Saturday, June 15, 2024

What Is Being Hiv Positive Mean

Should Pregnant Women Get Tested For Hiv

ACCM presents: HIV101 Chapter 3: What Does Being HIV Positive Mean?

CDC recommends that all pregnant women get tested for HIV so that they can begin taking HIV medicines if they are HIV positive. Women with HIV take HIV medicines during pregnancy and childbirth to reduce the risk of perinatal transmission of HIV and to protect their own health. For more information, read the HIVinfo fact sheet on Preventing Perinatal Transmission of HIV.

What Are The Types Of Hiv Tests

There are three types of tests used to diagnose HIV infection: antibody tests, antigen/antibody tests, and nucleic acid tests . Your health care provider can determine the appropriate HIV test for you. How soon each test can detect HIV infection differs, because each test has a different window period. The window period is the time between when a person may have been exposed to HIV and when a test can accurately detect HIV infection.

  • Antibody tests check for HIV antibodies in blood or oral fluid. HIV antibodies are disease-fighting proteins that the body produces in response to HIV infection. Most rapid tests and home use tests are antibody tests.
  • Antigen/antibody tests can detect both HIV antibodies and HIV antigens in the blood.
  • NATs look for HIV in the blood.

A persons initial HIV test will usually be either an antibody test or an antigen/antibody test. NATs are very expensive and not routinely used for HIV screening unless the person had a high-risk exposure or a possible exposure with early symptoms of HIV infection.

When an HIV test is positive, a follow-up test will be conducted. Sometimes people will need to visit a health care provider to take a follow-up test. Other times, the follow-up test may be performed in a lab using the same blood sample that was provided for the first test. A positive follow-up test confirms that a person has HIV.

Talk to your health care provider about your HIV risk factors and the best type of HIV test for you.

Whats The Hiv Window Period

As soon as someone contracts HIV, it starts to reproduce in their body. The persons immune system reacts to the antigens by producing antibodies .

The time between exposure to HIV and when it becomes detectable in the blood is called the HIV window period. Most people develop detectable HIV antibodies within 23 to 90 days after transmission.

If a person takes an HIV test during the window period, its likely theyll receive a negative result. However, they can still transmit the virus to others during this time.

If someone thinks they may have been exposed to HIV but tested negative during this time, they should repeat the test in a few months to confirm . And during that time, they need to use condoms or other barrier methods to prevent possibly spreading HIV.

Someone who tests negative during the window might benefit from post-exposure prophylaxis . This is medication taken after an exposure to prevent getting HIV.

PEP needs to be taken as soon as possible after the exposure it should be taken no later than 72 hours after exposure but ideally before then.

Another way to prevent getting HIV is pre-exposure prophylaxis . A combination of HIV drugs taken before potential exposure to HIV, PrEP can lower the risk of contracting or transmitting HIV when taken consistently.

Timing is important when testing for HIV.

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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.

Reducing Hiv Risks From Chemsex And Drug Use

Infographics: Being HIV

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.

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His Partner Tested Positive With Hiv So He Prepared Himself For Being Positive Also Read By An

All I could do is replay in my mind how I had contracted HIV. I was seeing my partner for nearly a year and he wasn’t aware that he had it. I had been tested yearly and was fine until February of 2000. By July of that year I was infected and by late August I had gotten mononucleosis but it still didn’t occur to me that anything was wrong until my partner began showing symptoms of shingles and his doctor told him it was very strange for him to be in his early thirties and have shingles. He was told that he should be tested for HIV and when he found out he was positive then I instinctively knew I had contracted it as well. Testing wasn’t hard for me – I just knew to myself that I had gotten it. The odds were in favour of me being positive, so that’s what I prepared myself for.

Some people regretted that they did not allow themselves enough time after a diagnosis to deal with their news about being positive: ‘I went back to work and privately panicked all day.’In the long runIt can take a long time for people to be able to emotionally accept and cope with being HIV positive. ‘Straight away I said there isn’t any HIV,’ said one woman. Some African men and women thought that it takes time for African men in particular to accept their HIV status.

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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Causes Of Hiv Infection

HIV is found in the body fluids of an infected person. This includes semen, vaginal and anal fluids, blood and breast milk.

It’s a fragile virus and does not survive outside the body for long.

HIV cannot be transmitted through sweat, urine or saliva.

The most common way of getting HIV in the UK is through having anal or vaginal sex without a condom.

