HIV, which stands for "human immunodeficiency virus", is a virus that attacks the immune system and shuts down the body's ability to fight infections. This happens in stages over the course of months or years. The final stage is called "acquired immune deficiency syndrome", or AIDS, and is usually fatal. This is the point where a person will get sick and will be unable to recover. A lot of times people use these terms together or in place of one another, but they are not the same thing. HIV is the virus. AIDS is the final stage of the virus. HIV testing lets you know if you have it or not.
It is often thought that all people that test positive for HIV will develop AIDS. This is not true. There is a treatment that can prevent this from happening. However, if left untreated, it can be fatal. Click here to get tested today.
FACT: According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) over 1.2 million people in the United States have been infected with HIV. Many of them (almost 1 in 7) do not know it. With fast HIV testing and the proper treatment, this infection can be well controlled and people can prevent it from spreading.
The HIV virus weakens the immune system until it can no longer function. If it is not controlled, over time it completely reduces the body's ability to fight off harmful bacteria, viruses, or other infections that a healthy person can fight.
However, many people don't have symptoms when they are first infected. If they do, they may feel symptoms after several days or weeks that mimic the flu virus. These symptoms include:
- swollen neck glands
After a few weeks, these symptoms generally go away - which is why people think they simply have the flu. But even after the initial symptoms disappear, if left untreated, the HIV virus will progress. This progression can go on undetected for decades. During this time, the virus slowly kills the immune system until it simply doesn't work anymore and a person gets really sick and can't recover. This is when they are considered to have AIDS.
In order to avoid getting to this stage, a person must positively identify the infection and get treatment. Fast HIV testing is what positively identifies this disease.
There are laboratory tests to used diagnose the virus in its early stages. If treated right away, it can be well controlled. If left untreated, it can be fatal. The treatment that is necessary is called ART, or antiretroviral therapy. This is when a combination of medications is prescribed at the same time in order to keep the virus from growing and multiplying in the body.
HIV testing can be completed fast and in a few easy steps:
1) Order a test. This can be done quickly online. A simple HIV test can be taken but a full panel test which checks for all sexually transmitted diseases is recommended.
2) Visit a local testing center and give them a small sample of blood.
3) Get the results emailed to you within 2 business days and get fast treatment if necessary.
Stopping the virus from growing and/or multiplying is what enables people to live longer, healthier lives and lowers the risk of them developing other illnesses. It also reduces the risk that the virus will be transferred to others. HIV testing is the only way to know if the virus is present in the body.
Research shows that people with HIV often have other infections as well, such as hepatitis or genital herpes. The only way to get treatment for any of these infections is to first be properly diagnosed so a doctor can prescribe the right medication. Order your fast HIV testing here.
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