Testing for HIV is usually done by using blood or saliva test.
It can take up to 12 weeks for your body to develop antibodies to the virus. HIV is usually diagnosed using blood or saliva tests, but these tests can have false negatives if you take them too soon. This means that the test result comes back as negative even though you have the viral infection. Newer test checks for a specific protein that will be present soon after you’ve been infected.
You can also use a home test that requires only a swab of your gums. If you get a negative result, you should recheck in three months. If it’s positive, see your doctor to confirm the diagnosis.
The sooner you have a diagnosis and start treatment, the better. CD4 count, viral load, and drug resistance tests can help figure out what stage of disease you have and how to best approach treatment.
In some people, the development of genital warts may be the first indication of an HPV infection. Others may learn they have an HPV once they develop more serious conditions, such as cancer.
Your doctor can usually diagnose HPV just by visual inspection of your warts. If warts are difficult to see, a test using a vinegar solution turns them white so warts can be identified.
A Pap test can determine if cells from your cervix are abnormal. Certain varieties of HPV can also be identified using a DNA test on cervical cells.
How are HPV and HIV treated?
Treatment options for HPV
No specific treatments for HPV are available, but it often clears up on its own. Treatments for genital warts, cancer, and other conditions that occur due to HPV are available.
Treatment options for HIV
The HIV infection has three stages:
People often describe the symptoms of acute HIV infection as having “the worst flu ever.” This stage often presents with typical flu-like symptoms. In clinical latency, the virus is living in a person and causes few or no symptoms. In AIDS, the body’s immune system is badly damaged and vulnerable to opportunistic infections
If you’re newly diagnosed, your focus should be on finding and taking the medicine that best works for you. These medicines fall into these five categories:
- reverse transcriptase inhibitors
- protease inhibitors
- fusion inhibitors
- integrase inhibitors
- combinations of two or more other drugs
Although each type of drug fights HIV in a slightly different way, they work either to stop the virus from infecting cells or to stop it from making copies of itself. If you take the proper medication, it’s possible that HIV may never progress to AIDS.
No cure is available for HIV. This is a lifelong condition that requires treatment. When HIV was first discovered in the 1980s, it was rare for people with the virus to live more than a few years. Now, effective medicines that can dramatically extend your lifespan are available.
Is there any way to prevent HPV and HIV? A vaccine for HPV is available for men and women. It involves getting three injections over a six-month period and people should get it at ages 11 or 12. There’s a catch-up vaccine available for people up to age 26 who’ve never been vaccinated. Despite ongoing research, no vaccines for HIV are available. You can lower your risk by doing the following:
- Use a condom when having vaginal, oral, or anal sex.
- Don’t have sex with people you don’t know or whose sexual history you don’t know about.
- Don’t have sex while under the influence of drugs or alcohol because they can lower inhibitions and make you more vulnerable to taking sexual risks.
- Talk to your doctor to learn more about screening and preventive care.