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An HIV/AIDS specialist is a physician who has specialized in internal medicine and further sub-specialized in infectious diseases (mainly HIV in this case). They have detailed knowledge about the disease, its diagnosis, causative and risk factors, symptoms and signs and management or treatment.
You can visit them if you are suspicious about contracting HIV by unprotected intercourse or contaminated needle injury, or any other causative factor. They will do the required clinical and laboratory examinations and guide you with the result that whether it is negative or positive and accordingly start you on anti-retroviral drugs if required.
Since most of the paranoid patients want to maintain their confidentiality, they prefer a method to contact the doctor without their physical presence and to help you through this, online medical platforms are available. You can consult an HIV/AIDS specialist online with a click on the screen to get a detailed information regarding your concern.
HIV and AIDS specialists or infectious disease doctors help individuals suffering from HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) infection and AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome).
It is best to get checked regularly for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) if you have unprotected sex, if you inject drugs intravenously, or if you are a homosexual man.
Infectious disease doctors diagnose, treat, and prevent diseases that can be transmitted from one person to another. They suggest tests, interpret the test results, and prescribe medicines, but do not perform surgeries.
No, there is no cure for AIDS still. But new antiretroviral drugs, if taken properly, help keep the viral load under control, protect your immune system, and prevent most of the complications from affecting you.
Antiretroviral therapy (ART) is the most recommended treatment for HIV and AIDS patients. Even though it does not cure this disease, it prevents fatal complications and lowers the risk of HIV getting transmitted.
The tests used by doctors to diagnose HIV infection are:
- HIV antibody test (3rd generation test) - This blood test checks the presence of antibodies in the blood, which are produced by the immune system in response to HIV.
- HIV antibody/antigen tests (4th generation test) - This test detects a part of the HIV virus, that is, the p24 antigen.
- HIV RNA Test - Here, the presence of HIV RNA (ribonucleic acid) is detected.
HIV symptoms are not specific, and there is no certain way to tell if you are infected other than getting tested. Some of the early symptoms include fever, chills, unintentional weight loss, tiredness, rashes, oral and genital sores, and night sweats. If you have these symptoms after having unprotected sex or other possible exposure, get tested and start treatment immediately.
No, there is no vaccine available for HIV.
People with HIV infection can have a near-normal lifespan, provided they get treated. The factors that affect lifespan are CD4 cell count, viral load, the presence of opportunistic infections, age, and other physical conditions. The life expectancy is around 3 years without treatment.
- Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is the use of antiviral drugs to prevent HIV infection for people who are at high risk. A combination of Tenofovir and Emtricitabine is used.
- Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) is when antiretroviral medicines (ART) after taken after a potential exposure to HIV to prevent infection. It should ideally be used within 72 hours.
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