HIV is the human immunodeficiency virus and causes the destruction of white blood cells, or to better understand it, the defenses of the human body
HIV or AIDS?
Today there is a lot of cross-information or bad information, especially in social networks.That’s why, before knowing how you can get infected, you have to know how to differentiate between HIV and AIDS.
HIV is the human immunodeficiency virus and causes the destruction of white blood cells, or to understand better, the defenses of the human body. AIDS, on the other hand, is the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, and it is the most advanced phase of the virus, that is, having HIV does not mean having AIDS.
HOW IS IT CONTAGED?
The HIV virus is transmitted through body fluids such as semen or vaginal or anal fluids, or through direct contact with infected blood. There are many legends or myths about the transmission of HIV, and it is noteworthy that through sweat or saliva, you can not transmit the virus, and by caresses or hugs even less.
The majority of cases diagnosed in Spain for HIV are cases of anal sex, where the passive is the one with the highest risk (up to 10% of probabilities). On the other hand, in vaginal sex the cases are of lesser number, but no less important. It should be noted that the risk in vaginal sex is much lower than anal sex, since for men the risk is up to 0.1% and for women it is only 1%.
Oral sex, both for the one who gives and for the one who receives is not considered an act of risk, in Spain there have been no cases of HIV infection by a single contact of oral sex. With which if you have practiced it, it will not be necessary for you to perform this test.
What are the risks of contagion for HIV?
In vaginal sex:
For women, there is a maximum risk of 0’1%.
For man there is a maximum risk of 1%.
In Anal Sex:
For the asset there is a maximum risk of 1%.
For the liabilities there is a maximum risk of 10%.
Oral sex is not considered an act of risk as a form of contagion for HIV, so if you have received or given oral sex, it will not be necessary for you to perform this test.
In an initial phase, the vast majority of cases do not produce symptoms, but the appearance of symptoms after contact may take time to appear from a few days to a few years. The stages of infection are divided into:
It is the stage since you have been infected until our body begins to create antibodies to fight it.
It lasts 2 to 3 months and usually does not produce symptoms, but if it manifests, it would be with a very similar picture to the flu.
Stage after seroconversion until the first symptoms and signs of immunodeficiency appear.
It is impossible to know if someone has the HIV virus at first sight, because at this stage the patient is completely healthy, looking and healthy. It can extend up to more than 10 years.
The last stage of HIV infection, which only comes if the person is not treated.
HIV itself does not produce a disease, but weakens our immune system that any disease can cause us great harm, or even death.
- Short weight loss
- Nightly sweats
- Chronic fatigue
The symptoms of HIV can be so profuse that our patients often confuse a flu with this disease. That is why, often and in parallel, we will proceed to perform a test of influenza or mononucleosis, as the case may be, to rule out.
WHEN CAN I TAKE THE TEST?
Nowadays there is a great variety of tests and that is why we always advise having a prior consultation with our doctor in order to assess which is the best one for your case.
– Over 10 days from the contact: Through our PCR technique we will directly look for the presence of the virus, that no matter how small the genetic material or RNA can be detected, with a 99% efficiency, nowadays there is no detection technique of HIV earlier than this one.
– For 4 weeks of contact: This test, called 4th Generation, which detects both the presence of antibodies and the p24 antigen. Antigen p24 is the protein characteristic of the virus layer, and its levels rise much earlier than the presence of antibodies. This technique continues being used in the great majority of centers since its effectiveness ascends practically 99%.
– After 3 months: This is the conventional technique and the one that has been used the longest in health care as an HIV screening. It is very effective, but the big drawback is your waiting time, 3 months.
It is well known that HIV has no cure, but there is medication to control the virus. Currently, the majority of people who receive treatment and maintain their constant viral load, lead a completely normal life without health problems.
In addition, it can be said that with no viral treatment and viral load, the virus can not be transmitted unless its levels are increased at some specific moment.
PEP (Poexposition Prophylaxis)
Medication used once you have had the risk contact, and must be administered within the first 72 hours. Most medications used in PEP are the same as those used as a treatment for HIV. These can sometimes cause side effects, but they are not fatal at all, and they all disappear over time.
This treatment lasts for 28 days, and 1 or 2 pills should be taken without exception. Once those 28 days have elapsed, it will always be advisable to perform a test test after the window period after the last PEP shot.
PREP (Pre-exposure prophylaxis)
It consists of taking a daily anti-HIV drug, in order to reduce reducing the possibility of contracting the HIV virus. Studies have shown that through the use of PrEP the risk of contracting HIV through unprotected sex is around 90% and up to 70% for the use of injectable drugs.