About HIV/AIDS and HIV Home Testing

Posted by Frank 13/04/2016 0 Comments HIV & AIDS Information,

Disease Information on HIV infection

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) was first isolated in 1983 and is a pandemic spread. Untreated HIV leads to the deadly disease state aquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS).

Globally, over 30 million have died of AIDS and currently live about 30-35 million with HIV. Worst affected is sub-Saharan Africa. In Europe reported approximately 40000-50000 new cases of HIV each year. More than half have had HIV infection before the immigration to Europe.

Approximately 650000 people are living with HIV in Europe.


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What causes HIV infection and how it is spread?

HIV infection and AIDS is caused by the human immunodeficiency virus, called a retrovirus with comparatively low infectivity except for the first few weeks after infection when the infectiousness is high as in the final stages when AIDS developed. Characteristic of retroviruses is that they are stored in the body's genetic material. HIV infection heals therefore not spontaneously, but with HIV carry the virus for life. Blood and other body fluids can thus be infectious to others for a very long time.

HIV can be transmitted sexually through unprotected vaginal, anal and oral intercourse. One can also get HIV if you get in the blood or other tissue of an infected person, for example, if you share a syringe, through blood transfusion or transplantation of tissues and organs. HIV transmission from mother to child can occur during pregnancy, childbirth or breastfeeding.

HIV is not transmitted by social contacts. Those who have HIV do not be afraid to expose friends, relatives or children in the everyday life of any risk. It is through unprotected sex and if you bleed or handle blood in any way that you should be careful. Based on the current state of knowledge made since 2013 assessment that the risk of infection during vaginal and anal intercourse, where condom use is minimal if the HIV-infected person meets the criteria for stable and well treatment.

Asymptomatic HIV infection almost never leads to a limitation in the profession for those with HIV.


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Symptoms and complications

A few weeks after infection, the infected HIV primary infection which for some can cause symptoms. The symptoms can be mild and transient with a period of fever, sore throat, swollen lymph glands and sometimes a rash. Others notice nothing.

It can take several years from the actual infection until one gets sick. The clinical picture of this latter phase can be partly attributed to the virus itself, but mainly because the symptoms of other infectious diseases can be due to HIV attacks and breaks down the immune system. Some rare tumors such as Kaposi's sarcoma can also occur. It is these secondary infections that occur because of the severe immune deficiency that is behind the disease state known as AIDS.

Diagnosis and treatment

Diagnosis is by antibodies and / or antigens specific for HIV detectable in the patient's blood. One can even detect the virus genome using molecular biological methods. Sampling for HIV is free under the Communicable Diseases Act and you have the right to test themselves anonymously.

A message that you have HIV does not automatically mean that you have or will develop aids.Om not antiviral medications for HIV are inserted ill about half of those living with HIV to AIDS within ten years. There is currently no treatment that can cure HIV. However, there are effective anti-HIV drugs that greatly reduces the amount of circulating virus, and effectively prevent development of the disease if treatment is started in time. Today's anti-HIV drugs with a low side effect profile with no negative impact on daily life.


There is currently no vaccine against HIV. The best protection is to practice safe sex, not sharing injecting equipment and avoid direct contact with blood and other body fluids. Condoms are good protection against HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases, unless it is intact and used throughout intercourse. In the health sector must all care and sampling based on general procedures for prevention of blood infection, such as gloves when contact with blood.

With a stable and well antiviral medication against HIV is the virus in the blood and other body fluids so low that it is not measurable in the routine test. This also reduces the infectiousness of radical and a possible residual risk of infection by sexual contact is judged to be very low and further minimized if condoms are always used, which is important given that the infectiousness may increase if the person has HIV get another sexually transmitted disease.

All pregnant women should be offered HIV testing so that HIV treatment can be initiated if HIV is detected, thereby reducing the risk that the baby will become infected during pregnancy or childbirth.

At Recent Close exposure to HIV is possible to start preventive treatment, known as post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) to prevent the infection from taking hold. Such treatment must be inserted preferably within 36 hours after exposure to provide a protective effect.

Measures on cases or outbreaks

HIV infection is classified under the Infectious Diseases Act as a dangerous disease, cases notified without identity to the county medical officer and the Public Health Agency. HIV infection is updated continually. Those who tested themselves anonymously is required to give their identity when HIV-positive test results. A person who has HIV must follow the directions given by the attending physician notifies under the Infectious Diseases Act. This is to prevent others from being infected.