While some people are at a greater risk of HIV infection, it could potentially affect anyone. Just remember, anytime you have sexual activity with someone, you’re not just interacting with them – you interact with everyone they’ve ever had sexual contact with!
Drug use is also a leading cause of HIV infection, specifically among people who inject drugs (PWID). Sharing needles, syringes or other drug injection equipment can put you at a greater risk of HIV infection.
Making smart decisions about sex and drug use can help prevent becoming infected or spreading HIV infection. Talk to your healthcare provider about how you can better protect yourself and your loved ones from HIV infection. If you’re at a higher risk of exposure to HIV, ask them if a daily prescription for PreP might be right for you! For more information about PreP, click here!
Do you suspect that you may have been exposed to HIV? Contact your healthcare provider right away and ask them about PeP! If PeP is administered within 72 hours of exposure to HIV it can greatly reduce your chances of becoming infected. For more information about treatment for HIV,
There are 3 types of HIV testing. All testing methods are known to be very accurate. Below are the details of each type of tests:
NATs look for the actual virus in the blood. This test is routinely used for HIV screening unless the person recently had a high-risk exposure or a possible exposure with early symptoms of HIV infection. A NAT can usually detect HIV infection 10 to 33 days after an exposure.
Antigen/antibody tests look for both HIV antibodies and antigens. Antibodies are produced by your immune system when you’re exposed to viruses like HIV. Antigens are foreign substances that cause your immune system to activate. Antigen/antibody tests are recommended for testing done in labs and are now common in the United States. An antigen/antibody test performed by a laboratory on blood from a vein can usually detect HIV infection 18 to 45 days after an exposure.
Antibody tests look for antibodies to HIV in your blood or oral fluid. Antibody tests can take 23 to 90 days to detect HIV infection after an exposure. Most rapid tests and the only FDA-approved HIV self-test are antibody tests. In general, antibody tests that use blood from a vein can detect HIV sooner after infection than tests done with blood from a finger prick or with oral fluid.
Today, more tools than ever are available to prevent HIV. Since HIV is basically transmitted through six types of bodily fluids (blood, ejaculate, pre-seminal fluids, rectal fluids, vaginal fluids and breast milk) you can use strategies such as:
You may also be able to take advantage of HIV prevention medicines such as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP). If you have HIV, there are many actions you can take to prevent transmitting HIV to others.
There is no effective cure for HIV, however with proper medical care, you can control HIV. The treatment used in managing HIV is known as antiretroviral therapy (ART). In most cases, the medicine used in ART can get the virus under control within six months. It is important to note that although this therapy will help manage the effects of HIV on an individual it DOES NOT prevent the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases.
If you suspect that you have been exposed to HIV, the first step is to be tested. If positive test results are received it is very important to start treatment. If treatment is delayed the HIV virus will continue to harm your immune system, put you at a higher risk of developing AIDS and will also put you at a higher risk of transmitting HIV to those you care about.
Take the first step…. don’t delay, get tested today.
Are you interested in a FREE HIV Education Event for your company, group, or organization? HWC is happy to provide free HIV education training events to local area businesses, schools, churches, and community organizations! All we ask is that your group have at least 25 members to attend and participate! To contact us about scheduling an HIV education training event, please click the button below.
HWC can provide free HIV education events in Haskell, LeFlore, Latimer, McIntosh, Muskogee, Pittsburg, and Sequoyah Counties through HRSA Primary Care HIV Prevention Funding.