How the Best HIV Testing Can Give You Your Peace of Mind
Get tested for HIV. See how the best HIV testing can bring you your peace of mind. Irrespective of the HIV symptoms, you should get the test regularly especially when you are active in sex. Save yourself from complications and help save the lives of others as well. Do not allow yourself to become the carrier of HIV, a simple HIV test is all you need to protect your own self and others from the virus.
What HIV Is
HIV or Human Immunodeficiency Virus is a condition that triggers acquired immunodeficiency syndrome or AIDS. HIV attacks the body’s natural defence against diseases. An individual infected with the virus suffers from weakening of his immune system opening his body to a host of diseases including those that are life threatening. When left un-detected and un-treated, HIV can lead an individual to his death either from infections, complications from diseases, or from the dreaded cancer.
Signs and Symptoms
You have to be aware that the virus does not always show signs and symptoms. The virus may have infected you already without you knowing it in the absence of these signs and symptoms. This is also one very important reason you should get an HIV test when you have an active sex life.
Typically, the signs and symptoms for the virus infection are the following:
- Red skin rashes signal that you may be suffering from early stages of the virus infection. You also experience symptoms that mimic those of flu’s such as the following: fever, fatigue and lethargy, colds, chills, runny nose, dry cough, muscle and tendon aches, headache, and upset stomach.
- In the next stage of the infection or the symptomatic stage, you may suffer from skin infections such as fungal and dermatitis, swollen lymph glands, and loss of weight. Notably such symptoms may also occur in individuals not infected by HIV.
- When the virus infection reaches its fourth stage or more popularly known as AIDS, you will now show the most obvious signs and symptoms of the virus. These are purple lesions on the skin, fungal infection on your genital. You may also suffer from other infections that may seep in such as those from herpes and human papillomavirus where blisters and warts are the manifestations.
- Following stage four (4) or AIDS, you will then enter into the longest stage of the virus infection where the signs and symptoms disappear although the infection is progressing. This is the asymptomatic stage of HIV.
The general signs and symptoms of HIV are the following:
- itchiness around the genitals,
- red rashes on the genitals or the mouth,
- burning sensation accompanied by pain when urinating,
- genital discharge and discomfort,
- persistent sore throat,
- urine discoloration,
- lymph node swelling,
- fever and body malaise,
- unexplained weight loss,
- bleeding and painful sexual intercourse,
- vomiting and nausea,
- joint aches, and
- abdominal pain or upset stomach
Early detection of HIV is necessary to slow down and halt the progression of the virus. Since the signs and symptoms, either mimicking other diseases or not showing any signs and symptoms at all, it is crucial and necessary that you subject yourself to HIV testing for proper diagnosis, detection, and early treatment.
Importance of Early Detection
Early diagnosis done through testing is the only way that you can prevent the virus infection from spreading viciously in your system. You have known that most times, there is an absence of the HIV symptoms. Getting the diagnostic test will enable you to seek treatment to protect not only yourself but also prevent the spread of the infection to others by denying yourself as HIV carrier. You see, if you are unaware that the HIV has hit your system, you may continue practising unsafe sex or sharing needles. These are the two most common ways to transmit the virus to others. Early detection of HIV also leads you to seek proper intervention and treatment.
Studies have confirmed that when intervention is able to control the virus at its early stages, the spread of the infection will dramatically slow down or its progression stopped. The right treatment will then be able to increase the body’s natural defence against infections and illnesses enabling you to fight HIV and hold on to your precious life.
Understanding the HIV Cycle
In appreciating the role of testing and getting the necessary HIV treatment, you must understand how the virus works. It will help you determine how to block the virus and stop it from spreading viciously into the system. You will also know how important it is to strengthen your immune system as your natural defence against infections and other illnesses triggered by HIV.
