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HIV

Table of Contents

HIV and AIDS screening services, providing advice and proper treatments.

การตรวจหาเชื้อเอชไอวี HIV

What is HIV?

HIV or Human Immunodeficiency Virus is a virus that can destroy CD4+ T-helper cells of the immune system in the body. If left untreated, it can lead to AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndromes), which is a sexually transmitted disease.
Symptoms of AIDS that can be found include chronic fever, chronic diarrhea, unexplained weight loss, etc. In addition, people who live with HIV and have very low immunity are also at risk for opportunistic infections, such as fungus in the lungs, fungus in the brain, tuberculosis of the lymph nodes, or brain abscess, etc.

How do we know if we are infected with HIV?

The only way to know is through a blood test to detect HIV infection.

  • Testing for immunity from HIV infection (Anti-HIV).
  • HIV genetic testing (NAT).
  • Detection of the amount of virus in the blood (HIV-Viral Load).

The most standard HIV screening test is the blood test for Anti-HIV, which has been used around the world. 

Nowadays, HIV screening kits have been developed up to the 4th generation, which are able to detect infection after 21 days of exposure.

Confirmation of HIV infection requires the results of three different HIV screening tests, all of which must be positive in order for the results to be confirmed as HIV-infected or positive. If one or two of the tests show different results, it cannot be conclusively determined that there is HIV infection (inconclusive).

Nowadays, there is HIV self-testing that can be done by yourself (HIV Self-testing), which has an accuracy of up to 99.9% in detecting HIV infection by using blood or oral secretions.

What is acute HIV infection?

Most people who contract HIV after engaging in risky behavior with an infected person often show symptoms of acute HIV infection, which usually occur 2-4 weeks after being infected.

Common symptoms that can be found in acute HIV infection are similar to influenza, such as fever, chills, fatigue, body aches, sore throat, red rash on the body, enlarged lymph nodes, night sweats, and mouth sores.

If you have these symptoms after being at risk of HIV infection, you should consult your doctor to get tested for HIV infection as soon as possible.

ระยะของการติดเอชไอวี HIV

What are the stages of HIV infection?

There are three stages of HIV infection.

  1. Acute HIV Infection
    This stage occurs after the body has been infected with HIV and the virus has entered the bloodstream. Most people who are infected during this stage will have symptoms similar to those of people with influenza. During this stage, the amount of virus in the blood of a person infected with HIV is high, making it easy for them to transmit HIV to others.
  2. Chronic HIV Infection 
    Chronic HIV infection  occurs after HIV has spread throughout the body and is hiding in lymph nodes and other tissues. At this stage, people infected with HIV will not show any symptoms (asymptomatic HIV infection) and can transmit HIV to others as in the acute HIV stage. During this stage, the HIV virus gradually destroys the body’s immune system by targeting CD4+ T-helper cells, which are the immune system cells that destroy germs that enter the body. If a person infected with HIV does not receive antiretroviral treatment, the disease will progress until the body’s immune system weakens, leading to the development of AIDS.
  3. Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndromes (AIDS)
    This is the most dangerous stage after the body is infected with HIV, as the body’s immune system is lower than 100 cells/ml and can still spread the infection to others, as in the first two stages, since the body’s immunity is greatly reduced. People infected with HIV are more likely to contract opportunistic diseases such as candidiasis in the lungs, fungal diseases of the brain, lymphatic tuberculosis, or brain abscess. An HIV infected person who is not on antiretroviral therapy takes two to three years to progress from acute HIV infection to AIDS.
การป้องกันติดเชื้อ HIV

How is HIV not transmitted?

HIV cannot be transmitted through hugging, holding hands, sharing the bathroom, sharing meals, contact with the saliva, sweat, or tears of an infected person, or mosquito bites.

ยาป้องกันติดเชื้อ hiv pep prep

Prevention of HIV infection

Besides using condoms every time you have sex to prevent HIV infection, there are now medicines that can also help prevent HIV infection.

Medicines to prevent HIV infection

  • PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis) is a drug that is taken before being exposed to the risk of HIV infection.
  • PEP (Post-Exposure Prophylaxis) is a drug that is taken after being exposed to the risk of HIV infection.