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All About HIV/AIDS: Getting Educated before your HIV Test

by Marissa Lynch

Take charge of your sexual health with STDClinic’s discreet HIV test. Read on to learn more about HIV symptoms, testing, and treatment

HIV Overview

HIV is a virus that can develop into AIDS, a disease that systemically attacks your immune system. It can be easily checked with STDClinic.com’s discreet, online HIV test.

Human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV, is a virus that can lead to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, or AIDS. It was first transmitted to humans from chimpanzees in the 19th century. This infection attacks the immune system and kills white blood cells. As a result, your compromised immunity increases your risk of mortality, even to common infections like the flu or cold.

There are two types of HIV. HIV 1 is the virus affecting 95% of STDs, and it often leads to AIDS. HIV 2 is typically found in West Africa, and doesn’t advance to AIDS nearly as fast

HIV progresses to AIDS in three stages, each with separate symptoms and clinical treatments.

On average, it takes 8-10 years for HIV to develop into AIDS. Age, health, treatment, lifestyle, and genetics all effect this timeline, so you might develop AIDS sooner, later, or never

How do you contract HIV?

You can contract HIV through unprotected sex and sexual activities, as well as through sharing bodily fluids with an infected person. Body secretions such as semen, vaginal secretions, blood, anal fluids, and breast milk can all carry HIV. Skin-to-skin contact with mucosal membranes in areas such as the cervix or the penis can expose you to HIV. Open wounds, sores, and cuts can also increase the chances of contracting the virus

Unprotected sexual intercourse, even without ejaculation can lead to infections. Another possible cause is intravenous drug use. This happens when syringes are shared between healthy and infected persons. It can also be transmitted from HIV-positive mothers to their newborns at birth or during breastfeeding..

It’s important for you and your sexual partners to routinely check for STIs just to be safe.

Symptoms

Often, HIV is asymptomatic. Some people report flu-like symptoms that appear two to four weeks after infection. When HIV infected people do feel symptoms, they correlate with the stages of infection

Acute HIV symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Rash
  • Night sweats
  • Muscle aches
  • Sore throat
  • Fatigue
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Mouth ulcers

Symptoms of AIDS:

  • Rapid weight loss
  • Pneumonia
  • Recurring fever or profuse night sweats
  • Lethargy and tiredness
  • Diarrhea
  • Sores on the mouth, anus, or genitals
  • Bruise-like blotches on or under the skin. or inside the mouth, nose, or eyelids
  • Prolonged swelling of the lymph glands in the armpits, groin, or neck
  • Neurological disorders such as memory loss and depression

When to Check

Everyone aged 15 to 64 should get tested for HIV at least once in their lifetimes, regardless of risk factors. You can get checked with a discreet HIV test here.

Those with occasional exposure to HIV risks should get tested at least once a year. Those at a high risk for infection should get tested every three to six months.

NOTE: If you suspect you may have an STI, it is highly recommended that you stop having sex until you’ve recieved medical advice. Doing so ensures you and any potential partners lessen the risk of spreading disease.

Preparation for Testing

  • 1. Schedule

    Select and order your test online. You'll receive an order confirmation with all the information you need to take your blood test.

  • 2. Get Tested

    Go to the clinic nearest you and take your blood test. Be sure to bring the confirmation email with you to the clinic!

  • 3. Results

    Receive your results on STDClinic.com

Know Your Treatments

  • While HIV never goes away, treatments can keep AIDS at bay. To learn more, speak to your doctor to get personalized information about HIV/AIDS. With your STDClinic.com test results, you’re one step closer to informed decisions about your sexual health.
  • To learn more, speak to your doctor to get personalized information about your diagnosis. With your STDClinic.com test results, you’re one step closer to making informed decisions about your sexual health.
  • Be sure to retest one month after starting treatment to be sure you are free of the infection. You and your partner are recommended not to engage in sexual relations until you’ve finished your prescription.
  • Take control of your sexual health.
    Buy your Chlamydia test on STDClinic today.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is an STD?

An STD, or sexually transmitted disease, is an infection that is primarily transmitted through sexual fluids during vaginal, anal, or oral sex. Sometimes, STDs are referred to as “venereal diseases.” Many STDs can be cured when they are properly diagnosed. Get tested for STDs at STDClinic.com.

How can I know if I have an STD?

Since some STDs are asymptomatic, the only way to really know if you have an STD is to get tested. Order your STD test online here.

How does STDClinic.com work?

STDClinic makes it easy to get discreet, fast STD blood and urine test results. First, select and purchase the test you want. Then, download your proof of purchase form- also called a “requisition form”- and bring it to the clinic. Take your test at the clinic nearest you. Afterwards, see your results online.

Is HIV curable?

While there is no cure for HIV/AIDs, there are treatments that minimize damage and can help manage the virus. Some treatments lower the HIV count in the blood so lowly that it is imperceptible in blood tests. To find the course of treatment for you, speak to your doctor to get a diagnosis.

How is HIV spread?

You can contract HIV by having direct contact with the bodily fluids of someone with a detectable HIV load. Bodily fluids include blood, ejaculate, rectal fluids, vaginal fluids, and breast milk

Does HIV cause AIDS?

Left untreated and undiagnosed, HIV can cause AIDs. Get tested at STDClininc.com to take control of your sexual health at the early stages
See More FAQs

Medically reviewed by Zion Ben Refael, MD on April 1st, 2021.

Resources

  1. HIV - CDC Fact Sheet https://www.cdc.gov/hiv/basics/whatishiv.html
  2. HIV - https://www.cdc.gov/std/hiv/stdfact-std-hiv.htm
  3. HIV - https://wa.kaiserpermanente.org/healthAndWellness/index.jhtml?item=%2Fcommon%2FhealthAndWellness%2Fconditions%2Fstd%2FhivTests.html
  4. HIV - https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/hiv-testing/about/pac-20385018

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