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How do you know you have HIV?

What are the first noticeable, alarming symptons that indicate HIV infection? I might have swallowed some blood May of 2006 but haven't had any symptoms of anything...

Dr. D is right. You generally won't show any symptoms related to HIV until you're already pretty sick. Get tested. Here's a site that will tell you your nearest testing center:

This site also has general HIV information. Even if you think the odds are low, you should get tested just to be sure.

Good luck, and I hope your test results are HIV-negative.

If you notice symptoms of infection..chances are you are already VERY close to hitting the AIDS marker.

The only sure way to know if you have HIV is to get tested.

The "'ONLY" way to know is to get tested-

you'll know when you get tested and the doc tells you whether you are or you aren't

You need to get tested for HIV. HIV will not show any significant symptoms early. If you are positive for the antibodies, a western blot test will confirm with Hiv antigens. If the Western blot comes out indeterminate, a pcr test checking for Hiv virus needs to be done.

Huh? You 'might' have?

Well, you can't get HIV from something you ate. The virus is far too fragile to stand up to stomach acid. The only way you could get infected is if you had a cut in your mouth or throat and the blood got into that, but that's pretty unlikely.

I'm assuming this is something like there was a cut and some blood spattered...and you might have swallowed some--? You shouldn't be drinking other people's blood, but HIV isn't the main thing I'd worry about if you are. ;-)

If you're worried, what you do is to get tested for HIV. Some people do have flulike symptoms early on, but not everyone does, and by the time you have 'noticeable, alarming' symptoms, the disease may be quite advanced.

What is AIDS?

Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is a disease in which the body's natural immune (protection) system breaks down, leaving it unable to fight off infections. A person with AIDS gets illnesses that are little or no threat to others with a healthy immune system.

What causes AIDS?

AIDS is caused by the virus called Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). HIV is a sexually transmitted virus and is present in the blood and other body fluids such as semen and vaginal secretions of an infected person.

How do I get HIV/AIDS?

You can get HIV/AIDS through any of the following ways:

By having unprotected sexual intercourse with an infected person
By using contaminated drug needles
Through transfusion of blood or blood produced from an infected source (In Jamaica all blood entering the Blood Bank is thoroughly screened for HIV).
An infected mother can pass the virus on to her unborn child either during birth or breast milk.
Who are at risk of getting HIV/AIDS?

Persons who have unprotected sex
Persons with many sex partners
Persons who have had repeat infections of STIs
Male and female prostitutes
Persons who have sex with someone who is HIV positive
Past or present users of needles to inject illicit drugs, eg. Cocaine

What happens when HIV enters the body?

HIV is a silent virus which slowly destroys the body's immune system. The majority of person infected with HIV do not know they have the virus and do not show any signs of the disease. However, they can infect others. Persons who have been infected with HIV will eventually develop AIDS.

How can I know if I am infected with HIV?

You have to take an HIV test to know if you are infected. This test should be done after proper pre test counseling. The test is done 3-6 weeks after someone suspects that they have been infected to look for HIV antibodies which would mean that the virus is present.

What are some of the symptoms of AIDS?

The symptoms of AIDS resemble that of many other diseases, however, when two or more of the following are present one may be suspected of having HIV/AIDS:

Rapid weight loss
Swollen glands in the neck, armpits or groin
Diarrhea and loss of appetite lasting more than a month

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