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FAQ

CATEGORY 5: HIV & SOCIETY

What is viral suppression?

Viral suppression means the amount of virus in the person’s blood is below the level the test can identify. When…

Viral suppression means the amount of virus in the person’s blood is below the level the test can identify. When people living with HIV who see their healthcare provider regularly and take their medication every day, there is a very good chance that they will become virally suppressed. Viral suppression, sometimes known as being undetectable, is an important goal of treatment.

If a person living with HIV doesn’t take their medications regularly, the treatment won’t work as well and the amount of HIV in your body will increase. That is called having a detectable viral load. This will eventually lead to damage to the person’s immune system and greater chances of becoming ill. If people living with HIV don’t take their medication regularly, it also can lead to what is called drug resistance. This means the virus can get around the medication and the healthcare provider may have to prescribe a new treatment plan that might be more complicated to take, or possibly have a greater risk of side effects.

Posted 1 year agoby admin

What is the treatment for HIV?

HIV is treated by taking a combination of medications. The different medications fight the virus at different stages. The health…

HIV is treated by taking a combination of medications. The different medications fight the virus at different stages. The health care provider will use a lab test called a genotype test or resistance test to determine the most effective treatment regimen for the patient. The good news is that pharmaceutical companies combine the different antiretroviral medications into one pill. This means that for many patients, treating HIV may be as simple as taking one or two pills, once a day.

It is important to seek treatment for HIV as early as possible. Getting early HIV treatment will help keep people living with HIV healthy and prevent HIV from affecting how long they live or how well they feel. The pills have either no side effects or manageable side effects.

Taking the medications consistently is the most important key to staying healthy and feeling well.

Once a person begins to feel well, that does not mean they should stop taking their medicine. In order for HIV medication to be the most effective, it should be taken every day even if the person feels healthy.

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What does it mean to have a test that results in an HIV diagnosis?

If you have a test result that results in an HIV diagnosis, you will receive post-test education about the meaning…

If you have a test result that results in an HIV diagnosis, you will receive post-test education about the meaning of the test result and the importance of health care. HIV treatment is effective, easy to take and has few or no side effects. The HIV testing provider will schedule an appointment for HIV care on the spot.

If you a person living with HIV, it will be important to reduce the risk of passing the virus to others.

The HIV testing provider will talk to you about the importance of notifying partners of possible exposure to HIV and the importance of HIV testing.

Persons who are diagnosed with HIV can choose from the following options on how they would like to have their partners to be informed that they have been exposed to HIV;

  • A counselor or the Contact Notification Assistance
  • Provider can tell partners without revealing the identity of the person
  • People can tell their partners with the help of their healthcare provider or counselor
  • People can tell their partners themselves
Posted 1 year agoby admin

Can HIV be passed through food, water, or the air?

No. HIV is not passed through food, water, or air, or by touching any object that was handled by, touched…

No. HIV is not passed through food, water, or air, or by touching any object that was handled by, touched by, or breathed on by a person who has HIV.

Posted 1 year agoby admin

Can a person with HIV who has an undetectable viral load pass HIV to someone else?

Yes. A viral load test measures the amount of HIV in a person’s blood. An undetectable viral load means that…

Yes. A viral load test measures the amount of HIV in a person’s blood. An undetectable viral load means that the amount of virus in a person’s blood is too low for the test to measure. It does not mean that there is no HIV in the person’s body. A person who has a low or undetectable viral load can pass HIV to someone else, although the risk is probably lower than if he or she had a high viral load. Risk reduction measures, like using condoms and not sharing needles, still need to be taken.

Posted 1 year agoby admin

Can a person with HIV who is not sick or who has no symptoms pass HIV to someone else?

Yes. Any person infected with HIV, even if he or she has no symptoms, can pass HIV to another person.…

Yes. Any person infected with HIV, even if he or she has no symptoms, can pass HIV to another person. Risk reduction measures still need to be taken.

Posted 1 year agoby admin

Can a woman who has HIV pass the virus to her baby?

