HIV: Transmission and Diagnosis
This article will discuss different aspects of HIV transmission methods and diagnosis; we will also briefly discuss the connection between AIDS and HIV.
The connection between AIDS and HIV
A person having contracted HIV can develop AIDS. On the other hand, it is also correct that people who have HIV will surely have AIDS. The HIV progress in three stages.
- Stage 1: This is the acute stage, the first two or three weeks after the transmission.
- Stage 2: Chronic stage or clinical latency.
- Stage 3: AIDS
HIV lowers the CD4 cell counts; hence the immune system becomes weak. The normal count of CD4 cells in adults is 600 to 1600 per cubic millimeter. A patient with less than 200 CD4 cell count is confirmed to have AIDS. If a person is HIV positive, it will remain in that person for the rest of their lives. With treatment, it will be in control, and without treatment, it will slowly become chronic and result in AIDS. At present the HIV does not have any cure; regular treatments can only control it. If HIV does not have a cure, then it is obvious that AIDS also has no cure. Regular treatment is very important for HIV patients; these treatments keep the CD4 cells count high. AIDS and HIV are related, but they are not the same. The symptoms of HIV are different in different stages; hence it is difficult to understand it properly.
Transmission of HIV
People carrying the HIV virus in them can spread it by their bodily fluids such as:
- Breast milk.
- Rectal and vaginal fluids.
Thy ways in which a person can transmit the HIV virus to other people are as follows:
- Through anal or vaginal sex; this is the most common method of transmission.
- Sharing various objects like syringes, needles, or injections.
- Sharing the tattoo equipment without properly sterilizing it after every use.
- During labor, delivery, or pregnancy, the baby can get the virus while being born.
- Pre-chewing the baby’s food before giving them to the baby.
The HIV virus can also be transmitted through tissue and organ transplant as well as a blood transfusion. There are also some other transmission methods, but the chance of transmission through those ways is very much less.
- Oral sex; if the infected person has open sores or bleeding gums.
- Bitten by HIV positive person; if the person has bloody saliva and open sores.
- Contact between mucous membranes, wounds, and broken skin.
Few tests have to be conducted for the diagnosis of HIV.
- Antigen Test: This is the most common test for the diagnosis of HIV. The results can be achieved within 19 to 46 days. This test mainly checks the blood of the person for antigens.
- Antibody Test: Between 24 to 91 days of transmission, people develop HIV antibodies found in saliva or blood. These tests are conducted by mouth swabs and taking the blood samples.
- Nucleic Acid Test (NAT): NAT is a costly test, and it is usually done if there are any symptoms of HIV or any other risk factors. The test directly searches for the HIV virus.