Early advances in preventing HIV transmission resulted from educational programs describing how transmission occurs and providing barrier protection for those exposed to genital secretions and new needles or bleach to those exposed to blood by sharing needles. Despite these efforts, new infection in both the developed and developing worlds has continued at high rates.
Historically, the greatest success in preventing viral transmission has resulted from the development of preventative vaccines. Unfortunately, decades of research to develop an HIV vaccine has led to little hope for success. While the vaccine which has been developed demonstrated only limited evidence of protection, research is under way to further explore what can be learned for future vaccine development from this modest success. Continue reading →
HIV is most commonly diagnosed by testing blood or saliva for the presence of antibodies to the virus. These types of HIV tests aren’t accurate immediately after infection because body takes time to develop these antibodies — usually up to 12 weeks. In rare cases, it can take up to six months for an HIV antibody test to become positive.
A newer type of test checks for HIV antigen, a protein produced by the virus immediately after infection. This test can confirm a diagnosis within days of infection. An earlier diagnosis help people to take extra precautions to prevent transmission of the virus to others.
Tests to start treatment:
If you receive a diagnosis of HIV/AIDS, several types of tests can help your doctor determine what stage of the disease you have. These tests include:
CD4 count. CD4 cells are a type of white blood cell that’s specifically targeted and destroyed by HIV. A healthy person’s CD4 count can vary from 500 to more than 1,000. Even if a person has no symptoms, HIV infection progresses to AIDS when his or her CD4 count becomes less than 200.
Viral load. This test measures the amount of virus in your blood. Studies have shown that people with higher viral loads generally have poor prognosis than do those with a lower viral load.
Drug resistance. This type of test determines if your strain of HIV is resistant to any anti-HIV medications. Continue reading →
HIV stands for Human Immuno-deficiency Virus. It is responsible for causing AIDS (Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome) in humans. HIV belongs to the group of retrovirus. As this virus enters into the body, it starts destroying the cells of the immune system. In the meantime, the immune system tries to make new cells but gradually HIV destroys the capability of the body to fight infection and new cells formation. Without treatment, the immune system will become too weak to fight off illness and a person with HIV may develop rare infections or cancers. When these are particularly serious, the person is said to have AIDS(Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome).