HIV is the 'new' STD, and there are still many rumors about how you can get or treat it. The virus may come along with other STDs, and this is a frightening thought. Many of the behaviors that open you up to getting an STD are also ones that may increase the chance that you will get HIV.

HIV is NOT another name for AIDS. AIDS is an advanced version of HIV. Treating HIV may avoid getting AIDS for a while, or forever.  There are certain test levels that determine which of the two you have.

You get this by having unprotected sex, including anal, vaginal, and oral sex.  This includes having no barrier (no condom, no films) or having ones that break. It is spread through the fluids in the body, so males do not have to ejaculate (cum) or even penetrate before is spread. Having many sexual partners also increases this risk.

HIV is s retrovirus, so antibiotics will not help reduce the amount of HIV in your system.

What are the symptoms?

The danger of HIV is the mild set of first symptoms. These normally go away after a week or so, letting people think they may have had a cold or mild flu:

  • fever that doesn't go away with treatment
  • sweating while you sleep
  • feeling tired or sick even when you have enough sleep and aren't stressed
  • losing weight
  • swollen glands in the neck, armpits, or groin
  • a whitish coating in your mouth (thrush)

Diagnosis and treatments

The doctor will want to test you for HIV any time you have another STD. This is done by a blood test, and the results are always confidential.

It takes 2 to 8 weeks for your body to make antibodies to HIV, so this is a test used with saliva and some blood test methods. Depending on your body, it may take up to six months for these antibodies to show up in the blood. The standard blood test checks for antigen, which can be seen up to 20 days earlier.

Home tests, with saliva or a shipped blood sample, can give accurate results as well. If there is a positive result, or you continue having symptoms, you should have the test confirmed by a doctor.

What if I don't get treated?

The long-term effects are severe. HIV left untreated completely, can open you up to developing AIDS, cancer, and other STDs. Though there is no current treatment that will stop the progress of the disease, several combinations of medication can reduce the progression towards AIDS to a crawl. Some people seem to be more resistant to the retrovirus, while others have a rapid decline into full-blown AIDS.

Mothers can pass the virus to a child while in the womb, or while giving birth. If the mother is infected while breastfeeding, this is another way the child could become HIV-positive.