What do HIV and AIDS stand for?
If you are someone that is very much interested in getting a medicine related career, then you will certainly need to know more about the domain that you will dip into. As such, I bet that you have wondered before, just What does HIV stand for? You should know that HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus. Basically, the one responsible for AIDS is this virus. As such, you should know that this is a virus that is deemed to be incurable at the moment and even though there were so many advancements in medicine, there are still many question marks that are surrounding the cure for AIDS.
Also, if you don’t know What does AIDS stand for, this is a very easy answer. AIDS practically means Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. If you are diagnosed with this virus, you will need to visit your doctor immediately. Those that are infected will have to lead a life that will most of the times constrain them from doing things that are normal for others.
If you have such a virus infecting your body, you don’t need to despair as your life is not over. You will be assisted by specialized medical staff so that you will be able to get used to your new life. This includes learning a few set of rules when you are going out, regarding how to dress (because we all know that the immune system is very much weak and prone to diseases), how much to stay outside depending on the weather and so forth.
Recent studies have shown that AIDS practically destroys collagen and that in this regard, lysine and vitamin C would be a good choice to fight wit it. Always be sure to follow your instructions clearly, so that you can live a longer life.
HIV Blood Test
Taking a HIV blood test is the only way to tell if a person has HIV. HIV/AIDS symptoms are not specific, so this is the only way to get definitive diagnose.
The most common type of test that is used today is an HIV antibody test. Antibodies represent the body’s response to an infection. If the test is showing that you have antibodies against HIV in your organism, in your blood, you have been infected with HIV. Results of the test may be available within an hour, if you were using rapid HIV antibody test, or you can get your results in a couple of weeks, if you were taking standard antibody test.
It is advisable to take the test at least three months after suspicious contact, so there are sufficient antibodies to be sure of diagnose. This is so called “window period”- the period of time between HIV infection and the production of antibodies. During this time, an antibody test may give a ‘false negative’ result. After this period has gone by, antibody tests are extremely accurate.
The test is confidential, and it does not take a long time. In some countries, oral tests are available, but the most used way of testing is a simple taking of a small sample of blood from subject’s arm.
There also are other types of tests. PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) tests are tests that detect the genetic material of HIV itself. It is also known as a viral load test and HIV NAAT (nucleic acid amplification testing).
Antigen test (P24 test) only works before antibodies are produced in the period immediately after HIV infection, so it is not used for general HIV diagnostic purposes. If the test results come back positive, they are always followed up with confirmatory tests. There are four of them which are commonly used:
- A western blot assay
- a line immunoassay
- an indirect immunofluorescence assay
- and a second ELISA.
There is also, so called fourth generation of tests. They combine P24 antigen tests with standard antibody tests, so results are extremely accurate. It is important to get tested for HIV, because if you are HIV positive, there are a number of things that you can do to help yourself.
Anti-retroviral treatment is necessary, to slow down the virus, you have to practice safer sex, and if you were thinking of starting a family, you can get all necessary information about mother to child transmission and prevent it from happening. HIV blood test will help every one of us, to either put our minds at rest, or to confront the illness and take necessary steps, because of us and because of our loved ones.