Yes. A woman who has HIV can pass the virus to her baby during: Pregnancy; Delivery; or There are medicines…

Yes. A woman who has HIV can pass the virus to her baby during:

  • Pregnancy;
  • Delivery; or

There are medicines that women with HIV should take during pregnancy, labor, and delivery and that can be given to their babies just after birth, to greatly reduce the chance that their babies will become infected with HIV. It is best for women to know their HIV status before they become pregnant or very early in their pregnancy so that they can make informed decisions and take full advantage of these medicines.

Posted 1 year agoby admin

Does sexual contact with many partners increase my risk of getting HIV?

Yes. Having unprotected sex with many partners increases your risk of getting HIV because it increases your chances of coming…

Yes. Having unprotected sex with many partners increases your risk of getting HIV because it increases your chances of coming into contact with someone who has HIV. It also increases your risk of getting other sexually transmitted diseases (like herpes, gonorrhea, chlamydia, venereal warts, or syphilis). Having an STD, in turn, can make you more likely to get HIV.

However, having unprotected sex with anyone who has HIV, or whose HIV status you do not know, puts you at risk. So, even a person who has unprotected sex with just one partner can still get HIV if that partner was infected prior to having sex or becomes infected during the relationship.

Posted 1 year agoby admin

Does having a sexually transmitted disease (STD) affect my risk of getting HIV?

Yes. Having an STD, especially herpes or syphilis sores, increases your risk of getting HIV and giving HIV to a…

Yes. Having an STD, especially herpes or syphilis sores, increases your risk of getting HIV and giving HIV to a partner. Other STDs, like gonorrhea or chlamydia, also increase your risk of becoming infected with HIV. STDs change the cells that line the vagina, penis, rectum, or mouth, which can cause open sores too. These sores make it easier for HIV to enter STD. Any inflammation or sore caused by an STD also more likely to get makes it easier for HIV to enter the bloodstream during infected with HIV sexual contact.

Many STDs do not cause symptoms, especially in women. It is important for sexually active men and women to get tested for STDs regularly, even if they have no symptoms.

Posted 1 year agoby admin

Can injecting vitamins, steroids, hormones, or insulin put me at risk for HIV infection?

It can if you share injection equipment. HIV can be passed any time you share equipment to inject drugs, vitamins,…

It can if you share injection equipment. HIV can be passed any time you share equipment to inject drugs, vitamins, hormones, insulin, steroids, or any other substance intravenously (IV) into a vein, into your muscles, or under your skin. Always use new, sterile needles and syringes when injecting any substance into your body. If you must reuse a needle, clean it with bleach.

Posted 1 year agoby admin

How is HIV spread during injection drug use?

Any time you share injection equipment with someone who has HIV or whose HIV status you do not know, there…

Any time you share injection equipment with someone who has HIV or whose HIV status you do not know, there is a high risk that you will get HIV. Small amounts of blood from a person infected with HIV may stay in the needles, syringes, or drug “works” (spoons, bottle caps, and cotton) and can be injected into the bloodstream of the next person who uses the equipment

Posted 1 year agoby admin

Is it easy to get HIV?

No. HIV is not like the flu or a cold. It is not passed through casual contact or by being…

No. HIV is not like the flu or a cold. It is not passed through casual contact or by being near a person who is infected. You can only get HIV if infected blood, semen, vaginal fluids, or breast milk gets into your body.

Posted 1 year agoby admin

How is HIV spread from one person to another?

HIV is spread when infected blood, semen, vaginal fluids, or breast milk gets into the bloodstream of another person. You…

HIV is spread when infected blood, semen, vaginal fluids, or breast milk gets into the bloodstream of another person.  You can only get through: HIV if infected

  • Direct entry into a blood vessel; blood, semen,
  • Mucous linings, such as the vagina, rectum, penis, vaginal fluids, or mouth, eyes, or nose; or breast milk gets
  • A break in the skin. into your body.
  • HIV is not spread through saliva (spit).

