What is HIV?
The Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is a virus that affects the body’s defense system, called the immune system. Once weakened by HIV, the defense system allows diseases to appear. This advanced stage of HIV infection is called Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS). This means that AIDS is a set of symptoms (syndrome) that appears due to a failure of the immune system (immunodeficiency) caused by a virus that is transmitted from person to person (acquired).
For this reason, not everyone with HIV has AIDS, but everyone who has AIDS does have HIV. A person with HIV does not necessarily develop symptoms or illness. However, you can pass it on.
We call opportunistic diseases the infections or tumors that develop in the context of a deteriorated immune system and are those that mark a picture of AIDS. People who reach the stage of AIDS can access HIV treatment in Delhi to reverse that state, overcoming the disease that has appeared and recovering an adequate level of defenses.
How is HIV detected?
HIV has no symptoms. Therefore, the only way to know if someone has contracted HIV is through a test. In India, it is estimated that thirty percent of people living with HIV do not know they have it.
The HIV test is a blood test that detects the presence of antibodies to HIV. There are two types of tests: the so-called ELISA, which is a blood draw and performed in a laboratory, and the rapid test, in which a few drops of blood from the fingertip are deposited on a test strip and the result is got twenty minutes later. In both cases, if the result is positive, it must be confirmed with a laboratory test called Western Blot.
HIV testing is voluntary, confidential and does not require a medical order.
Once HIV infection occurs, it takes 3-4 weeks for antibodies to be detected. In other words, during this time, called the “window period”, the tests can be negative even if the person has the virus. That is why when there was a risky situation if the analysis was made during the following month and the result was negative, it is recommended by an HIV specialist in Delhi to repeat it.
A positive result means:
- Those HIV antibodies are found in the blood. In other words, the person has HIV. It does not mean that you have AIDS.
- That person can transmit HIV to another person.
- That you should use a condom in sexual relations to avoid transmitting HIV.
- That, in the event that a person becomes pregnant, they must take the necessary precautions to avoid transmission to the baby.
How is HIV transmitted?
HIV is in the blood, seminal fluid, semen, vaginal fluids, and breast milk. HIV is transmitted through the contact of these fluids with another person’s mucosa or bloodstream.
The proven transmission routes are few and well defined:
– Sexual route: by vaginal, anal or oral sexual relations, between people of the same or different sex without protection. The passage of the virus in sexual relations is carried out through microscopic injuries or wounds that occur during penetration and other sexual practices, where the fluids of the person who has the virus enter the body of the couple. 90% of HIV transmissions occur sexually. Although to a lesser extent, oral sex is also a risky practice, so it should be practiced with a latex field.
– Blood route: by contact with blood by sharing syringes or joints for the use of drugs or any other sharp or sharp element. Although cases are no longer known in India, it can be transmitted through uncontrolled blood transfusion.
– Perinatal or vertical route: from the pregnant person to the child during pregnancy, childbirth, and lactation. It is the main route of HIV transmission in children. Without proper HIV treatment in Delhi and medical care, a person with HIV has a 30% chance of giving birth to a baby with HIV. With treatment and medical attention, the risk of transmitting the virus to the baby is almost nil.
How is it not transmitted?
As important as knowing how the virus is transmitted is knowing what behaviors or practices do not. Having sex using condoms, a sneeze, a mosquito bite, sharing dishes or the same toilets or waxing does not transmit the virus. Saliva, tears, sweat, air, and water, like food, are not transmission vehicles.
Neither are sports, kissing, hugging, shaking hands, playing, working or studying, sharing showers or swimming pools, and exchanging clothes with people with HIV. Whoever receives a properly controlled blood transfusion is at no risk. All procedures that include the risk of cutting or puncture must be carried out with disposable or sterilized material.
How to prevent it?
– Sexual route: it is prevented with the use of the condom in a correct and consistent way, that is, during the entire sexual relationship, whether vaginal, anal or oral. Any other contraceptive method does not prevent HIV.
– Blood route: it is prevented by avoiding contact with blood. For this, it is necessary not to exchange or share needles or syringes. In the event that drugs are injected, use a new syringe each time. It is also suggested by an HIV specialist in Delhi to control that any procedure that includes any cut or puncture is performed with disposable or sterilized material, such as the dentist, manicure, tattoos or medical practices. Lastly, avoid contact with blood or use latex gloves.
– Perinatal or vertical route: it is prevented by controlling pregnancies. It is recommended by an HIV doctor in Delhi that all pregnant women be tested for HIV during the first trimester. If the result is positive, HIV treatment in Delhi should be started, medical indications should be followed, and breastfeeding should be discontinued. Thus, the chances of transmitting the virus to the baby are almost nil. It is recommended that the couple also perform the test, and in the case that it is positive, use a condom to avoid infection of the pregnant person and its subsequent transmission to the baby.
What is Combined Prevention?
It is about combining condom use with other methods that prevent HIV.
Why is there this strategy?
Condom use is a fundamental tool to prevent HIV, but it is not the only one. Combined prevention integrates a set of programs designed to meet the HIV prevention needs of some specific people and communities. Many times, some populations are affected by the epidemic in different ways than others and this requires an intervention that is appropriate and adapted to each situation. Each strategy must be based on rights and scientific evidence from a public health perspective.
What strategies are there?
- Testing and Early Diagnosis of HIV
- Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP): This is an emergency treatment for HIV that is accessed immediately after being exposed to a risk situation (up to 72 hours later). It lasts for 30 days.
- Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP)
- A preventive vaccine for HIV, currently under investigation.
How is HIV treated?
What does Undetectable = Intransmissible mean?
If a person with HIV has an undetectable viral load for more than 6 months and adheres to their HIV treatment in Delhi, studies have shown that no cases of sexual transmission of HIV were verified. It is important to highlight that in the case of breastfeeding, cases of transmission have been identified even when the mother was undetectable, so this concept does not apply in these cases.
This new discovery has helped decrease the stigma of people living with HIV. In addition, they can decide, together with their partner, addressing fears, desires and preferences, whether or not they use a condom and, in the case of pregnant people, they can decide to look for a child.
How is it cured?
There is currently no cure for HIV. However, existing treatments allow reducing the amount of virus in the blood to the point of keeping it undetectable. In other words, the analyzes fail to detect it. However, this does not mean that HIV is not in the body. In a smaller amount, the virus is found in body fluids. Also, if people stop treatment, within a few days they have an increase in the amount of virus.