HIV Enters the Body
The HIV life cycle begins when the virus enters the body. This usually occurs through sexual intercourse with an infected partner, or through sharing of needles. Once HIV enters your body, you may then become a carrier through pregnancy where you transmit the virus to your unborn child, or through breastfeeding.
As soon as the virus enters your body, it looks for the necessary host that will enable it to replicate itself and multiply. It attaches itself to a CD4 cell (a specialized cell type in your body that plays a significant role in the functions of your immune system, helping the body defend against infections). There are treatments that can prevent this attachment and deny the HIV the host it needs to reproduce.
In the absence of intervention and treatments, reproduction of HIV begins. The virus injects its own proteins to its host resulting to a fusion. During the fusion, in a process known as reverse transcriptase, the enzyme transforms the HIV RNA (an inherent reproductive material) into DNA that matches human DNA thereby allowing the virus to replicate and reproduce in the human body.
Again, there are interventions and treatments that can prevent the transformation of the HIV RNA into DNA to halt the reproduction of the virus in the body.
Once the HIV RNA has transformed to DNA, the latter will have to integrate to the cell’s nucleus. As integration occurs, this DNA may remain passive as it waits for other materials such as protein- building blocks necessary to complete its reproduction. This process can be short term or long term depending upon the body’s response to the integration.
When the virus has all the materials necessary to complete reproduction, the virus begins to assemble and replicate until they form a multitude infecting other cells in the body. The process repeats itself until the virus has conquered your system rendering your body defenceless against infections and diseases.
Getting Diagnosed for HIV
You see how important getting an accurate diagnosis is for early detection and prevention of the virus infection. You can only get the diagnosis when you subject yourself to HIV testing whether or not you are showing HIV symptoms.
Unfortunately, most individuals skip the process. They think that since they are not showing any signs or symptoms, they are safe from the infection. Most are also embarrassed to get an HIV test because of the stigma attached, and for fear that, others may look upon them with suspicion and avoid them.
You have to realize though that when you have an active sexual life, you are unsure about your partner, or you may have shared needles with another, you should get a diagnostic test. There is nothing to be ashamed about in getting an HIV diagnostic test especially when you choose the right testing facility.
With the right HIV facility for testing, you can get your testing done fast and in the most confidential manner as you wish. You do not even have to worry about the cost, as you can get tested at the most reasonable cost.
If you are at risk for HIV, make it a point to get a diagnostic test. The risk factors for HIV are the following: (1) active sex life, or unsafe sex with someone who may be at risk for HIV; (2) infected with other sexually transmitted diseases that leave open sores as gateway for HIV; (3) have used or are using intravenous (IV) drugs making them share needles; and (4) not undergoing circumcision according to studies.
How to Get the Test
If you are at risk for HIV, it is to your greatest interest to get a routine testing for the virus. This you can do easily by finding an online facility such as that of Discount STD Testing. It will take you only three (3) quick and highly confidential steps to get your diagnosis and peace of mind:
- Call Discount STD Testing to speak to one of their highly trained counsellors. The counsellor will evaluate your HIV risks from your description of your situation. From there, you and your counsellor will work an option that is most convenient and beneficial for you including the arrangement for testing facility nearest your location.
- Visit the testing facility for the actual diagnostic test. As Discount STD Testing has pre-arranged everything on your behalf including all documentation ensuring utmost confidentiality, all you just need to do is to submit yourself for sample collection. It will only take you twenty (20) minutes at the most for the entire testing process.
- Get the testing results the following day without having to go back to the facility. With just a phone call to Discount STD, you will know what the results are. While the average turnaround time for complete results is about two (2) to three (3) working days, you can get results as early as the next day following the testing.
Your counsellor will assist you in handling the results of your HIV Testing. You can ask whatever questions you have regarding the results and find comfort in your counsellors to help you with what to do base from the results. For instance, if you tested positive for HIV, your counsellor will help you find the most appropriate treatment. Discount STD will help you overcome your condition from start to end.