HIV is spread in the following ways:

  • Having vaginal, anal, or oral sex without using a condom.
  • Sharing needles, syringes, or works to inject drugs, vitamins, hormones, steroids, or medicines.
  • Women with HIV infection can pass HIV to their babies during pregnancy, delivery, and breastfeeding.
  • People who are exposed to blood and/or body fluids at work, like health care workers, may be exposed to HIV through needle-sticks or other on-the-job exposures.

A person infected with HIV can pass the virus to others during these activities.

This is true even if the person:

  • has no symptoms of HIV;
  • has not been diagnosed with HIV/AIDS;
  • is taking HIV medicine; or
  • has an undetectable viral load
  • HIV is not spread by casual contact like sneezing, coughing, eating or drinking from common utensils, shaking hands, hugging, or using restrooms, drinking fountains, swimming pools, or hot tubs
Posted 1 year agoby admin

Can I get a vaccine to prevent HIV infection or AIDS?

No. There is no vaccine to prevent HIV infection. Researchers are working to develop a vaccine. Vaccines in development are…

No. There is no vaccine to prevent HIV infection. Researchers are working to develop a vaccine. Vaccines in development are being tested to find out if they work.

Posted 1 year agoby admin

Is there a cure for HIV or AIDS?

No. There is no cure for HIV or AIDS. However, there are medicines that fight HIV and help people with…

No. There is no cure for HIV or AIDS. However, there are medicines that fight HIV and help people with HIV and AIDS live longer, healthier lives.

Posted 1 year agoby admin

Can I get a vaccine to prevent HIV infection or AIDS?

No. There is no vaccine to prevent HIV infection. Researchers are working to develop a vaccine. Vaccines in development are…

No. There is no vaccine to prevent HIV infection. Researchers are working to develop a vaccine. Vaccines in development are being tested to find out if they work.

Posted 1 year agoby admin

How long can people live with HIV or AIDS?

Medicines that fight HIV have helped many people with HIV and AIDS live years and even decades longer than was…

Medicines that fight HIV have helped many people with HIV and AIDS live years and even decades longer than was possible in the past, before effective treatment was available. HIV treatments are not a cure, and they do not work equally well for everyone, but they have extended the lives of many people with HIV and AIDS. Without treatment, some people live for just a few years after getting HIV. Others live much longer.

Posted 1 year agoby admin

Who is at risk for getting HIV?

A person of any age, sex, race, ethnic group, religion, economic background, or sexual orientation can get HIV. Those who…

A person of any age, sex, race, ethnic group, religion, economic background, or sexual orientation can get HIV.

Those who are most at risk are:

  • People who have “unprotected sex” with someone A person of any who has HIV. Unprotected sex means vaginal, anal, age, sex, race, or oral sex without using a condom. ethnic group,
  • People who share needles, syringes, or other equipment to inject drugs, steroids, or even vitamins religion, economic or medicine with someone who has HIV background, or
  • Babies can potentially become infected during their sexual orientation mothers’ pregnancy, during delivery, or after birth can get HIV. In the immediate post-partum period. They can also become infected through breastfeeding.
  • Health care and maintenance workers who may be exposed to blood and/or body fluids at work sometimes get infected through on-the-job exposures like needle-stick injuries
Posted 1 year agoby admin

What is AIDS?

AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) is a late stage of HIV disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control and…

AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) is a late stage of HIV disease.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a person with HIV infection has AIDS when he or she:

  • Has a CD4 cell count (a way to measure the strength of the immune system) that falls below 200. A normal CD4 cell count is 500 or higher.

OR

  • Develops any of the specific, serious conditions – also called AIDS-defining illnesses – that are linked with HIV infection
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Are there symptoms of HIV?

No. People infected with HIV may have no symptoms for ten or more years. They may not know they are…

No. People infected with HIV may have no symptoms for ten or more years. They may not know they are infected. An HIV test is the only way to find out if you have HIV.

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