Testing For HIV Infection And The PEP Medication

HIV infected people feel healthy and well for a few years. But when their CD4 count severely drops, they begin to show signs of other diseases. These symptoms may include night sweats, oral thrush, sudden weight loss, swollen glands in the groin, armpit or neck, tiredness or endless diarrhea. Getting all or some of the above symptoms does mean you have HIV. It could be that you have another disease that needs the attention of the doctor.

A person who has developed the advanced HIV disease can also develop canker sores, pneumonia or tuberculosis. One point that people should note is that it is only a test that can reveal the truth about their HIV status. A home HIV test kit can be used by those of you who cannot see a healthcare expert directly. It can be ordered from an internet drug store and used according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

A blood test is the ordinary method of detecting HIV. A test detects whether you have antibodies that are produced by your body to fight HIV. It may also look for antigens, a form of protein located in the HIV cell. If you get tested not long after your most recent risk episode, a lot of antigens will be detected in your blood. Antigens stop being detectable after the first few weeks of getting infected. Antibodies take up to ninety days in your blood since the day of infection. There are tests that can detect both antigens and antibodies.

After testing yourself, you may get a positive or a negative result. Either way your results need to be confirmed at your local laboratory. The result can be out within one week. The oral HIV test kit is also very common. An infected person will have antibodies in their saliva that will be detected by this kit. Note that getting HIV from saliva is not a possibility. If the test finds antibodies in your saliva, the result will be positive. Do not settle for this positive result though.

You may take a blood test at the clinic to confirm your result. If you think you might have contracted this virus recently, you should still see a doctor. He or she can give you Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) medication. PEP stops HIV from replicating and spreading in your body, hence, reducing your odds of becoming HIV positive. If you are not a healthcare professional you will be given the non-occupational PEP. This type of PEP is given to someone who is exposed to HIV outside the workplace.

But you must show up quickly to begin medication within seventy-two hours of exposure to the virus. You will take two to three antiretroviral medications for a period of twenty-eight days. Nausea is to be expected as a side effect, although not all people will have it. Note that Post-Exposure Prophylaxis is not one hundred percent effective. It is now possible to purchase a HIV test kit in most developed countries. But there are trade marks you should look for to confirm that the product you want has gone through certain regulatory processes for safety.

The Upside Of Herpes – When One Infection Protects Against Another

“Every cloud has a silver lining” – that’s what people sometimes say. But they are not thinking about HSV at the time. HSV or Herpes Simplex Virus could be unpleasant, yet the viruses that set it off and other related diseases may have a benefit. At least in mice, they provide bacterial resistance against diseases like the bubonic plague.

Herpes is just one of several itchy, blistering infections, caused by the virus group aptly named as herpes viruses. Eight members of the virus group infect humans and result in various illnesses including chickenpox, shingles, glandular fever, and, indeed, herpes itself.

Nearly everybody contracts one of these viruses during their childhood. But the virus group will stay in the body permanently; not just for the holidays. After your immune system combats the primary infection, the virus goes into an inactive phase called “latency.” It stays hidden, showing no apparent symptoms. But it is likely to reactivate at any time.

In this manner, herpes viruses are like life-long parasites, guaranteeing their own survival and causing damage to their host’s health. In extreme instances, latent viruses can cause chronic inflammation, which in return can result in autoimmune diseases or a few forms of cancer.

But there’s a bright side to herpes as well. Washington University Medical School’s Erik Barton and colleagues discovered that once infected, mice went into the latent phase and became shockingly resistant to particular types of bacteria. Different from their susceptible and uninfected peers, they are even able to fight off the fatal plague bug, Yersinia pestis.

In mice at least, latent herpes viruses develop into paying tenants instead of freeloading squatters – resistance to the bacteria is their rent. The latent phase is vital to the effect of resistance, and Barton discovered that a mutant herpes virus infects yet provides nothing in return to its host.

The viruses function by placing the immune system on alert. The effect is just like raising a terror alert, causing an intensified security level where the body is ready to ward off any threats. The viruses activate the release of cytokines in high levels. Cytokines are immune system chemicals. These molecules – counting IFN-g (interferon-gamma) and TNF-a (tumor necrosis factor alpha) – aid to coordinate the defense against infections.

These chemicals trigger macrophages – a white blood cell. These cellular slayers consume invading bacteria and digest them. They’re activated in large quantities in mice infected by herpes viruses at the latent stage. This sequence is just how the immune system protects us against various bacterial invaders. However, in Barton’s study, the protection was initiated by viruses instead and persisted for longer than usual. Good for the mice.

What do we gain from these viruses? Will it have the same effect on us as the mice? Barton thinks so. In his research, two different strains – gHV68 (murine gammaherpesvirus 68) and MCMV (murine cytomegalovirus) – had a similar effect. He thinks that giving bacterial resistance is a universal characteristic of all herpes viruses.

Testing For HIV Infection And The PEP Medication

HIV infected people feel healthy and well for a few years. But when their CD4 count severely drops, they begin to show signs of other diseases. These symptoms may include night sweats, oral thrush, sudden weight loss, swollen glands in the groin, armpit or neck, tiredness or endless diarrhea. Getting all or some of the above symptoms does mean you have HIV. It could be that you have another disease that needs the attention of the doctor.

A person who has developed the advanced HIV disease can also develop canker sores, pneumonia or tuberculosis. One point that people should note is that it is only a test that can reveal the truth about their HIV status. A home HIV test kit can be used by those of you who cannot see a healthcare expert directly. It can be ordered from an internet drug store and used according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

A blood test is the ordinary method of detecting HIV. A test detects whether you have antibodies that are produced by your body to fight HIV. It may also look for antigens, a form of protein located in the HIV cell. If you get tested not long after your most recent risk episode, a lot of antigens will be detected in your blood. Antigens stop being detectable after the first few weeks of getting infected. Antibodies take up to ninety days in your blood since the day of infection. There are tests that can detect both antigens and antibodies.

After testing yourself, you may get a positive or a negative result. Either way your results need to be confirmed at your local laboratory. The result can be out within one week. The oral HIV test kit is also very common. An infected person will have antibodies in their saliva that will be detected by this kit. Note that getting HIV from saliva is not a possibility. If the test finds antibodies in your saliva, the result will be positive. Do not settle for this positive result though.

You may take a blood test at the clinic to confirm your result. If you think you might have contracted this virus recently, you should still see a doctor. He or she can give you Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) medication. PEP stops HIV from replicating and spreading in your body, hence, reducing your odds of becoming HIV positive. If you are not a healthcare professional you will be given the non-occupational PEP. This type of PEP is given to someone who is exposed to HIV outside the workplace.

But you must show up quickly to begin medication within seventy-two hours of exposure to the virus. You will take two to three antiretroviral medications for a period of twenty-eight days. Nausea is to be expected as a side effect, although not all people will have it. Note that Post-Exposure Prophylaxis is not one hundred percent effective. It is now possible to purchase a HIV test kit in most developed countries. But there are trade marks you should look for to confirm that the product you want has gone through certain regulatory processes for safety.