Human Immunodeficiency Virus is the complete form of HIV, and HIV is a virus that destroys the immune system cells and reduces your ability to fight infections and illness.
- When your immune system has been badly harmed by HIV, a variety of potentially fatal diseases and disorders are officially known as AIDS and its complete form of acquired immune deficiency syndrome.
- HIV may spread from one person to another, although AIDS cannot.
- Although there is presently no HIV treatment available, there are very efficient pharmacological treatments that allow the majority of those infected to live long, healthy lives.
- Most HIV-positive individuals will not have any AIDS-related diseases and will live relatively everyday lives if they receive an early diagnosis and adequate treatments.
HIV infection signs and symptoms
- After two to six weeks of HIV infection, the majority of patients suffer a brief flu-like sickness that lasts one to two weeks.
- Even while the virus continues to weaken your immune system, HIV may stop causing symptoms after these initial ones disappear for a long time.
- This indicates that many HIV-positive individuals are ignorant of their condition.
- Everyone who suspects they could be HIV positive should be tested.
- Regular testing is indicated for some persons because their risk is exceptionally high.
HIV Infection's root causes
- An infected person's bodily fluids contain HIV. Semen, vaginal and anal fluids, blood, and breast milk fall under this category.
- It is a fragile virus that cannot last lengthy periods outside the body.
- Sweat, urine, and saliva cannot spread HIV.
- Without using a condom, anal or vaginal intercourse is the most typical way to get HIV in the UK.
HIV can also be caught via
- Transferring needles, syringes, or other injecting tools from a woman to her unborn child when she is pregnant, giving birth, or breastfeeding
- It depends on several factors, including whether you receive or provide oral sex and the oral cleanliness of the person performing the oral sex, if there is a meager chance you'll get HIV through oral sex.
- If you believe you may have been exposed to HIV, get medical help as soon as you can.
- There are several locations where you may get tested, including GP offices, clinics focused on sexual health, and charitable groups.
- An HIV test is the only way to determine if you are HIV positive. It entails looking for indications of the illness in a sample of your blood or saliva.
It's critical to understand that
- Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP), an urgent the anti-HIV drug can prevent infection if begun within 72 hours after potential viral exposure. It is advised that you start PEP as soon as possible, ideally within 24 hours.
- Early detection allows for earlier treatment, which boosts the probability that the infection will be controlled and lowers the danger of further illness and the spread of the virus to others.
- The window period, which are 1 to 3 months after a possible HIV exposure, may need repeating both positive and negative HIV tests, but you shouldn't wait that long to get help.
- The findings of a more thorough HIV test might take up to a few days; however, clinics may provide a finger prick blood test that can provide you with a result in minutes.
- You may purchase home testing or sample kits online or at pharmacies; depending on the test you employ, the results will be ready in a few minutes or a few days.
- If your initial test indicates you may have HIV, a second blood test will be required to confirm the finding.
- You will be directed to an HIV clinic for further testing and a discussion of your treatment options if this results in a positive result.
- HIV is treated with antiretroviral drugs.
- They perform by inhibiting the virus from multiplying within the body, enabling the immune system to heal and prevent additional harm.
- They come in tablet form and a daily dosage is necessary.
- HIV may very readily become resistant to a single HIV medication, however taking multiple HIV medications greatly decreases the chance of this happening.
- The majority of HIV patients take several different medications. It would help if you took them as your doctor prescribes every day.
- Having an undetectable viral load is the aim of HIV treatment. It indicates that you have a low enough level of HIV in your bloodstream to avoid being detected by a test.
The danger of spreading HIV to others is considerably decreased if you have HIV and are undergoing effective HIV treatment. Also suggested are the following:
- A regular workout routine
- Eat a balanced diet
- Quit smoking.
- Obtain annual flu vaccinations to reduce your chances of contracting severe illnesses
- Without treatment, the immune system will suffer significant damage and potentially fatal conditions like cancer and serious infections might develop.
- It's crucial to consult a Physician if you intend to become pregnant. HIV transmission to your unborn child is conceivable but extremely unlikely.
HIV infection is possible for everyone who exchanges needles or engages in sexual activity without using a condom.
There are several efficient techniques to avoid or lower the risk of HIV infection, such as:
- Sex with a condom
- Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP)
- Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP)
- HIV medication to lower viral load to Undetectable
- Never share needles or other injecting tools, such as spoons, swabs, or syringes, if you take drugs.
- For further information on how to lower your risk, consult a Physician or the local sexual health center.
- If you are HIV-positive and you are receiving appropriate treatment, and your viral load has been undetectable for at least six months, you cannot transmit the virus through sex.
- This is referred to as U=U (undetectable=untransmittable).