Other ways of getting HIV include:

  • sharing needles, syringes or other injecting equipment
  • transmission from mother to baby during pregnancy, birth or breastfeeding

The chance of getting HIV through oral sex is very low and will be dependent on many things, such as whether you receive or give oral sex and the oral hygiene of the person giving the oral sex.

What Happens If I’m Hiv Positive

Being HIV positive does not mean you have AIDS !! what is HIV and AIDS?

You might not know if you are infected by HIV. Within a few weeks after being infected, some people get fever, headache, sore muscles and joints, stomach ache, swollen lymph glands, or a skin rash for one or two weeks. Most people think it’s the flu. Some people have no symptoms. has more information on the early stage of HIV infection.

The virus will multiply in your body for a few weeks or even months before your immune system responds. During this time, you won’t test positive for HIV, but you can infect other people.

When your immune system responds, it starts to make antibodies. When this happens, you will test positive for HIV. After the first flu-like symptoms, some people with HIV stay healthy for ten years or longer. But during this time, HIV is damaging your immune system.

One way to measure the damage to your immune system is to count your CD4+ cells. These cells, also called “T-helper” cells, are an important part of the immune system. Healthy people have between 500 and 1,500 CD4 cells in a milliliter of blood. has more information on CD4 cells.

Without treatment, your CD4 cell count will most likely go down. You might start having signs of HIV disease like fevers, night sweats, diarrhea, or swollen lymph nodes. If you have HIV disease, these problems will last more than a few days, and probably continue for several weeks.

Also Check: How Long Does It Take To Be Hiv Positive

In What Circumstances Is Mother

There are complex reasons why children may be at a greater risk of HIV infection in poorer countries. Some may not have very good medical facilities, or it might be hard to offer people good medical care.

Some mothers-to-be dont find out about their HIV while theyre pregnant or breastfeeding. Others might find it hard to cope or have no way of accessing the medical help that they need.

Sometimes its just not possible to prevent HIV being transmitted from a mother to her baby.

How Is Hiv Testing Done

HIV tests use a small blood-sample to determine if you have been infected with HIV. Certain tests on the market use saliva or urine to do the test, but a blood test could confirm both the presence of the virus and antibodies and therefore is the best body fluid to confirm HIV infection.

The tests used by the St. Maarten AIDS Foundation is a simple finger prick test that takes a very small amount of blood and results are known in less than 15 minutes. Tests are performed confidentially you do not have to give your name.

If a general screening test with a blood sample returns positive, a second test is done to confirm the results. When both tests return positive, it confirms that the antibody to HIV is present in your blood and therefore the presence of HIV infection.

If the test comes back negative, this means you do not have HIV infection or you are in the so-called Window Phase in which a test will not be able to detect the antibodies for HIV. It therefore makes sense to repeat the test in 6 months and use condoms to protect yourself from infection in the meantime. Your post-testing counselor should advise you whether you are in this window phase or not.

Also Check: Hiv Screen 4th Generation Wrfx Non Reactive

Is It Possible To Be Sex

You betcha.

In fact, its a safe bet that unless youre actively working to become sex-positive, youre sex-negative.

Dont take it personally, though. Its not you, exactly, its society.

Howard explains, Sex negativity is ingrained in the way our entire society operates.

Sex negativity is telling girls to put on more clothes even on the hottest day before they leave the house, Howard says. Its admonishing parents for breastfeeding in public even though thats what breasts were made for.

Other examples of sex negativity include:

  • violence toward sex workers, trans women, and femmes
  • abstinence-only sex education and sex education that only teaches about reproductive sex
  • purity pacts
  • slut-shaming and victim-blaming
  • the good girl versus bad girl trope

Sex negativity approaches sex and sexuality from a place of fear, oppression, and stigma, Manduley says.

Sex negativity assumes that human sexuality is inherently:

  • dirty

How Often Do You Need To Get Tested For Hiv

What does it mean to be 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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What Is Hiv Testing

HIV testing determines if a person is infected with HIV. The human immunodeficiency virus is the virus that causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome . AIDS is the most advanced stage of HIV infection.

HIV testing can detect HIV infection, but it cannot tell how long a person has had HIV or if the person has AIDS.

How To Deal With Hiv At A Young Age

When you receive the diagnosis, it is difficult to make important decisions about the future, especially thinking about long-term work or family projects. It is essential that you try to avoid negative thoughts. Having HIV today is not synonymous with death.

The new medicines have managed to stop this disease and transform it into a chronic infection. Nowadays, people can live for many years with the virus. Here is how to deal with HIV at a young age.

