Infections

HIV

(Human immunodeficiency virus)

About HIV

HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus. It kills or damages the body's immune system cells. AIDS stands for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. It is the most advanced stage of infection with HIV.

HIV most often spreads through unprotected sex with an infected person. It may also spread by sharing drug needles or through contact with the blood of an infected person. Women can give it to their babies during pregnancy or childbirth.

The first signs of HIV infection may be swollen glands and flu-like symptoms. These may come and go a month or two after infection. Severe symptoms may not appear until months or years later.

A blood test can tell if you have HIV infection. Your health care provider can perform the test, or call the national referral hotline at 1-800-CDC-INFO (24 hours a day, 1-800-232-4636 in English and en español; 1-888-232-6348 - TTY).

There is no cure, but there are many medicines to fight both HIV infection and the infections and cancers that come with it. People can live with the disease for many years.

Symptoms of HIV
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • More severe symptoms, including opportunistic infections, after months or years without treatment

Top Medications for HIV according to our users

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  • All men

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All Medications for HIV

Medication side effects for HIV

These are some of the most common side effects from clinical trials for Diarrhea.

  • Truvada: 7%
  • Atripla: 14%
0 of 100

At this end, no one is expected to have Diarrhea

100 of 100

At this end, almost everyone is expected to have Diarrhea

Tips, success stories, and coping strategies for HIV

What tip would you give someone like me who was just diagnosed?
  • Remain calm and be happy
  • Take a deep breath, there is help and don't be afraid to seek out treatment. I've been HIV + since jun 2014 and the medications are very effective on suppression of the virus. You aren't alone. Seek out help from family or friends or local councils to find support.
What’s your best coping strategy?

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Besides medications, what else has worked for you?

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