Getting Tested Is The New Sexy!

The key to stay safe is getting regularly TESTED for HIV and other sexualdiseases/infections every 3-6 months and knowing HOW to keep yourself safe. Safe Masti is your one-stop solution for testing clinics/labs, useful information on preventing HIV, and de-stigmatising life after HIV. Let’s start now!

Getting Tested Is The New Sexy!

The key to stay safe is getting regularly TESTED for HIV and other sexualdiseases/infections every 3-6 months and knowing HOW to keep yourself safe. Safe Masti is your one-stop solution for testing clinics/labs, useful information on preventing HIV, and de-stigmatising life after HIV. Let’s start now!

I am HIV Positive. What Does it mean?
What is HIV/AIDS?
HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is the virus that causes AIDS, by infecting cells of the immune system, and destroying or impairing their function. Infection with the virus results in progressive deterioration of the immune system, leading to immune deficiency. The immune system is considered deficient when it can no longer fulfil its role of fighting infection and disease. Infections associated with severe immunodeficiency are known as ‘opportunistic infections’, because they take advantage of a weakened immune system. (WHO, 2016)
Is there a cure for HIV?
No, as of now, there is no cure for HIV. However, with strong adherence to ART (antiretroviral therapy), you can slow down the progression of HIV in the body to a near halt. You can live a normal and healthy long life, if you are on treatment. Important Links: Doctors talk about how AIDS patients can live a normal life (Source: India Today) Related Videos: Hello Doctor: Episode 6

TMKB Ep6: Life After HIV: Vishwa

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If I test HIV negative does that mean that my partner is HIV negative also?
No. Your HIV test result reveals only your HIV status. Your negative test result does not tell you about the HIV status of your partner(s). HIV is not necessarily transmitted every time there is an exposure. No one's test result can be used to determine another person's HIV status. (Source: Centers for Disease Control - CDC)
What are the body fluids which can contain HIV?
  • Sexual fluids (semen and vaginal fluid).
  • Mucus from the vagina and anus.
  • Blood.
  • Breastmilk is infectious to a baby but is unlikely to be infectious to an adult.
  • Tears may be infectious, but this is more a theoretical caution than a likely route of actual transmission.
  • Saliva, spit, urine and faeces are NOT infectious for HIV.
How can I tell if I’m infected with HIV?
The only way to determine whether you are infected is to be tested for HIV infection. You can’t rely on symptoms to know whether or not you are infected with HIV. Many people who are infected with HIV don’t have any symptoms at all for many years. Similarly, you can’t rely on symptoms to establish that a person has AIDS. The symptoms associated with AIDS are similar to the symptoms of many other diseases. AIDS is a diagnosis made by a doctor based on specific criteria established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (Source: Centers for Disease Control – CDC)
Do you know your HIV risks?
Is kissing safe? Can giving a blowjob give me HIV? Can I get HIV from rimming? What STDs can I get from playing ‘water sports’? Could I possibly get STDs from fingering? Click here (PPT) to find out! PPT  Title: Risk Reckoner – Know Your Risks, Stay Safer!
If I test positive, does that mean that I will die?
No, it does not. If treated swiftly and consistently, the HIV virus is manageable and NOT Life threatening. Testing positive for HIV means that now you carry the HIV virus in your body. With the right treatment, you can keep the virus in check. This can substantially increase your longevity and quality of life against HIV/AIDS. Important Links:

Related Videos: Hello Doctor: Episode 6 

TMKB Ep6: Life After HIV: Vishwa

Relevant Articles:

Is there a connection between HIV and other sexually transmitted infections?
Yes. Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) can increase a person’s risk of becoming infected with HIV five to eight times more. The STI causes ulcers or discharge from genitalia, STI increases the chance of acquiring and transmitting the chance of HIV infection. (NACO) If the Sexually Transmitted infection causes irritation or ulcer of the skin, it makes it easier for HIV to enter the body during sexual contact. Even when the STI causes no breaks (discharge) or open sores, the infection can stimulate an immune response in the genital area that can make HIV transmit more easily.
How does stigma affect HIV/AIDS related behaviour?
It can negatively affect preventive behaviour by creating a silence around the issue or by building up a prejudice against a perfectly positive behaviour. For example, use of condoms is associated with prostitutes. It can negatively affect those who need to seek healthcare. For example, reluctance of STD patients to visit STD clinics to preserve confidentiality. It can negatively affect the quality of care given by health care providers who could be biased against the care seeker. It increases health costs overall because of denial of risk of risk of infection, increased infection rate, avoidance of testing, treatment of infections at an advanced stage, etc.
Why should young people be concerned about HIV/AIDS?
The reasons for the important role of young people depend upon several factors:

