Wednesday, September 28, 2022

What Is Hiv Positive Mean

What Happens During An Hiv Test

what does it mean to be hiv positive (what is hiv positive)

You will either get a blood test in a lab, or do your own test at home.

For a blood test in a lab:

  • A health care professional will take a blood sample from a vein in your arm, using a small needle. After the needle is inserted, a small amount of blood will be collected into a test tube or vial. You may feel a little sting when the needle goes in or out. This usually takes less than five minutes.

For at home test, you will need to get a sample of saliva from your mouth or a drop of blood from your fingertip.

  • The test kit will provide instructions on how to get your sample, package it, and send it to a lab.
  • For a saliva test, you will use special spatula-like tool to take a swab from your mouth.
  • For a fingertip antibody blood test, you will use a special tool to prick your finger and collect a sample of blood.

For more information on at-home testing, talk to your health care provider.

Testing Positive On Hiv Antibody Tests

Since the early days of the HIV epidemic, we have used antibody tests to test for HIV. Antibody tests are the most affordable and accessible HIV tests. They are the most common types of HIV tests at testing sites around the world because they provide rapid, on-the-spot results.

Antibody tests do not detect HIV. Instead, they detect antibodies that the immune system produces in response to HIV infection.

Want to know more about different types of HIV tests, how they work and how early they detect HIV? Check out thiseasy-to-read guide from Avert orread this Q& A by the CDC.

WHAT ARE ANTIBODIES?

Our immune systems develop antibodies in response to all kinds of pathogens. Anytime you get sick or get any kind of infection, your body builds up a defense system and creates antibodies to try and fight that specific infection off. If these antibodies are successful, some infections will go away but the antibodies never do. They will remain in your body, helping to protect you from getting the same infection in the future.

In this way, antibodies allow our bodies to remember a specific infectious agentlike a particular strain of the fluand then respond to it more quickly if exposed to it again in the future. Once we develop antibodies to a virus we may have those antibodies for life or for many years.

HIV ANTIBODIES

HIV ANTIBODIES WHEN YOURE UNDETECTABLE

What Causes False Positive Results

HIV tests are based on the detection of antibodies to HIV. These are proteins produced by the immune system in response to a foreign substance, such as HIV. The main cause of false positive results is that the test has detected antibodies, but they are not antibodies to HIV they are antibodies to another substance or infection. Tests are not meant to react to other types of antibodies, but it sometimes happens.

There are other reasons why a test may give a false positive result. Depending on the testing device, reading the test result may rely on subjective interpretation. When the result is borderline, experienced staff give more consistently accurate results. A false positive result could also be the result of a sample being mislabelled, mixed up with another persons, or some other clerical or technical error.

Less commonly, false positive results may occur in people who have recently had a flu vaccine, are taking part in an HIV vaccine study, or have an autoimmune disease .

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Ethical And Legal Issues

There is a long-running and vigorous debate over ethical concerns regarding circumcision, particularly neonatal circumcision for reasons other than intended direct medical benefit. There are three parties involved in the decision to circumcise a minor: the minor as the patient, the parents and the physician. The physician is bound under the ethical principles of and , and so is charged with the responsibility to promote the best interests of the patient while minimizing unnecessary harms. Those involved must weigh the factors of what is in the best interest of the minor against the potential harms of the procedure.

With a newborn involved, the decision is made more complex due to the principles of respect for autonomy and consent, as a newborn cannot understand or engage in a logical discussion of his own values and best interests. A mentally more mature child can understand the issues involved to some degree, and the physician and parents may elicit input from the child and weigh it appropriately in the decision-making process, although the law may not treat such input as legally informative. Ethicists and legal theorists also state that it is questionable for parents to make a decision for the child that precludes the child from making a different decision for himself later. Such a question can be raised for the decision by the parents either to circumcise or not to circumcise the child.

Side Effects Of Hiv Treatment

HIV?AIDS Education Revised

People on current HIV treatments may experience mild side effects including:

  • tiredness and fatigue
  • skin rashes.

If you are on treatment, see your doctor every 3 to 6 months.

Regular blood tests are necessary to make sure your treatment is working and not causing serious side effects. It is recommended that you also get tested for STIs and talk to your doctor about your sexual health and overall wellbeing. Ensure you are having routine screening for cancers and keeping your vaccinations up to date.

