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HIV

Date: 2023-09-22

Is there a test for HIV? — Yes. You can have HIV testing done in your doctor’s office or clinic using a sample of blood or sometimes saliva (spit). Results from some tests take a few days to come back. But results from rapid HIV tests can be ready within minutes.

Most pharmacies also sell test kits that you can use at home. For one type of home test, you prick your finger, blot the blood on a test strip, and mail the strip to a lab. Then the lab calls you with the results. The test is totally private, and the results are not reported to anyone but you. A different type of home test (called OraQuick®), which will soon be available in the United States, works a lot like a home pregnancy test. It comes with a special test strip that you wipe along your gums. After 20 to 40 minutes the test strip can tell you if you might have HIV. If you take a home test that says you are HIV positive, see your doctor and ask for a follow-up test to make sure.

Sometimes, it can take up to 6 months after being infected for the HIV virus to show up in your body. If your test does not show that you have HIV now, you might need to repeat the test in a few months to make sure you are not infected.

How is HIV treated? — Doctors can prescribe different combinations of medicines to treat HIV. These medicines are called “antiretroviral medicines.” You and your doctor should work together to decide when you should start treatment and which medicines are right for you.

Your treatment will depend a lot on:

  • How your immune system is working – Doctors use a blood test called a T-cell count to see how HIV is affecting your immune system.
  • Your age.
  • Any other medical problems you might have.

Most people with HIV need to take pills at set times each day. It is important to follow all of your doctors’ instructions about treatment. This is because your HIV can get worse if you skip or stop taking your medicines. Let your doctor know if you have any side effects or problems with your medicines.

Some people with HIV also take other types of medicines every day to prevent HIV-related infections. For example, most doctors recommend that people with a low T-cell count take an antibiotic every day to keep from getting a lung infection called PCP.

 

What if I am pregnant or want to get pregnant?

— If you have HIV, your baby can become infected with HIV during pregnancy, birth, or through breastfeeding. If you are pregnant or want to get pregnant, talk with your doctor about ways to reduce the chance of passing HIV to your baby.

What can I do to prevent spreading HIV to other people?

— You can help reduce the chance of spreading HIV to other people by:

  • Getting tested for HIV and starting treatment as early as possible
  • Telling anyone you have sex with that you have HIV
  • Using a condom every time you have vaginal, anal, or oral sex
  • Not sharing razors or toothbrushes
  • Not sharing drug needles or syringes

 

 

 

From:OBS/GYN SECRETS Third Edition

view:257updated date:2024-03-13
view:257updated date:2024-03-13