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Q.44 What about getting AIDS from body fluids like saliva?
Ans. Although small amounts of HIV have been found in body fluids like saliva, faeces, urine and tears, there is no evidence that HIV can spread through these body fluids.
Q.45 Could I be at risk?
Ans. Unless they know someone who has HIV, many people think this disease can't happen to them. Unfortunately, it can and does happen to all kind of people. By looking at your current and past sexual and drug practices (and your transfusion history), you can get a picture of your risk for HIV. Also you can figure out how you can reduce your future risk for HIV infection.
Q.46 How can I tell if I have HIV infection?
Ans. The only way to know for sure if you have this virus is by taking a blood test called the "HIV Antibody Test." Some people call it the "HIV Test" or the "AIDS Test," even though this test alone cannot tell you if you have AIDS. The HIV test can tell you if you have the virus and can pass it to others in the ways already described. The test is not a part of your regular blood tests ? you have to ask for it by name. It is a very accurate test. If your test result is "positive," it means you have HIV infection and could benefit from special medical care. Additional tests can tell you how strong your immune system is and whether drug therapy is indicated. Some people stay healthy for a long time with HIV infection, while others develop serious illness and AIDS more rapidly. Scientists do not know why people respond in different ways to HIV infection. If your test is "negative," and you have not had any possible risk for HIV for six months prior to taking the test, it means you do not have HIV infection. You can stay free of HIV by following prevention guidelines.
Q.47 Should I take the HIV test?
Ans. For some people taking the HIV antibody test can be a scary decision. Some people get tested every six months, even if they practice safer sex. No matter what the reasons are, taking the HIV antibody test can be a good idea. Sometimes taking the test is a way to make a new found commitment towards safer practices. One thing that is important to remember is that getting tested for HIV will not change your HIV status. It just tells you whether or not you have it. With all the new treatments available, finding out your HIV status early on can extend your life. To find out if you are at risk for HIV, ask yourself the following questions:

- Have you had unprotected vaginal, oral or anal sex (e.g., intercourse without a condom, oral sex without a latex barrier)?
- Have you shared needles to inject street drugs or steroids or to pierce your skin?
- Have you had a sexually transmitted infection (STI) or unwanted pregnancy?
- Have you had a blood transfusion or received blood products before April, 1985?

The counselling that should be provided before and after testing provides a good opportunity to learn more about HIV, discuss your risks and how to avoid infection. If a women is planning to PPTCT programme. There are new treatments to help reduce the transmission of HIV from mother to child.
Q.48 If I am HIV Positive, what should I do?
Ans. Inform your sexual partner (s) about their possible risk for HIV. ICTC/ARTContes have a partner notification programme that can assist you. Protect others from the virus by following the precautions talked about on this page (for example, always using condoms and not sharing needles with others). Protect yourself from any additional exposure to HIV. Avoid drug and alcohol use, practice good nutrition, and avoid fatigue and stress. Seek support from trustworthy friends and family when possible, and consider getting professional counselling. Find a support group of people who are going through similar experiences. Do not donate blood, plasma, semen, body organs or other tissue.
Q.49 Why do people who are infected with HIV eventually die?
Ans. When people are infected with HIV, they do not die of HIV or AIDS. They die due to the effects that the HIV has on the body. With the immune system compromised, the body becomes susceptible to many infections, from the common cold to cancer. It is actually those particular infections, and the body's inability to fight the infections that cause these people to become so sick, that they eventually die.
Q.50 How can I tell if I am infected with HIV? What are the symptoms?
Ans. The only way to determine for sure whether you are infected is to be tested for HIV infection. You cannot rely on symptoms to know whether or not you are infected with HIV. Many people who are infected with HIV do not have any symptoms at all for many years. The following may be warning signs of infection with HIV:

- rapid weight loss
- dry cough
- recurring fever or profuse night sweats
- profound and unexplained fatigue
- swollen lymph glands in the armpits, groin, or neck
- diarrhoea that lasts for more than a week
- white spots or unusual blemishes on the tongue, in the mouth, or in the throat
- pneumonia
- red, brown, pink, or purplish blotches on or under the skin or inside the mouth, nose, or eyelids
- memory loss, depression and other neurological disorders.

However, no one should assume he is infected if he has any of these symptoms. Each of these symptoms can be related to other illnesses. Again, the only way to determine whether you are infected is to be tested for HIV infection.
Q.51 How long after a possible exposure should I wait to get tested for HIV?
Ans. The tests commonly used to detect HIV infection test for antibodies produced by your body to fight HIV. Most people will develop detectable antibodies within three months after infection, the average being 25 days. In rare cases, it can take upto six months. For this reason, the CDC currently recommends testing six months after the last possible exposure (unprotected vaginal, anal or oral sex or sharing needles). It would be extremely rare to take longer than six months to develop detectable antibodies.
Q.52 Why is injecting drugs a risk for HIV?
Ans. At the start of every intravenous injection, blood comes in contact with needles and syringes. HIV can be found in the blood of a person infected with the virus. The reuse of a blood-contaminated needle or syringe by another drug injector (sometimes called "direct syringe sharing") carries a high risk of HIV transmission because infected blood can be injected directly into the bloodstream.
Q.53 Are patients in a dentist's or doctor's office at risk of getting HIV?
Ans. Although HIV transmission is possible in healthcare settings, it is extremely rare. Medical experts emphasise that the careful practice of infection control procedures, including universal precautions, protects patients as well as healthcare providers from possible HIV infection in medical and dental offices.

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