Before we talk about HIV facts, firstly, we should know what is Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)? It is the virus that causes AIDS. You can get infected with it by unprotected sex, and it is called as a sexually transmitted disease(STD). Without treatment, HIV infection in the long term to AIDS and death. In Belgium, about 1 in 20 000 people infected with HIV. Research shows that 1 in 20 gay men living with HIV. Most HIV infections happen among gay from the SM and teaching environment.
How does HIV?
Hiv is the immune system to defend the body against bacteria and viruses. After infection, the virus multiplies rapidly in the body itself. If HIV is not treated after you get some time in the AIDS stage: your body can no longer defend against certain infections.
How do you get infected with HIV?
There is contact required between a fluid in which the virus is transmitted (a “carrier”), and the mucous membranes or tissues (a “gate”) along which the virus enters the other of the body. Examples of a “carrier” are blood, semen, vaginal fluid, pus, and fluid. Examples of a “gate” his vagina, acorn, vulva, cervix, throat, intestine, anus, mouth, eyes, sores, canker sores or infected wounds. This contact may be sexual or blood transfusion. A mother can infect her baby during pregnancy and childbirth and breastfeeding.
What are the symptoms of HIV?
Infection with HIV In the beginning, no recognizable symptoms. After the window period you may sometimes find vague, flu-like symptoms (night sweats, fever, fatigue, rash) have, but for the rest, you do not notice. During this phase, you’re also the most infectious to others if you have unprotected sex. HIV facts then attack your immune system. At a later stage, the lymph nodes may swell. In the AIDS stage cause various infections complaints. After that, tumors can develop and disorders of the lymphatics. The brains can be affected as well.
HIV can be detected?
The HIV test, also known as the “AIDS test” detects antibodies in the blood against the HIV virus. At least six weeks after infection the body has produced enough antibodies to be determined by a test. For an HIV test, go to your doctor. Taking a small amount of blood that is examined by a laboratory. After about one week you have the result. There is also a test which the antigens of HIV virus itself detect. Which can be administered from 10 days after the risk. But the result is only guaranteed in case of a positive outcome. If the result is negative, it must be done a conventional HIV test after six weeks still. Discuss with your doctor which test is most suitable for you.
Is there a treatment for HIV?
HIV cure cannot exist yet. But when someone with HIV takes medication, the virus disappears almost entirely. Most people with HIV in Belgium have an undetectable viral load. They are hardly contagious. And will continue so as long as they take their medication correctly and incur no STDs. It is essential that gay men are aware of this reality. HIV-negative gay men sometimes have an exaggerated fear of HIV. This fear leads to stigmatization of people with HIV and is open communication about HIV status in the road, which in turn unprotected sex in hand can work.
Should you be informed sexual partner?
Yes. If you are infected until you have the first weeks a lot of virus in your blood and sperm. If someone has unprotected sex with someone who himself was recently infected, there is more chance that the virus is transmitted. Notify also your previous sexual partners so they can be tested. Preventing new infections is essential. Do you feel uncomfortable? Discuss this with your doctor. Who can tell them that you remain anonymous?
What is undetectable viral load?
The viral load (viral load), the number of copies of HIV-virus per ml of blood. She is next to the number of CD-4 cells, the most critical parameter in monitoring HIV infection. Due to the current combination of drugs decreases the viral load in the blood such that it is no longer detectable. A viral load is undetectable if it is between 20 and 50 virus particles per ml of blood. People with HIV facts who take their medication accurately are therefore hardly contagious.