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HIV Diagnosis

There is a window period of six to twelve weeks that usually passes after the actual infection date and the time when the body starts producing HIV antibodies. Hence a blood test that is usually used to determine HIV infection might show an HIV-infected person as "negative" if it is administered within that window period. However, after twelve weeks, 95 percent of all infected persons carry the HIV antibodies in their blood, and after six months the blood test can determine the presence of the virus in 99.9 percent of all HIV-infected people.

The blood test is usually available from any physician or a hospital and can be done anonymously. If HIV antibodies are detected, the test result is considered "positive." Just in order to make sure, every positive result is confirmed by an additional HIV test. Only after the additional test confirms the presence of HIV antibodies in the bloodstream, the person is considered infected. The HIV-infected person is usually notified discreetly and the information is considered strictly confidential.

The diagnosis is best discussed with an immunologist or a venereologist who can suggest appropriate lifestyle changes and treatment options useful in containing the virus.

Doctor Info:
An immunologist is a doctor who specializes in the diseases of the immune system. Some problems he deals with include the absence or decreased activity of the immune cells and antibodies as well as conditions that stem from over-reaction of the immune system.

Doctor Info:
A venereologist is a medical specialist who studies and treats diseases that spread through sexual activity.

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