HIV/AIDS Write for Us
HIV/AIDS Write for Us – Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) is a chronic, life-threatening disorder caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). By affecting the immune system, HIV interferes with the body’s capability to fight infection and disease.
HIV is a sexually transmitted infection (STI). It can also be spread over contact with infected blood, illegal use of injecting drugs, or sharing needles. It can also be passed from mom to child during pregnancy, childbirth or breastfeeding. Without medicine, it can take years before HIV weakens your immune system to the point that you have AIDS.
There is no medication for HIV/AIDS, but medicines can control the infection and prevent the disease from progressing. Antiretroviral treatments for HIV have reduced AIDS deaths worldwide, and international organizations are working to increase the availability of prevention and treatment measures in resource-poor countries.
HIV can be diagnosed through blood or saliva tests. Available tests include:
- Antigen/antibody test. These tests usually include drawing blood from a vein. Antigens are substances found in HIV itself that can usually be detected – with a positive test – in the blood within weeks of exposure to HIV.
The immune system produces antibodies when exposed to HIV. It may take weeks to months for antibodies to be detected. This can take 2 to 6 weeks after exposure for a combination antigen/antibody test to be positive.
antibody test. These tests look for HIV antibodies in your blood or saliva. Most rapid HIV tests, including home self-tests, are antibody tests. It can take up to 3 to 12 weeks for an antibody test to come back positive.
- DNA Testing (NAT). These tests look for the real virus in your blood (viral load). It also involves drawing blood from a vein. Your healthcare provider may recommend NAT if you have been exposed to HIV in the past few weeks. NAT would be the first test to be positive after exposure to HIV.
Talk with your healthcare provider about the right HIV test for you. If somewhat of these tests are negative, you may need a follow-up test weeks to months later to confirm the results.
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