HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus. It is a kind of sexually-transmitted disease that attacks the human body's immune system. It can infect males, females, children, and adults.

Modes of transmission

It is spread in different ways:

- unprotected sexual intercourse

- sharing of used needles, syringes, and other paraphernalia

- exposure to infected blood

- from an infected mother to her baby

Getting tested for HIV

To detect HIV, one is advised to undergo an HIV test. Usually, a blood sample is required from a patient to be able to detect the presence of the infection. HIV has an incubation period where the virus is already inside the body but does not trigger any sign or symptom. This can last for a few days to several years.

Symptoms and treatment

The most common HIV symptoms are weight loss, night sweats, diarrhea, fever, difficulty swallowing, headaches, fatigue, and shortness of breath. HIV cannot be cured. HIV treatment is there to manage and control the spread of the virus inside the body and minimize the damage. The final stage of HIV is AIDS or the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome.