Important Facts about HIV/AIDS
An HIV test would be the most important thing that you have to do when you feel that the unprotected sex that you had with a stranger has exposed you to the infection or you accidentally had exposure to the blood of an infected person.
Here are some important facts about HIV/AIDS that you need to know:
Mode of transmission
Exchange of body fluids from an infected person to a non-infected person is the mode of transmission which includes:
- Accidental exposure or blood transfusions to infected blood
- Anal, oral, and vaginal sexual contact
- Sharing of needles with an infected person.
- Breast milk from an infected mother to infant. This includes transmission to the baby by an infected pregnant mother before and during birth.
Abstinence is the most effective, but if this is highly unlikely, protective barriers must be used such as a condom for all sexual contact with strangers or multiple partners. Oral sex should be avoided when there is the presence of sores and cuts in the mouth. A drug habit that uses needles should never be shared. It should also be disposed of properly after use. The same rule applies to people who use medications that need to be injected such as insulin.
Signs and Symptoms
It is unfortunate that HIV/AIDS are asymptomatic during the initial stage of infection. It will only manifest as flu-like symptoms after 2 weeks or longer that include swollen lymph nodes in the groin, throat, and armpit, fever, joint pains, and fatigue. The infected person will recover from this initial bout of symptoms and experience a symptom-free period. This does not mean that the virus has been eradicated but rather it is the time that the HIV virus is slowly destroying the immune system of the infected person. The next time an infected person feels unwell it will be too late for the infection would have progressed to full-blown AIDS where the immune system will not be able to cope up with all sorts of infections including the harmless ones.
There is no cure for HIV/AIDS. Retroviral drugs can be a mode of treatment which could only make the HIV cells lie dormant in the system. The virus will be immediately activated when the infected person stops taking the retroviral drugs. A lot of researches are being done to find the cure for HIV/AIDS but for now, prevention is still the best protection from the infection.
The HIV test
HIV/AIDS is a pandemic disease that has made all health organizations create numerous testing centers in order to contain the infection. Clinics, laboratories, and testing centers offer HIV testing that can determine if you have become infected with the disease. They also offer medical counseling before and after the tests have been done.
If privacy is what you are after, HIV Test home kits are readily available at drugstores or online. This will allow you to get the specimens in the privacy of your home. Just make sure that the states where you live in allow home test kits as there are states who rule them as illegal.