All About HIV/AIDS: Getting Educated before your HIV Test
Take charge of your sexual health with STDClinic’s discreet HIV test. Read on to learn more about HIV symptoms, testing, and treatment
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.
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:
- Night sweats
- Muscle aches
- Sore throat
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Mouth ulcers
Symptoms of AIDS:
- Rapid weight loss
- Recurring fever or profuse night sweats
- Lethargy and tiredness
- 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
Select and order your test online. You'll receive an order confirmation with all the information you need to take your blood test.
Go to the clinic nearest you and take your blood test. Be sure to bring the confirmation email with you to the clinic!
Receive your results on STDClinic.com
Know Your Treatments
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Medically reviewed byon April 1st, 2021.
- HIV - CDC Fact Sheet https://www.cdc.gov/hiv/basics/whatishiv.html
- HIV - https://www.cdc.gov/std/hiv/stdfact-std-hiv.htm
- HIV - https://wa.kaiserpermanente.org/healthAndWellness/index.jhtml?item=%2Fcommon%2FhealthAndWellness%2Fconditions%2Fstd%2FhivTests.html
- HIV - https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/hiv-testing/about/pac-20385018