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88.What are the symptoms of HIV?

What are the symptoms of HIV?
In the period immediately after infection has taken place there aren't any specific symptoms. Within two to four weeks after exposure to HIV, a person might have flu-like symptoms such as fever, swollen glands, muscle aches, diarrhea, fatigue or rash. In rare instances they may occur within a few days after the exposure has taken place.
These symptoms usually go away after a week or two. Often, if they occur at all, they're so mild they're hardly noticeable, although for some people they are severe enough to warrant calling a doctor.
It's important to keep in mind these symptoms are almost identical to those of many other illnesses. That's why testing is so important. Very often people who have the symptoms are worrying unnecessarily. Only by taking the HIV test can someone reliably know their HIV status. Everything else is just guessing and HIV is too important and issue to merely guess about.

Common myths about how HIV is spread
You hear all sorts of stories about how you could become infected with HIV. For instance, should you get tested if you've been bitten by a mosquito?
These are some of the circumstances you don't have to worry about because they will not put you at risk for becoming infected with HIV:
Being bitten by a mosquito or other bugs, being bitten by an animal.
Eating food handled, prepared or served by somebody who is HIV positive.
Sharing toilets, telephones or clothing.
Sharing forks, spoons, knives, or drinking glasses.
Touching, hugging or kissing a person who is HIV positive.
Attending school, church, restaurants, shopping malls or other public places where there are HIV-positive people.
HIV cannot be transmitted though urine, feces, vomit, or sweat. It is present, but only in negligible quantities, in tears and blister fluid. It is present in minute amounts in saliva in a very small number of people.
What is an HIV test?
An HIV test shows if someone is infected with HIV, the virus that attacks the body's immune system and causes acquired immune deficiency syndrome, or what is more commonly known as AIDS. There are several different tests that can be used to determine if you are carrying the HIV virus. The first test developed is still the most frequently used for the initial detection of HIV infection: the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay or as it's more commonly known, the ELISA or EIA.
The ELISA is usually done by drawing blood, usually from a vein in the arm. The process is occasionally slightly uncomfortable. For most people, it is not particularly painful and the blood draw is accomplished quickly.
If the ELISA test is negative -- meaning that antibodies are not found -- the testing is complete. If the ELISA test is positive, the laboratory will want to make sure that it is not a "false positive" result (some molecules in the bloodstream can sometimes cause a false-positive result). First, they may repeat the ELISA test. If it's positive, they will conduct a test called Western blot. If both the ELISA and the Western blot test yield a positive result, a diagnosis of HIV infection is confirmed and the results are sent back to the healthcare professional who ordered the test.
If you have blood drawn for an HIV test, it can take between one and two weeks to learn the results. If it seems as if you are waiting a long time to learn the results, this in no way means that the result is "positive" and that the laboratory needs more time to conduct additional tests.



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