HIV

If you think you might have been infected with HIV, all you want are answers. We are here to help. By offering hassle-free STD testing services, we make it simple to find the most important questions you have: 1) Am I postive? and 2) What next? Want to learn more? Keep reading or contact our Care Advisors — available 7 days a week.

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HIV/AIDS facts and stats

550

Based on data from the CDC, it's estimated that about 550 new cases of HIV will be reported in the Washington D.C. area in 2015.

2 of 3

The CDC reported that out of the 47,500 new cases of HIV in 2010, two thirds of these infections were infections in men who have sex with men.

265%

It's estimated that in 2015, the number of reported cases of HIV could be up to 265% larger than the number of reported cases of syphilis, another commonly found STD in the Washington D.C. and Washington areas.

550

Based on data from the CDC, it's estimated that about 550 new cases of HIV will be reported in the Washington D.C. area in 2015.

2 of 3

The CDC reported that out of the 47,500 new cases of HIV in 2010, two thirds of these infections were infections in men who have sex with men.

265%

It's estimated that in 2015, the number of reported cases of HIV could be up to 265% larger than the number of reported cases of syphilis, another commonly found STD in the Washington D.C. and Washington areas.

HIV/AIDS Frequently Asked Questions

Getting Started

What are some early signs of HIV?

HIV infects and destroys what are called CD4 cells, which make up the immune system. The early signs of HIV infection are often vague, and sometimes will go unnoticed. Patients who have HIV often describe symptoms to be similar to the flu, which can include:

  • Fever
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Sore throat
  • Skin rash
  • Muscle soreness
  • Fatigue

Because these symptoms can be confused for other conditions or diseases, many people may not be aware that they are infected. For this reason, it is extremely important to get tested to make sure that you do not have the infection.

AIDS and opportunistic infections

By medical definition, AIDS develops when CD4 levels drop below 200 cells per milliliter of blood. Due to a weakened immune system, people who have AIDS may dvelop what is called "opportunistic infections." These are diseases that do not typically affect people with healthy immune systems. They include Kaposi's sarcoma, lymphomas (cancers of the immune system), tuberculosis, Pneumocysts pneumonia, and many other bacterial and fungal infections. These opportunistic infections often the cause of death for many people with AIDS.

What happens when HIV advances to AIDS?

During the acute stages of HIV, there maight be a long period without symptoms where an infected person may feel "normal" again and remain unaware of their infection. Although this person feels normal, HIV will continue to damage their immune system if the infection is left untreated. The immune system can be weakened to the point where AIDS develops. The time in which HIV develops AIDS is different from person to person, but this typically happens over a period of years.

What is the difference between HIV and AIDS?

Many people use the terms HIV and AIDS interchangably, but they are different conditions. HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is a viral infection and AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) is a condition that occurs in the later stages of HIV if the virus is not treated. Treatment in the early stages of HIV can prevent AIDS. HIV can be deadly because it weakens a persons immune system, leaving them susceptible to other infections from viruses, bacteria, or other "bugs."

Does HIV always lead to AIDS?

Not always. Not everyone with HIV will develop an AIDS condition. AIDS typically only develops during advanced stages of HIV if the infected person does not get treatment or take their course of treatment as directed. For this reason, it's important to get tested, which will allow you to catch the infection early before AIDS develops.

Is there a difference between HIV and AIDS?

Oftentimes, people confuse HIV and AIDS as the same condition. While they may be linked, thy are different. HIV stands for Hman Immunodeficiency Virus and is a viral infection. HIV can lead to the medical condition AIDS, which is otherwise known as Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. Treatment in the early stages of HIV can prevent AIDS. HIV can be deadly because it weakens the immune system, leaving a person vulnerable to infections from other viruses, bacteria, and other "bugs."

Transmission Questions

How is HIV spread?

Those who are infected spread HIV in a number of ways — during sexual contact (anal, vaginal and oral), through needle-sharing activities, or from mother to child during pregnancy or childbirth.

Concerned about HIV/AIDS

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