The only way you can tell for sure whether you have HIV is to get screened. You can’t depend on signs to know whether you have HIV. Knowing your HIV status offers you powerful knowledge so you can take measures to keep yourself and your partner(s) healthy:
-If you have tested positive, you should take HIV medication. Through taking HIV medication on a regular basis as recommended, you will render the level of HIV in your blood (your viral load) really low — so low that it can not be identified by the test (called an undetectable viral load).
Having an undetectable virus load is the only thing you can do to remain safe. If the virus load remains undetectable, there is no effective chance of HIV transmission by sex to an HIV-negative spouse.
-If you have tested negative, more HIV prevention resources are accessible now than ever before.
-When you are pregnant, you can be screened for HIV so that you can start therapy if you are HIV-positive. If an HIV-positive woman is tested for HIV at an early stage of pregnancy, the chance of HIV transmission to her baby could be very minimal.
Using the HIV Facilities Locator to locate a location for HIV research near you.
Self-testing of HIV is also an alternative. Self-testing helps users to take an HIV test and find out their findings at their own house or any private place. You may purchase a self-test kit from a pharmacy or online, or your health care professional will be willing to order one for you. Few health districts or community-based agencies often offer free self-test kits.
What are the signs and symptoms of HIV/AIDS virus?
There are a variety of signs of HIV. Not everybody is likely to have the same signs. It depends on the individual in question and what stage of the disease they are in.
Below are three phases of HIV and some of the signs that people may encounter.
Phase 1: Acute HIV Infection
About two-thirds of individuals would have flu-like disease within 2 to 4 weeks of HIV infection. This is a normal reaction of the body to HIV infection.
Flu-like symptoms can include:
Swollen lymph node
ulcers of the lips
These signs will last anytime from a few days to a few weeks. However, certain patients may not have any signs at all during this early stage of HIV. Get screened as fast as you can! Find the HIV research site near you: Locator. HIV.gov.
Don’t presume that you have HIV simply because you have all of these symptoms — they may be close to those induced by other illnesses. But if you suspect you may have been subjected to HIV, get an HIV test.
Here’s what you ought to do:
Find an HIV screening spot near you — You can have an HIV test at your primary care provider’s office, your state health agency, a health center, or several more sites. Using the HIV Facilities Locator to locate a location for HIV research near you.
Ask for an HIV examination for a recent infection — Most HIV studies detect antibodies (protein produced by the body as a response to HIV), not HIV itself. But it may take a few weeks after you’ve been poisoned to make it happen to your body. There are other forms of testing that may diagnose HIV infection earlier. Tell the doctor or clinic if you suspect you have recently been exposed to HIV, and ask whether the scans will diagnose early infection.
Know your status — After having checked, make sure to hear the outcome of the evaluation. If you are HIV-positive, visit the doctor as soon as possible so that you can commence therapy for HIV medications. And be aware: when you are at an early stage of infection, you are at a very high risk of HIV transmission to others.
It is necessary to take measures to reduce the possibility of transmission. If you are HIV-negative, there are preventive tools such as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) that will help you remain negative.
Phase 2: Clinical Latency
At this point, the virus begins to replicate, albeit at very low levels. People at this point do not feel ill or have any signs. This stage is often referred to as chronic HIV infection.
Without HIV care, people will remain at this point for 10 to 15 years, although some of them travel quicker through this point.
If you take HIV medication every day, just as recommended, and hold an undetectable viral load, you will secure your wellbeing and have no successful chance of HIV transmission to your sexual partner(s).
But if the virus load is measurable, you can be able to transmit HIV at this point, even if you have no symptoms. It is necessary to see your health care professional periodically to monitor your viral load.
Phase 3: AIDS
If you have HIV and you are not on HIV medication, the infection can gradually degrade the body’s immune response and lead to AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome). This is the late stage of infection with HIV.
Symptoms of AIDS can include:
Quick weight loss
Recurrent fever or intense night sweats
Extreme and mysterious exhaustion
Prolonged swelling of the lymph glands in the armpit, groin, or neck
Diarrhea that lasts longer than a week
Sores in the mouth , anus, or vagina
Red, dark, pink or purplish blotches on or below the eyes, or within the lips, nose, or eyelids.
Loss in memory, addiction, and other brain conditions
Each of these signs can also be linked to other diseases. The only way you can tell for sure whether you have HIV is to get screened. If you are HIV-positive, a health care professional can diagnose your HIV development to stage 3 (AIDS) depending on the diagnostic requirements.
Many of the extreme signs and illnesses of HIV are attributed to opportunistic diseases that arise as a consequence of disruption to the body’s immune system. If you experience all of these signs, see the health care professional.