Human Immunodeficiency Virus, otherwise known as HIV, is a virus that attacks the immune system and spreads quickly through the cells. If left untreated, HIV can lead to AIDS, or Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome. AIDS causes increased infections in the body, because it lowers your immune system’s defenses. This is why it is extremely important to be tested and treated early if you think you may have come in contact with HIV. If you know you’ve been exposed to HIV in the last 72 hours, go to an emergency room or urgent care immediately to seek preventative treatment. It is much easier to contract HIV if you are currently infected with another STD. Consequently, when HIV and another STD are both present in the body at the same time, it is much easier to spread the virus to other people.
Symptoms of HIV:
Acute Symptoms include:
- Exhaustion or fatigue
- Enlarged lymph nodes
Chronic Symptoms include:
- Hard time breathing or catching breath
- Chronic swelling of the glands
- Sudden weight loss
Transmission of HIV:
HIV can only be transmitted through infected bodily fluids, such as vaginal secretions, semen and blood. It is never transmitted from skin to skin contact. It is possible to transmit HIV through any type of sexual intercourse, but most commonly through anal and vaginal intercourse. The disease can also be passed by sharing needles with an infected person.
Type of Test for Diagnosis
We offer both a normal and an early detection test for HIV. Both of these tests require a blood sample from you.
While there is no cure for HIV, treatment has come a long way. By using a grouping of different medications, the symptoms of HIV can be greatly reduced.