Finding the Right Treatment
Regardless of the HIV symptoms, the conduct of the HIV test will tell you whether you should get immediate treatment. What is good about online facility like Discount STD is that they will help you all the way to find the most appropriate treatment should your test results yield you are positive for HIV.
Although there is no known cure yet for HIV as of to date, there are several interventions and treatments. These treatments will effectively manage and control the virus and prevent its spread and transmission.
There are medical as well as alternative HIV treatments. You should be able to discuss with your physician all possible options to deal with your condition most effectively and appropriately. More than your physician and anyone else, you alone should have the power to decide what treatment to take.
In choosing the best treatment for HIV, you have to consider the following:
- Medical treatments especially when long term can carry their own risks such as the side effects of medications and the high cost of treatment. You should be able to prepare your finances and assess the risks of side effects when choosing this route,
- Natural treatments may mean a long bout with the virus infection and must entail discipline and determination to win over the virus. This type of treatments, however, saves you from the risks of side effects and are economical than medical treatments.
The Right Time for Treatment
It is difficult to specify when to begin treatment for HIV. Even medical practitioners argue about the timeframe. Nevertheless, there are certain guidelines that suggest when you should begin your treatment should your HIV testing shows you are positive from the virus infection.
- Get a T-cell count. If the count is more than 500, then there is no need to start the treatment right away. Although there are physicians that will tell you this is the best time to start treatment to get the highest level of protection.
If the count is any value in the range of 350-500, you should begin treatment to protect your immune system from any damage that the virus will cause. If the count is below 350, you should urgently start treatment to prevent further damage to your immune system and protect your health from life threatening diseases.
- You are experiencing serious HIV symptoms. When the signs and symptoms are present and they have started to become severe, prudence dictates to seek immediate treatment after confirming from an HIV test that indeed these are symptoms of the virus infection.
Prior to starting your HIV treatment, you have to make sure that you are ready for it.
Managing Your Life
There is no other way you can reverse the occurrence of HIV. What you can do, however, is to manage your life and stay as healthy as possible in spite of HIV. You can dramatically slow down the progression of the virus infection and live longer.
Receive Proper Medical Attention
Whenever necessary, you should always be ready to get proper medical attention especially when the HIV symptoms are beginning to show their ugliest. You should make HIV testing part of your routine. There are online facilities such as Discount STD Testing that can perform quick and accurate test at the most reasonable cost and with the utmost confidentiality of results.
If you decide to start taking medications for your HIV treatment, you have to make sure that you will be able to follow your regimen religiously. Skipping medication on a treatment may alter its effectiveness. Your medicines should be available at all times
Shift to a Healthy Lifestyle
With a weakened immune system, you may just have to give up your typical lifestyle. You have to start introducing healthy changes until such time that you have shifted from your usual to a healthy lifestyle favourable to the treatment of HIV
- You should start to eat healthy and nutritious food to boost your immune system. Fresh fruits and green leafy vegetables are beneficial to your health. Avoid processed and instant food as they contain preservatives and chemicals that can be toxic to your body.
- Get enough sleep. This provides your body the relaxation it needs to and the environment necessary to re-energize and boost your natural defence. Avoid stress as much as possible as stress activates substances in the body that may weaken your immune system.
- Subject yourself to regular HIV test, as well as other routine tests as part of monitoring your health. With these tests, you will also be able to address immediate health issues, as they are necessary.
You can have HIV and still maintain the quality of living your life. You can live longer as long as you know how to manage and control the HIV infection. The right treatment will help you stop and prevent infections and other complication arising from the virus.
You should make it as your goal to strengthen your immune system, as this is what is going to help you win your battle against HIV. More importantly, do not wait for HIV symptoms to persist prior to getting an HIV test.
You should see to it that when you are at risk for HIV, you subject yourself to regular HIV testing. This is the best favour you can give yourself and your partner to safeguard your health against the virus infection and enjoy your peace of mind
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