How To Know If Your Partner Has Hiv – HIV is transmitted in several stages. Early exposure symptoms may include fever or chills. While HIV is still active in the body, it can disappear on its own. It can then turn into a chronic infection, with symptoms that can vary widely but include weight loss, fatigue, and unexplained fever. The chronic stage may occur at any time after the acute stage, but may not immediately follow. Untreated HIV can progress to AIDS, which is detected by the number of white blood cells circulating in the blood.
HIV is a virus that attacks the immune system. There is currently no cure for HIV, but since the late 1980s, treatment with antiviral drugs has been available to reduce the effects of any symptoms.
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In most cases, when a person is infected with HIV, the virus remains in the body for life. However, the symptoms of HIV differ from other viral infections in that they appear in stages.
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If untreated, the disease caused by the infection has three stages. Each has different potential symptoms and complications.
However, regular antiretroviral therapy can reduce HIV to undetectable levels in the blood. This means that the virus does not progress to the later stages of HIV infection or is transmitted to a partner during sex.
The first significant stage is primary HIV infection. This phase is also known as acute antiretroviral syndrome (ARS) or acute HIV infection.
It usually causes flu-like symptoms, so at this stage a person may have a flu or other viral illness that is more severe than HIV. Fever is the most common symptom.
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, early symptoms of HIV may appear 2 to 4 weeks after first exposure. They can last for several weeks. However, some people may experience symptoms for only a few days.
ARS is common when a person has HIV. But it’s not for everyone, as symptoms may not appear for a decade or more, according to HIV.gov.
Although the virus replicates rapidly within weeks of infection, early HIV symptoms usually do not appear until the rate of cell death increases.
This does not mean that asymptomatic cases of HIV are less serious or that an asymptomatic person cannot transmit the virus to others.
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After initial exposure and primary infection, HIV may progress to a clinically latent infection phase. This is also known as asymptomatic HIV infection because some people have no symptoms.
According to HIV.gov, the latent period of HIV infection can last up to 10 or 15 years. This means that the virus reproduces much more slowly than before. However, this does not mean that HIV is gone or that the virus cannot be transmitted to others.
Chronic HIV symptoms can range from mild to severe. People may experience the following episodes, especially in advanced stages:
Clinically latent infection can progress to the third and final stage of HIV, known as AIDS. Progression may increase if a person with HIV does not receive or adhere to treatment such as antiretroviral therapy.
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) is a sign that HIV in the blood has progressed to the final stages. The normal range is 500 to 1600 cells/mm
Sometimes AIDS is a result of a person’s overall health—it develops when HIV severely weakens the immune system and can cause AIDS-defining conditions, such as certain infections and cancers, that rarely occur in people without HIV.
For people who are more likely to be infected with HIV, it is recommended to be tested at least once a year. These people can be:
, and each has a different window period—from when you can be infected with HIV to when a test can detect the virus. If you have been infected with HIV in the past 72 hours, post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) can help prevent transmission.
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Nucleic acid tests can usually detect HIV infection 10 to 33 days after exposure.
Antigen/antibody tests using blood from a vein usually take 18 to 45 days, while fingerstick antigen/antibody tests can be used 23 to 90 days after exposure.
A positive result is also verified by a follow-up test (also called a “confirmatory test”). If the second test is positive, you have HIV.
Finding out that you have HIV can be difficult for some. However, there are health professionals who can help both physically and emotionally.
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Your regular doctor can help directly or refer you to an HIV specialist. Alternatively, you can find a local doctor with HIV experience here.
It is important to start treatment as soon as HIV is diagnosed. Talk to your doctor or other health care professional if your symptoms develop or worsen.
Antiviral drugs can control the infection. They should be taken at all stages of HIV, even if there are no noticeable symptoms.
In the body, it can prevent it from multiplying, and reduce its size so that the virus is undetectable.
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Therefore, drugs help prevent the progression of the disease, maintain quality of life and prevent the transmission of the virus to others through sexual contact.
You may be given a combination of drugs to prevent the virus from becoming resistant. Most people have an undetectable viral load within 6 months.
If this is not possible, any sexual partner can be protected with a medicine called pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). Condoms should also be used to prevent infection during intercourse.
Check HIV levels in the blood and CD4 cell counts in the blood to fight infection with viral load tests.
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If HIV progresses to AIDS, other medical interventions are usually needed to treat AIDS-related diseases or complications that can be fatal.
The only 100% effective way to prevent HIV is to not share injecting equipment and to abstain from sex.
The first symptoms often appear within a few weeks of exposure. However, some people do not experience any symptoms until years later.
Regular testing is very important if you are at high risk of HIV infection. With prompt and appropriate treatment, the infection and its symptoms can be managed, helping you and any sex partners stay as healthy as possible.
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Lauren Sharkey is a UK-based journalist and author specializing in women’s issues. When she’s not trying to find a way to get rid of migraines, she can find answers to your underlying health issues. She has also written a book profiling young women activists around the world and is currently building a community of such resistance. Catch her on Twitter.
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Our experts are constantly monitoring the health and wellness space, and we update our articles as new information becomes available. Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a viral infection spread through sexual intercourse or contact with body fluids such as blood and breast milk. If you and your partner are HIV-free and have been properly tested and have not been exposed to HIV recently, you cannot get HIV. However, if you or your partner has been exposed but tested negative, you can transmit the virus to others if you test too soon and miss the infection. Knowing when to get tested for HIV and what you can do to avoid exposure can help you and your partner stay negative.
The first step in preventing HIV is to understand how the virus spreads. It can only be transmitted when it enters the body fluids (blood, semen, vaginal or rectal fluids, or breast milk) of an HIV-infected person. Potential exposure can occur through anal or vaginal sex, or by sharing needles or syringes with an HIV-infected person. The more sexual partners a person has, the greater the risk of HIV infection. Less commonly, HIV is transmitted through an accidental needle stick (common among healthcare workers) or from a pregnant mother to a fetus.
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An infected person has HIV. However, a person can be unknowingly exposed to it and become positive, or one can get a negative result before the test detects the infection. It is important to know when to perform the test to get the most accurate results.
HIV cannot be detected immediately after contact. When a virus enters your body, it takes time for your immune system to recognize it and respond. Antibodies against HIV develop over several weeks, which means that tests that rely on detecting these antibodies (such as many rapid tests) cannot detect the virus until then. If you take one of these tests before this time, you may get a false negative result, meaning your test will come back negative even though you are still infected with HIV.
One test that does not depend on the immune system
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