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RNA PCR for HIV 2 can be done 7 days after the suspected exposure. This is one of the tests that detects presence of HIV 2 virus very early. Since the test looks for virus RNA, it is not dependent on production of antibodies by the body. The technique used in PCR test or Polymerase Chain Reaction is to extract and amplify the genetic material of the virus.HIV-2 RNA PCR is a highly sensitive and specific method to detect the presence of HIV-2 proviral RNA in clinical specimens.
The diagnosis of infection should not rely solely upon the result of a PCR assay. A positive result should be considered in conjunction with clinical presentation and additional clinical tests. A negative PCR result indicates the absence of HIV-2 proviral RNA at detectable levels in the sample tests and does not exclude diagnosis of disease.
* The PCR RNA test is done only if there is a high risk exposure or there are symptoms of being sero-positive. The advisable test for detection of HIV is antigen/ antibody screening test, done after 28 days of suspected exposure. For some people, PCR RNA test may be done to reduce anxiety, till 28 days are over and they are ready to take the antigen/antibody test.
If you had a potential exposure/s, it makes sense to get tested since there may only be a flu like syndrome or no symptopms at all, if there is HIV infection. Getting tested is the only way to know your status and going by symptoms is not right. Often people misinterpret any flu like symptoms with HIV, without geting tested , which causes unnecessary worries. In a majority of such cases, no HIV is detected.
HIV if detecetd early is easy to treat with life expectancy being near normal to normal and quality of life, as good as before. If you had no potential exposure, even then CDC recommends that between the age of 13 and 64 , everyone should get tested for HIV once in their lifetimes.
The most common ways of HIV transmission are (a) having sex with a person who has hiv (b) blood transfusion with infected blood (c) use of infected needles or devices (d) mother to baby during pregnancy, delivery or breastfeeding
Yes. Latex condoms , if used properly, are very effective. The chances of HIV transmission are very low if condom is used properly.
Rarely. Oral sex has the least risk. The highest risk is with anal sex, followed by vaginal sex.
HIV is a weak virus, that is not transmitted easily. It is heat labile and does not survive more than a few minutes if exposed to external environment.
The symptoms of HIV are the same as that of common flu. Hence, you must never relate your symptoms with HIV. If you had a potential exposure , getting tested is the best way to know.
HIV is easy to treat now, provided it is diagnosed early. One just needs to take one pill in a day. People with HIV live normal and high quality life.
HIV , if left untreated, leads to AIDS in 5 to 10 years time. The good news is, with treatment, HIV does not convert to AIDS. HIV is not even detectable in the blood, after goal of therapy is achieved.