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Build-up to World Aids Day 2019 | 30 November 2019

How can I tell I am infected with HIV?

 

The only way to know if you are infected with HIV is to be tested.

You cannot rely on symptoms to know whether you have HIV.

Many people who are infected with HIV do not have any symptoms at all for 10 years or more.

Some people who are infected with HIV report having flu-like symptoms (often described as “the worst flu ever”) 2 to 4 weeks after exposure.

Symptoms can include:

• Fever

• Enlarged lymph nodes

• Sore throat

• Rash

These symptoms can last anywhere from a few days to several weeks. During this time, HIV infection may not show up on an HIV test, but people who have it are highly infectious and can spread the infection to others.

However, you should not assume you have HIV if you have any of these symptoms (fever, enlarged lymph nodes, sore throat, rash)

Each of these symptoms can be caused by other illnesses. Some people do not report any symptoms.

Again, the only way to determine whether you are infected is to be tested for HIV infection.

If you test positive for HIV, you should see your doctor as soon as possible to begin treatment.

 

Is there a vaccine or cure for HIV?
The simple answer is no. There is currently neither a vaccine nor a cure for HIV. The best way to prevent HIV is to use consistent prevention methods, including

• safer sex (choosing low- or no-risk activities, using condoms) and

• using sterile needles (for drugs, medicines or tattoos)

Antiretroviral therapy (ART), however, can dramatically prolong the lives of many people infected with HIV and lower their chance of infecting others.

It is important that people get tested for HIV and know that they are infected early so that medical care and treatment have the greatest effect

 

HIV and Aids have physical, mental, social and spiritual impacts:
• Individual

• Family

• Community

• Country

• Globally

‘Communities make the Difference’.

 

Contributed

 

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