  • A major proportion of HIV infection occurs in young people
  • Young people are at a high risk of acquiring sexually transmitted infections, including HIV if they experiment with sex or drug as a part of their growing up.
  • Young people can communicate better with other young people than older people can. This means their role as peer educators and motivators cannot be taken by other people.
  • Young people have the enthusiasm, energy and idealism that can be harnessed for spreading the message of HIV/AIDS awareness and responsible sexual behaviour.
  • Young persons can spread the message not only to their peers and to younger children, but also to their families and the community.
  • Young persons can ideally serve as role models for younger children and their peers. (NACO)
Why are men who have sex with men at risk of HIV?
In some settings, criminalisation of consensual, adult same-sex behaviour, stigma, discrimination and violence against men who have sex with men has created an environment which compromises people’s human rights and where they are less likely to access essential HIV and health services. MSM (men who have sex with men): In this technical brief, MSM refers to all males – of any age – who engage in sexual and/or romantic relations with other males. The words “men” and “sex” are interpreted differently in diverse cultures and societies, as well as by the individuals involved. Therefore, the term “men who have sex with men” encompasses the large variety of settings and contexts in which male-to-male sex takes place, across multiple motivations for engaging in sex, self-determined sexual and gender identities, and various identifications with particular community or social groups. Governments have a legal obligation to respect, protect and fulfil the rights of children to life, health and development, and indeed, societies share an ethical duty to ensure this for all young people. This includes taking steps to lower their risk of acquiring HIV, while developing and strengthening protective systems to reduce their vulnerability. However, in many cases, young people from key populations are made more vulnerable by policies and laws that demean, criminalize or penalize them or their behaviours, and by education and health systems that ignore or reject them and that fail to provide the information and treatment they need to keep themselves safe. Young MSM are often more vulnerable than older MSM to the effects of homophobia – manifested in discrimination, bullying, harassment, family disapproval, social isolation and violence – as well as criminalization and self-stigmatization. These can have serious repercussions for their physical and mental health; their ability to access HIV testing, counselling and treatment; their emotional and social development; as well as their ability to access education, vocational training and viable work opportunities.
Can I get HIV from casual contact (shaking hands, hugging, using a toilet, drinking from the same glass, or the sneezing and coughing of an infected person)?
No. HIV is not transmitted by day to day contact in the home, the workplace, schools, or social settings. HIV is not transmitted through shaking hands, hugging or a casual kiss. You cannot become infected from a toilet seat, a drinking fountain, a doorknob, dishes, drinking glasses, food, or pets. HIV is a fragile virus that does not live long outside the body. HIV is not an airborne or food borne virus. HIV is present in the blood, semen or vaginal secretions of an infected person and can be transmitted through unprotected vaginal, oral or anal sex or through sharing injection drug needles. (Source: Centers for Disease Control – CDC)
Is there any risk attached to oral sex and anal sex?
Oral sex: One needs to know that the AIDS virus is present in secretions, including the vaginal secretions of a woman and the semen (in both the pre-ejaculation lubricating mucus and the ejaculate, or “cum”) of a man. This means that taking the partner’s sexual secretions into the mouth can pose a risk of infection though the risk is not very high. It is strongly advisable to carry out oral sex only with some kind of protection. One should use a condom on the erect penis, and place a thin rubber sheet or “dam” over the woman’s genitals. Anal Sex: AIDS virus more easily gets transmitted from an infected person to another person during anal sex. In these circumstances, using a well-lubricated condom is absolutely essential for protection. Unlike the vagina, which produces secretions that lubricate vaginal sex, the anus does not produce lubricating secretions. Without such lubrication, the additional friction during anal sex can cause regular condoms to tear. In some places, it is possible to get condoms made especially for anal sex. If these are not available, one should really try to be on the safer side – look for other ways to have sexual satisfaction.
Can I get HIV from oral sex?
Yes. While there is considerable debate within the HIV/AIDS prevention community regarding the risk of transmission of HIV through oral sex. What is currently known is that there is some risk associated with performing oral sex without protection; (there have been a few documented cases of HIV transmission through oral sex). While no one knows exactly what that risk is, cumulative evidence indicates that the risk is less than that of unprotected anal or vaginal sex. The risk from receiving oral sex, for both a man and a woman, is considered to be very low. Currently, risk reduction options when performing oral sex on a man (fellatio) include the use of latex condoms, especially when cuts or sores are present in the mouth. (Source: Centers for Disease Control – CDC)
Will I get HIV from anal sex?
