The Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is a condition that can lead to Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS). The HIV retrovirus causes substantial damage to the immune system by reducing the level of CD4 cells in the blood, resulting in a weakened immune system that is unable to fight off life-threatening infections.
Did You Know:
Over 5.4 million people in Asia are estimated to be living with HIV. Read more.
How is HIV transmitted?
HIV can be transmitted through contact with contaminated bodily fluids from someone with the virus. This includes: blood, semen, vaginal fluid, pre-ejaculate, saliva and breast milk. You can get HIV through sexual contact with an infected person. It is also transmitted through the sharing of needles or syringes, needle stick injury, through blood transfusions that contain contaminated blood, or any other situation which puts you into contact with contaminated bodily fluid.
How will I know if I have HIV?
Most people with HIV do not have any symptoms for the first few years, so the only way to know your status is to get tested. In the first weeks of an HIV infection, you can experience flu-like symptoms that include: fever, rashes, muscle or joint aches and a sore throat. These symptoms can occur as early as one week after any potential exposure to the virus, and can last for up to six weeks. You are then likely to go through an asymptomatic stage, with few or no symptoms, before progressing to more serious health problems. The only way to be certain of your HIV status is to get tested as soon as possible.
What tests are available for HIV?
With HIV, early detection and intervention are extremely important. Better2Know provides testing for HIV from as early as ten days after any potential exposure to help you get the answers you need.
Better2Know offers a range of comprehensive screens and tests that will detect the HIV virus. One of our most popular screens is the Early Detection Screen, which can detect the virus as early as 10 days after suspected exposure to infection. If you are looking for a more complete testing option, the Better2Know Platinum Screen gives you a comprehensive view of your sexual health, testing for 11 different STIs. Depending on which screen or test you choose, results will be available within one to five working days of our laboratory receiving your blood sample.
How is the infection treated?
HIV is no longer considered a life-threatening condition as there are lifestyle changes and specialist services that can help manage the infection, usually consisting of antiretroviral therapy. With early diagnosis, an infected person can lead a normal and healthy life, so it is important to get tested if you have any doubts concerning your HIV status.
If you are diagnosed with HIV, you will have regular blood tests to monitor the progress of your infection before starting treatment. HIV is treated with antiretroviral medications, which stop the virus replicating in the body, allowing the immune system to repair itself and prevent further damage. Different combinations of HIV medicines work for different people, so the medicine you take will be individual to you.
If you are HIV positive, there are also apps and web pages that can help you manage and monitor your condition, so that you can take control of the virus and maintain your health and lifestyle.
If you think you have been exposed to HIV, post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) medication may stop you becoming infected. PEP must be started within 72 hours of coming into contact with the virus for it to be effective and is only recommended following higher risk exposure.
How can I book my test with Better2Know?
To book your HIV test in Asia today, please contact Better2Know’s expert Patient Services team using the phone number provided at the top of the page. They can answer any additional questions you may have as well as processing your booking. Alternatively, you can use our online booking system by clicking the Book Now button displayed above.