Clarity in the HIV Tests Now
HIV is a virus that damages the cells of the immune system (defense), responsible for fighting infections and diseases, leaving our bodies without immunity, that is, defenseless. HIV can live in an infected person’s body for months or years before any signs of the disease appear. We call these people HIV carriers or HIV positive.
AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) is the disease caused by HIV. People with AIDS have certain infections and cancers that make them very sick and can ultimately kill them.
Actions that can generate the transmission of the virus are considered risky behaviors, such as sexual intercourse without a condom, sharing of syringes and accidents with needles or sharp objects that may be contaminated.
HIV symptoms vary depending on the stage of the disease. In the first stage, known as an acute infection, the virus destroys cells of the immune system using them to multiply quickly. This process can be asymptomatic or have flu-like symptoms.
The second stage is asymptomatic. There, the viral load decreases and the virus starts to multiply slowly. Still, it is possible to transmit the virus, and it is important to continue treatment to prevent or delay progress to the next stage of infection.
The most advanced stage of the disease is called acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, or AIDS. Upon reaching this stage, the immune system is already severely damaged, allowing infection by other pathogens in the body.
When and why to take the test
The test should be done after exposure to risky situations. People who are sexually active should have tests for this and other sexually transmitted infections periodically.
To guarantee a better quality of life, health and longevity for people infected with the HIV virus, it is essential that the diagnosis is made at the beginning of the disease. For this reason, performing the test is very important, even if there are no symptoms. The at home std test canada options are available for the same.
It was positive, what now?
After carrying out the HIV test and confirming the infection, the patient must start treatment with antiretroviral drugs, which prevent the virus from multiplying, preserving the immune system and preventing or delaying the progress of the disease to the stage of AIDS.
Women who wish to become pregnant and have the virus in their system, should consult their doctor and follow the guidelines and treatment to prevent the transmission of HIV to their child during pregnancy and childbirth. After birth, the baby should not be breastfed by the mother. After HIV testing and diagnosis of the disease, a viral load test is done to determine the stage of infection.
Viral load test
People with the HIV virus must undergo a viral load test every three months, which detects the amount of virus present in the blood, to monitor the progress of the disease and the effectiveness of the treatment.
The exam result is compared with the previous results. When the treatment is working, there is a decrease in the viral load, when the treatment is not being effective, there is an increase in the amount of virus detected in the blood. The test can also have an indeterminate result, which means that the level of HIV in the blood is low, indicating the effectiveness of the treatment.