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How Do You Get Aids

You don’t actually “get” AIDS. You might get infected with HIV, and later you might develop AIDS. You can get infected with HIV from anyone who’s infected, even if they don’t look sick and even if they haven’t tested HIV-positive yet. The blood, vaginal fluid, semen, and breast milk of people infected with HIV has enough of the virus in it to infect other people. Most people get the HIV virus by:

  • having sex with an infected person
  • sharing a needle with someone who’s infected
  • being born when their mother is infected, or drinking the breast milk of an infected woman.

Getting a transfusion of infected blood used to be a way people got AIDS, but now the blood supply is screened very carefully and the risk is extremely low.

There are no documented cases of HIV being transmitted by tears or saliva, but it is possible to be infected with HIV through oral sex or in rare cases through deep kissing, especially if you have open sores in your mouth or bleeding gums. For more information, see the following Fact Sheets:

In the mid-1990s, AIDS was a leading cause of death. However, newer treatments have cut the AIDS death rate significantly. For more information, see the U.S. Government fact sheet at

How Can I Protect Myself

HIV-positive guys reading mean dating app messages | GMFA, FS

To protect yourself from getting infected with HIV, you can use protection or practice abstinence. Being faithful to one partner can also reduce your risk of getting HIV. However, you can get HIV with only one partner if the partner is unfaithful and having unprotected sex.

Other methods of protection include taking antiretroviral drugs, male circumcision, and vaccination.

Using condoms is the most effective method of protection against HIV and sexually transmitted infections. It also helps prevent unwanted pregnancies.

  • They are very effective if used properly and this means using a condom that fits properly.
  • To ensure that you are using a condom in the right way, here are a few basic things you can do:
  • Every time you have intercourse, use a new condom.
  • Put on a condom before any kind of sexual contact, whether it may be vaginal, oral or anal.
  • Avoid using baby oil, vaseline or any other oil-based lubricant as it can cause the condom to break or split.

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For This Health Professional And His Colleagues It Was Difficult For Him To Become A Patient

I suppose it’s drummed into you in nursing, or it used to be, that you didn’t go off sick unless you were very sick, unless you were really ill. Otherwise you, you come on duty. I, I was able to to sort of do that because having been in the Navy that was the sort of discipline we had in the Navy. So I was able to carry that on really. So I used to go into work on my dying knees sometimes, but but it was always instilled into you that you don’t take time off unless, unless you’re really ill. And I couldn’t come to terms with the fact that I’d looked after. my speciality I suppose was the terminally ill. I couldn’t come to terms with the fact that this virus was threatening my life I suppose. I couldn’t come to terms with the fact that I was now a patient and that I had a potentially fatal illness. Maybe I didn’t want to, maybe it was denial, maybe I don’t know what it was, but, but I was still in, in professional mode I suppose. In fact, I gave the nurses and the doctors hell for quite some time because… and then in the end I had to admit, and I used to say to them, ‘Look, I’m the patient now, I’m not a member of staff’, because it worked in reverse. Where you get the doctors and the nurses not actually telling you the whole story, because they think you should know it already. And that used to infuriate me, because I’d say, ‘Well look, I’ve come to the I’ve come to the realisation now that I am a patient, I’m not a member of staff any more.’

Hiv Doesnt Always Produce Symptoms

HIV usually causes flu-like symptoms about two to four weeks after transmission. This short period of time is called acute infection. The immune system brings the infection under control, leading to a period of latency.

The immune system cant completely eliminate HIV, but it can control it for a long time. During this latency period, which can last for years, a person with HIV may experience no symptoms at all. Without antiretroviral therapy, however, that person may develop AIDS and as a result will experience many symptoms associated with the condition.

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What Is Rapid Hiv Testing

There are now many tests available which can detect HIV antibodies within a few minutes. Examples of rapid tests include OraQuick, which can detect antibodies in 20 minutes and is the only rapid test that can use oral fluid, and INSTI, which can detect antibodies in under a minute. Other rapid tests are available as well. The technology involved in rapid testing is quite advanced and for any of the various tests, the results are over 99% accurate.

Most community-based organizations who conduct HIV testing in Louisiana follow a rapid-rapid testing model. This means that you will have a rapid test done during your visit and then, if that test is positive, you will have a second test done to verify your result. If both results are positive, you will be offered a referral to medical care. In the very rare event that the second test is negative, your counselor will advise you about next steps.

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