If I am diagnosed with HIV, can you tell who gave me the infection?
No. HIV diagnostic tests cannot determine who passed the infection to the negative partner.
If I am diagnosed with HIV, can I tell when I got it?
In general no. A skilled healthcare provider can generally estimate how long you have been infected by looking at the levels of virus in your body (your T-cell count) and whether or not you have had any opportunistic infections.
If you are currently suffering from symptoms of acute HIV infection, a healthcare provider can usually conclude that infection occurred within the past few weeks.
I had sex with someone I think might have HIV, and the condom broke. What should I do?
If it’s been less than 72 hours since the condom broke, you may be able to take medication that could keep you from getting infected with HIV, even if your partner is HIV-positive. This medication is called post-exposure prophylaxis after sexual exposure to HIV (PEPSE).
If it’s been longer than 72 hours, PEPSE will not protect you from HIV, and you will need to explore HIV testing options. In most cases, you will have to wait at least 2 weeks after possible exposure to infection before an HIV test can provide accurate results.
How soon after potential exposure can you accurately test for HIV?
If you think you have put yourself at risk of HIV, you should seek medical advice and get tested. The earlier HIV is diagnosed, the earlier you can start treatment and avoid becoming ill. However, it may be two weeks or more after exposure to HIV before a test provides accurate results.
If you’ve had sex with somebody who may be HIV positive, you can reduce your chances of HIV infection by taking post-exposure prophylaxis after sexual exposure (PEPSE) within 72 hours of exposure to the virus.
How effective are latex condoms in preventing HIV?
Latex condoms, when used consistently and correctly, are highly effective in preventing HIV. Research on the effectiveness of latex condoms in preventing HIV transmission is both comprehensive and conclusive.
Abstinence from sex means not engaging in any form of sexual activity where there is a risk of exchanging fluids (semen, vaginal fluids, rectal mucous). This includes anal, oral, and vaginal sex.
Do all people with HIV have AIDS?
No. Being diagnosed with HIV does not mean a person will also be diagnosed with AIDS. Healthcare professionals diagnose AIDS only when people with HIV disease begin to get severe opportunistic infections (OI), or their T-cell counts fall below a certain level.
Can I get HIV from sharing a cup or shaking hands with someone who has HIV or AIDS?
HIV is found only in body fluids, so you cannot get HIV by shaking someone’s hand or giving them a hug (or by using the same toilet or towel). While HIV is found in saliva, sharing cups or utensils has never been shown to transmit HIV.
No. You can’t get HIV from casually kissing someone (or vice versa) who has HIV. Skin is a greater barrier against HIV. It is not recommended to engage in long, open mouth kissing (“French kissing”) with someone who has HIV if one of you has an open sore in or around the mouth.
Can I get HIV from hot tubs or steam rooms?
No, HIV does not survive outside the body and fluids like sweat and saliva that are typically secreted during these activities have never been shown to transmit HIV.
Can HIV be transmitted through an insect bite?
No, Insects can not transmit HIV. Research has shown that HIV does not replicate or survive well in insects. In addition, blood-eating insects digest their food and do not inject blood from the last person they bite into the next person.
Am I going to die of AIDS?
While complications from HIV infection remain a possibility, current treatments and medications are giving people with HIV a positive prognosis and near-normal life-span. This makes patients living with HIV vulnerable to the same health conditions that affect all people as they age. This is why it is important to maintain good health throughout your life.
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