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What Does The Test Measure

HIV tests detect the presence of the HIV virus, HIV antigens, and/or HIV antibodies. If these substances are detected, the test returns a positive result for HIV.

There are three types of HIV tests available:

  • Antibody test: Antibodies are produced by the body after an HIV infection. It can take weeks for the body to produce antibodies, so HIV antibody tests can only detect HIV from 3 to 12 weeks after infection.
  • Antigen/antibody test: Antigens are foreign substances that activate an immune response. Antigens appear before the body produces antibodies, so HIV antigen/antibody tests can detect an HIV infection earlier than antibody tests, within 2 to 4 weeks of becoming infected.
  • HIV viral load test: An HIV viral load test looks for the quantity of HIV virus in the blood. In addition to detecting an HIV infection, viral load testing can also detect how much of the virus is in the blood. Although this type of testing can detect an HIV infection earlier than other HIV tests, its very expensive and is typically only used when someone has symptoms or a possible exposure to HIV.

Whats The Difference Between Hiv And Aids

HIV is the virus that causes AIDS. AIDS stands for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. HIV and AIDS are not the same thing. And people with HIV do not always have AIDS.

HIV is the virus thats passed from person to person. Over time, HIV destroys an important kind of the cell in your immune system that helps protect you from infections. When you dont have enough of these CD4 cells, your body cant fight off infections the way it normally can.

AIDS is the disease caused by the damage that HIV does to your immune system. You have AIDS when you get dangerous infections or have a super low number of CD4 cells. AIDS is the most serious stage of HIV, and it leads to death over time.

Without treatment, it usually takes about 10 years for someone with HIV to develop AIDS. Treatment slows down the damage the virus causes and can help people stay healthy for several decades.

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What Happens If Im Hiv Positive

You might not know if you get infected by HIV. 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 its the flu. Some people have no symptoms. Fact Sheet 103 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 wont 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 you have. 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. Fact Sheet 124 has 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.

Get Tested Regularly If You Are At Greater Risk Of Hiv

What An HIV Diagnosis Means Today

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.

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Which Lab Tests Are Used To Make Decisions About Hiv Treatment

A health care provider reviews a persons lab test results to:

  • Determine how far the persons HIV infection has advanced

The following lab tests are used to make decisions about HIV treatment.

CD4 count

A CD4 count measures the number of CD4 cells in a sample of blood. CD4 cells are infection-fighting cells of the immune system. As HIV advances, a persons CD4 count drops, which indicates increasing damage to the immune system. Treatment with HIV medicines prevents HIV from destroying CD4 cells.

A viral load test measures how much virus is in the blood . As HIV progresses to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome , a persons viral load increases. HIV medicines prevent HIV from multiplying, which reduces a persons viral load. A goal of HIV treatment is to keep a persons viral load so low that the virus cannot be detected by a viral load test. This is known as having an undetectable viral load.

Once HIV treatment is started, the CD4 count and viral load are used to monitor whether the HIV medicines are controlling a persons HIV.

Drug-resistance testing

Health care providers consider many factors when recommending HIV medicines, including a persons drug-resistance test results. Drug-resistance testing identifies which, if any, HIV medicines will not be effective against a persons strain of HIV. The HIVinfo infographic What do my lab results mean? has more information about tests used to monitor HIV infection and treatment.

How Does Hiv Testing Work

In the early stages of HIV infection, the virus itself is difficult to detect. Rather than looking for the virus, HIV testing usually involves looking at the body’s reaction to the presence of the virus. The measure of the amount of virus in an individual’s blood stream is called the viral load.

Antibodies are produced by the body in reaction to the presence of a virus. An HIV antibody test measures the presence of antibodies in response to the presence of HIV. The most common HIV antibody tests are ELISA and Western Blot. These tests can now be performed on samples of oral fluid.

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Early Symptoms Of Hiv

The first few weeks after someone contracts HIV is called the acute infection stage.

During this time, the virus reproduces rapidly. The persons immune system responds by producing HIV antibodies, which are proteins that take measures to respond against infection.

During this stage, some people have no symptoms at first. However, many people experience symptoms in the first month or so after contracting the virus, but they often dont realize HIV causes those symptoms.

