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What is the common symptoms and conclusive tests for HIV?

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Infectious Diseases Specialist
Practicing since : 2002
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Few questions: 1. What is the common symptons for HIV? 2. What is the best and conclusive test to investigate this virus in one's body 3. When the test needs to be conducted as to after how many days of intimacy.
Posted Tue, 17 Dec 2013 in HIV and AIDS
Answered by Dr. Roopa Hiremath 1 hour later
Brief Answer: HIV and HIV testing Detailed Answer: Hi, Thanks for choosing health care magic for your query. Before I answer your queries I want to elaborate on few details regarding HIV for better understanding. HIV is Human Immunodeficiency Virus and it causes a condition called as AIDS which is Acquired Immunodeficiency syndrome. The commonest mode of spread of HIV is sexual intercourse (Vaginal, anal, or oral) with HIV infected individual. The other modes include sharing of contaminated needles during drug abuse and through blood transfusion. HIV positive mother can give the virus to her fetus during delivery or while breast feeding. HIV gains entry into the body through the mucosa lining the genitals and multiplies in the local lymph nodes, It then spills into the blood after 4-11 days. So technically there is no test that can detect the HIV within 4 days of exposure. Antibodies against HIV appear in the blood 3-12 weeks after exposure. The period from exposure to appearance of antibodies is called window period. This window period is variable in different individuals. Now coming to your questions: 1. Symptoms of HIV: HIV can be divided into 4 groups based on the symptoms and time since exposure. Group 1 - acute primary HIV infection – fever, lethargy, joint pain, skin rash, lymphadenopathy (mild). Rarely mucocutaneous ulcers and depression. (first 2 weeks) Group 2 - asymptomatic (1 year after exposure) Group 3 - persistent generalized lymphadenopathy (1-3 years) Group 4 - AIDS related complex (after 5 years) Progression of disease varies in different individuals. 2. Based on the time of exposure, the best tests are mentioned below: Early exposure: Best tests would be p24 antigen and PCR for HIV RNA. After 12 weeks: ELISA for HIV 1 and 2 antigens and antibodies, western blot test. 3. I have mentioned the best tests based on time since exposure above. I hope I have cleared all your doubts. Please get back for any more clarifications. Thanks.
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Follow-up: What is the common symptoms and conclusive tests for HIV? 20 hours later
Is there a cure of HIV available in the medical fraternity? Or is it still a incurable disease.
Answered by Dr. Roopa Hiremath 1 hour later
Brief Answer: No cure for HIV, ART for increasing lifespan Detailed Answer: Hi, Welcome back. Unfortunately there is still no cure for HIV. ART or antiretroviral therapy is available which is being given to HIV positive patients to decrease the progression of disease and increase the life span of patients. There are several studies being done to produce an effective vaccine against HIV but these studies are still in Phase I. Hopefully, a vaccine will come into existence soon. Thanks.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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