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Think You Have Contracted HIV? Here’s What To Do

January 14th, 2021

HIV attacks the immune system, weakening the body’s natural defense. If a person has the virus, the symptoms may show up after about a month. These symptoms can be easily mistaken for the flu. There may be symptoms like fever, sore throat, rashes, chills, muscle aches, night sweats, and even swollen lymph nodes. This is the first stage of HIV, also called acute HIV infection.

In the next stage, also called clinical latency or chronic infection, there may be mild or no symptoms at all. This stage can last for more than 10 years in some cases. Although there may not be any “sign”, HIV is still present in the body of the affected person and multiplying. After a point, in the next stage; the condition will become symptomatic and there may be evident symptoms, like severe diarrhea, mouth ulcers, and weight loss among others. When the CD4 count gets lower than 200 cells per cubic millimeter, the infected person enters the last stage, which is AIDS. The symptoms will be severe at this stage and the condition can be fatal.

Since HIV spreads in the body. This means the sooner the spread is stopped, the better. Remember, it is possible to live a normal life with this condition, as long as one manages to control the viral load with the right treatment measures.

Start the Treatment Course as Early as Possible

If you believe you may have contracted HIV, the next step is to get tested. Visit an STD testing center or Google “HIV test center near me”. If the test result is positive, seek proper treatment. Your doctor will put you on antiretroviral therapy. This will help control HIV infection. If the medicines are leaving side-effects, the doctor may make a few changes.

In any case, you must stick to the treatment and follow your doctor’s advice closely. When required, go for the CD4 test count, as well as the HIV viral load test. This will help doctors understand how effectively the treatment is working. Again, it’s possible to live a normal life with HIV. You can even have a normal sex life. It all comes down to how early you got diagnosed and how quickly you started the treatment course.

So, if you believe you have contracted HIV, get tested immediately. And if the test result is negative, start taking more care. Have protected sex and live a mindful life. You don’t want to be in such a panicky situation again. The next time, you may not be this lucky.

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