The 9 most common myths about HIV

The 9 most common myths about HIV

Evgeny Zhukov

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HIV infection

is a slowly progressive chronic infectious disease. It affects the immune system and can lead to the development of AIDS (with indrum of acquired immune deficiency. - Note. Ed. ).

A person does not always know that he is infected. From the time of infection to the appearance of visible symptoms of the disease, it may take 5-10 years until the human immune system ceases to cope. To understand whether a person is infected with HIV or not, it is possible only with the help of laboratory testing.

Antibodies to HIV do not appear immediately, but after 4-12 weeks (in rare cases up to a year) after infection. It is them that the test reveals.

At this time, the virus actively multiplies in the blood without symptoms.

Blood for HIV must be donated at least once a year . After unprotected sexual intercourse, the test should be done immediately to establish your status for this period, and then repeat the examination after 3 and 6 months.

The infection spreads mainly among people aged 30-50 with unprotected sex. Anyone can become infected with HIV, regardless of gender, age, nationality, sexual orientation, affluence or belonging to any social group.

There are no risk groups; any person may be in unsafe conditions.

The risk of HIV transmission depends on many factors: the amount of virus (viral load) in the blood or semen, the presence of inflammatory diseases of the reproductive system and sexually transmitted infections in sexual partners. Viral load is the amount of virus in 1 ml of blood in an HIV-infected person.

Use of condoms is necessary for all types of sexual contacts, especially if you do not know the HIV status of your partner. Often people know what needs to be done to protect themselves from infection, but due to various circumstances they do not take the right actions.

The 9 most common myths about HIV

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The risk of HIV infection during oral sex is low, but it all depends on the degree of mucosal damage, contact with blood and the viral load of the partner.

If a person takes ART (antiretroviral therapy) and has an undetectable viral load, he cannot transmit the virus. In other words, it is safe.

Infection with blood transfusion is very rare because donors are tested for HIV.

The scope of testing conducted by donors and technologies for the preparation of blood components minimize the risk of infection.

Dentists use disposable and sterile instruments in individual packaging, disinfect skin and work surfaces. Dental procedures are carried out under conditions in which the possibility of infection with any infection, including blood contact (transmitted with blood), is excluded. The dental clinic must have a license for medical activities, a sanitary and epidemiological report.

HIV is not transmitted by shaking hands, even if there are scratches on the hands.

HIV is not transmitted through insects. He is not able to survive in their organisms.

The 9 most common myths about HIV

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The risk of infection of the child depends on the HIV status of the mother. If an HIV-positive woman takes antiretroviral drugs during pregnancy and childbirth, the baby receives the drugs within four weeks after birth, and breastfeeding is excluded, then the risk of infection in the baby is less than 1%.

The sooner HIV infection is detected during pregnancy and the earlier antiretroviral therapy is started, the more likely it is that HIV will not be transmitted to the baby. If a woman becomes pregnant while taking ART, the risk is also minimal. But if a woman becomes infected during pregnancy, the risk of contracting a baby increases significantly.

If a man is infected with HIV, in vitro fertilization ( IVF) reduces the risk of infection for a woman.

HIV is diagnosed using highly sensitive and highly specific tests.

Tests are different: some determine only antibodies, others also antigens of the virus. Antibodies are not produced immediately, but 4-12 weeks after infection. It is better to contact a specialist who will give competent recommendations in a particular case.

If treatment is started immediately after the detection of the disease, the quality and life expectancy of HIV patients can be the same as in healthy people. The danger of infection is that it is detected not immediately after infection .

People do not get tested regularly. More than 30% of people with HIV learn about the disease in the later stages, which complicates the treatment and worsens the prognosis.

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