HIV

HIV or Human Immunodeficiency Virus is a virus that attacks cells, or known as CD4, that help the body fight infection, making a person more vulnerable to other infections and diseases. If left untreated, this can lead to AIDS which is the late stage of HIV infection occurring when the body’s immune system is severely damaged because of the virus.

Transmission

  • • Unprotected sex
  • • Contact with blood of a person infected or through sharing injection drug equipment
  • • Mother to baby at birth

Treatment

Antiretroviral Therapy (ART)

Prevention

  • • Use condom when having sex
  • • Use sterilized injection drug equipment and avoid sharing it with others
  • • Take HIV testing and know your HIV status
  • • Seek treatment as soon as possible to prevent transmission to others and to become U=U
  • • Take PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis) which is a course of medicines taken by HIV-negative people to prevent infection.

Screening/Testing

There are 2 main methods for HIV testing with blood drawing as follows:

  • • Anti-HIV: is an antibody test widely used for HIV screening at present. It takes 1-2 hours to know the result and can detect the HIV infection approximately a month after exposure.

• Nucleic Acid Testing (NAT): looks for the actual virus in the blood. The test can either tell if a person has HIV or tell how much virus is present in the blood or known as an HIV viral load test. It can also detect the infection at the earliest, 1-2 weeks after exposure.

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