How To Know If You Have HIV
Want to learn how to know if you have HIV? Many people with HIV have few symptoms or no symptoms at all, so the only way to positively know if you have HIV is to be tested. Read on for more information about how to know if you have HIV.
Things you'll need:
- Blood test
- Find out if you are in a high risk group for HIV infection. According to the Center for Disease Control, black women, middle-aged homosexual men and young, black, homosexual men are far more likely to become infected with the HIV virus than other demographic groupings in the United States. Intravenous drug users have a high risk because of the possibility of contamination and/or sharing of needles. Women who have had sex with men who may have had sex with other men are at a higher risk of HIV infection.
- Recognize the symptoms of HIV. Many people infected with HIV experience no symptoms at all. However, an acute infection can result from the lowering of the immunity due to HIV. Many people infected with HIV have flu-like symptoms that a doctor may misdiagnose as influenza. Other symptoms are swollen lymph nodes, diarrhea, poor appetite and respiratory issues, such as cough due to pneumonia. Infections inside of the mouth can also occur.
- Get an HIV blood test. The only way to know if you have HIV is to be tested for it. Go to a HIV testing site or drop-in clinic where you can get tested and counseled. If you have a primary care physician, you can get tested through your doctor's office.
Now you know how to find out if you have HIV. If you have any doubt as to whether you have between infected with HIV, you need to get tested as soon as possible. If it's possible that you were infected within the last few months, you should be tested again after three months as there is a window of time between when you become infected and when the HIV antibodies will show up in a blood or saliva test.