alcohol or drug use, talk to a healthcare professional for advice and support.

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Syphilis Can Progress More Quickly In Some Hiv

If left untreated, syphilis can cause a variety of serious health problems. One of these is neurosyphilis.

Neurosyphilis is a serious type of syphilis that affects the nervous system. It can happen during any stage of syphilis and can lead to symptoms like severe headache, paralysis, and dementia.

Some people with HIV may be at an increased risk of developing neurosyphilis. found that the following factors were associated with neurosyphilis in HIV-positive individuals:

  • viral load thats not managed through antiretroviral drugs
  • CD4 count lower than 500 cells per microliter
  • symptoms like headache and visual disturbances

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