HIV infection can affect us all. It does not matter our age, gender, race, diet, sexual orientation or property status. 87 percent of Poles think that this problem does not concern them. Moreover, up to 70 percent of people infected with HIV in our country do not know about the infection. Untreated or late detection of HIV infection leads to the development of AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome).
It is an acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. The HIV / AIDS epidemic is in full swing, which is why it is so important that all of us have a basic understanding of HIV / AIDS. So what should you know about HIV / AIDS?
How can you get HIV infected?
- through the blood
- through sexual contact – vaginal, oral and anal,
- from an infected mother to a child – through the placenta during pregnancy, during
- childbirth, and also through breastfeeding.
For HIV infection to occur, there must be contact of the infectious material with the site through which the virus could enter the body.
When can I get his HIV?
You cannot become infected with HIV by:
- Living together with a HIV-positive person
- Use of shared space (e.g. toilet, swimming pool, gym, cinema, theater)
- Using everyday objects (e.g. cutlery, dishes)
- Contact with pets
- Insect bite
- Being a blood donor
HOW CAN I CHECK IF I AM AN INFECTED PERSON?
HIV infection can only be checked with the blood screening test for anti-HIV 1 and anti-HIV 2 antibodies. Anti-HIV antibodies are produced by the immune system.
A negative (negative) result from the screening test means that no anti-HIV antibodies were found. If the 4th generation test is performed, it means that the anti-HIV antibodies and the virus p24 antigen were not found. If 12 weeks or more have passed since the “risk behavior” and the screening test is negative, it means that you have not become infected.
A positive (positive) ELISA (EIA) result does not yet indicate infection. This result may be false positive for a variety of reasons. This result must always be confirmed with a confirmation test. Only a positive result of the confirmation test authorizes the conclusion that the patient is infected with HIV.
WHERE TO TAKE THE TEST?
The best place to perform the test are the Consultation and Diagnostic Centers (PKD) where you can perform the test free of charge, without a referral and anonymously. Testing in PKD is always preceded by a conversation with an advisor who will inform the patient about the course of the test, interpret the result, assess the risk of infection and, most importantly, determine whether it is a good time to perform the test. The counselor also accompanies the test result in order to be able to explain its significance, answer any doubts, and in the case of a positive result, support and indicate further options.
“I’M INFECTED / A – WHAT NOW?”
After receiving a positive test result, inform your sexual partner (s) of your infection as soon as possible. When entering into a new relationship, it is worth taking an HIV test together with your partner (even if you know this person very well). Taking a test is the only way to find out if someone is infected with HIV.