This is because symptoms of the acute stage can be very similar to those of the flu or other seasonal viruses, such as:

  • they may be mild to severe
  • they may come and go
  • they may last anywhere from a few days to several weeks

Early symptoms of HIV can include:

  • fever
  • nausea
  • upset stomach

Because these symptoms are similar to common illnesses like the flu, the person who has them might not think they need to see a healthcare provider.

And even if they do, their healthcare provider might suspect the flu or mononucleosis and might not even consider HIV.

Whether a person has symptoms or not, during this period their viral load is very high. The viral load is the amount of HIV found in the bloodstream.

A high viral load means that HIV can be easily transmitted to someone else during this time.

Initial HIV symptoms usually resolve within a few months as the person enters the chronic, or clinical latency, stage of HIV. This stage can last many years or even decades with treatment.

What Do Hiv Test Results Mean

What does it mean to be HIV

If an HIV antibody test is negative, no antibodies were detected. A negative test can indicate that a person is not infected with HIV , or that s/he has been exposed but their immune system has not had time to produce antibodies. Antibodies to HIV may take up to six months to develop after the initial exposure.

A positive HIV antibody test means that the body has been exposed to HIV . A person with a positive HIV test will need to have further testing done to confirm this diagnosis. When a person has a positive HIV test, it does not mean that the person has AIDS or that the person will have AIDS in a certain amount of time–it only means that the person is infected with HIV.

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Arguments For And Against

  • NSPs that strictly adhere to one-for-one policy and do not furnish starter syringes/needles do not increase the number of them in circulation.:387
  • The few studies that specifically evaluated the effects of NEPs produced “modest” evidence of no impact on improper needle discards and injection frequency and “weak” evidence on lack of impact on numbers of drug users, high-risk user networks and crime trends.
  • Some NSPs hands outs needles without an expectation of used syringes being returned. One NSP in Portland, Oregon, hands out syringes without question. Neighbors near the NSP are routinely finding discarded syringes and the neighborhood organization to which they are a part of, the park neighborhood association, desires the needle handout operation to stop. A local resident visited a NSP in , and she was handed 100 syringes without question. The City Council in Chico is discussing banning the operation.
  • A 2003 Australian bi-partisan Federal Parliamentary inquiry published recommendations, registering concern about the lack of accountability of Australia’s needle exchanges, and lack of a national program to track needle stick injuries. Community concern about discarded needles and needle stick injury led Australia to allocate $17.5 million in 2003/4 to investigating retractable technology for syringes.

Tests For Hiv And Aids

Blood tests are the most common way to diagnose the human immunodeficiency virus , the virus that causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome . These tests look for antibodies to the virus that are present in the blood of infected individuals. People exposed to the virus should get tested immediately.

Early testing is crucial with HIV. If you test positive for the virus, you and your doctor can develop a treatment plan to help fight HIV and ward off complications. Early testing also can alert you to avoid high-risk behavior that could spread the virus to others.

Because it can take from six weeks to six months to develop antibodies to the virus, follow-up tests may be needed. Your doctor will ask about your symptoms, medical history and risk factors and perform a physical examination.

The primary tests for diagnosing HIV and AIDs include:

UCSF Health medical specialists have reviewed this information. It is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or other health care provider. We encourage you to discuss any questions or concerns you may have with your provider.

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How Do I Know If I Have Aids

HIV disease becomes AIDS when your immune system is seriously damaged. If you have less than 200 CD4 cells or if your CD4 percentage is less than 14%, you have AIDS. See Fact Sheet 124 for more information on CD4 cells. If you get an opportunistic infection, you have AIDS. There is an official list of these opportunistic infections put out by the Centers for Disease Control . The most common ones are:

  • KS , a skin cancer
  • CMV , an infection that usually affects the eyes
  • Candida, a fungal infection that can cause thrush or infections in your throat or vagina

AIDS-related diseases also includes serious weight loss, brain tumors, and other health problems. Without treatment, these opportunistic infections can kill you.

The official CDC definition of AIDS is available at AIDS is different in every infected person. Some people die a few months after getting infected, while others live fairly normal lives for many years, even after they officially have AIDS. A few HIV-positive people stay healthy for many years even without taking antiretroviral medications .

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