Ans. Yes, it is possible for either sex partner to become infected with HIV during anal sex. HIV can be found in the blood, semen, pre-seminal fluid, or vaginal fluid of a person infected with HIV virus. In general, the person receiving the semen is at greater risk of getting HIV because the lining of the rectum is thin and may cause tear of anus and penis thus may allow the HIV virus to enter the body during anal sex. However, a person who inserts his penis into an infected partner also is at risk because HIV can enter through the urethra (the opening at the tip of the penis) or through small cuts, abrasions, or open sores on the penis. Having unprotected (without a condom) anal sex is considered to be a high risky behaviour. If people choose to have anal sex, they should use a latex condom with water-based lubricant. Most of the time, condoms work well. However, condoms are more likely to break during anal sex than during vaginal sex. Thus, even with a condom, anal sex can be risky. A person should use a water-based lubricant in addition to the condom to reduce the chances of the condom breaking. (NACO)
I had sex with someone and the condom broke. I think I could be at risk for HIV? What should I do?
If within 72 hours since the condom broke, you can take medication (PEP) that could keep you from getting infected with HIV, even if your partner is HIV-positive. Immediately call your doctor or your local health department and ask about Post-Exposure Prophylaxis, or PEP. It is crucial to consult a doctor before taking this medication, as if you happen to be HIV positive, the medication might make you immune to the HIV treatment. If it’s been longer than 72 hours, PEP will not protect you from HIV, and you will need to explore HIV testing options. In most cases, you will have to wait at least 6 weeks after a possible exposure before an HIV test can provide accurate results. (NACO)
Can I get HIV from kissing?
Casual contact through closed-mouth or “social” kissing is not a risk for transmission of HIV. Because of the potential for contact with blood during “French” or open-mouth, wet kissing, CDC recommends against engaging in this activity with a person known to be infected. However, the risk of acquiring HIV during open-mouth kissing is believed to be very low. (Source: Centers for Disease Control – CDC)
Can I get HIV from kissing on the cheek?
HIV is not casually transmitted, so kissing on the cheek is very safe. Even if the other person has the virus, your unbroken skin is a good barrier. No one has become infected from such ordinary social contact as dry kisses, hugs, and handshakes. (NACO)
Can I get HIV from open-mouth kissing?
Even open-mouth kissing is considered a very low-risk activity for the transmission of HIV. However, prolonged open-mouth kissing could damage the mouth or lips and allow HIV to pass from an infected person to a partner and then enter the body through cuts or sores in the mouth. Because of this possible risk, the CDC recommends against open-mouth kissing with an infected partner. (NACO)
Can I get AIDS from sharing a cup or shaking hands with someone who has HIV or AIDS?
Ans. HIV is found only in body fluids, so you cannot get HIV by shaking someone’s hand or giving them a hug (or by using the same toilet or towel). While HIV is found in saliva, sharing cups or utensils has never been shown to transmit HIV. (NACO)
Can I get HIV from getting a tattoo or through body piercing?
A risk of HIV transmission does exist if instruments contaminated with infected blood are either not sterilized or disinfected or are used inappropriately between clients. It is recommended that instruments that are intended to penetrate the skin be used once, then disposed off or thoroughly cleaned and sterilized. Personal service workers who do tattooing or body piercing should be educated about how HIV is transmitted and take precautions to prevent transmission of HIV and other blood-borne infections in their settings. If you are considering getting a tattoo or having your body pierced, ask staff at the establishment what procedures they use to prevent the spread of HIV and other blood-borne infections, such as hepatitis B virus. (NACO)
How HIV does not spread?
In order to dispel unnecessary fears, AIDS awareness programmes must involve knowing how the disease is transmitted as well as how it is not. HIV is not transmitted through casual daily contact since the virus does not survive long in air or water. HIV does not spread:

  • During casual contact, social mixing such as touching, handshaking, staying in the same house or sitting next to someone in a crowded bus or train.
  • One should not worry about getting HIV from a colleague or co-worker by touching or being near to him or her. There is no evidence that sharing equipment like telephone, computer, typewriter, books, pen and other similar items spreads the virus.
  • Playing together does not spread HIV. Scientists believe that the amount of HIV present in sweat or tears of an infected person is so low that it is not enough to infect others.
  • HIV does not transmit by sharing of food, drinks, plates, and glasses and other items.
  • HIV does not spread through toilet seats, washbasins, bathtubs or swimming pools.
  • HIV does not spread through air so it does not get spread through sneeze or cough.
  • HIV does not spread by mosquitoes, bed bugs or other insects.
Do all people with HIV have AIDS?
No. A person diagnosed with HIV will not necessarily develop AIDS. Only when the person with HIV infection begins to get severe opportunistic infections (or their CD4 counts fall below a certain level), is there the possibility of the person developing AIDS. Related Videos: Hello Doctor: Episode 6 

Relevant Articles: Difference between being HIV+ and having AIDS  

What is the medical treatment available for HIV/AIDS? How long can I live with this treatment?
HIV treatment involves taking medicines that slows the progression of the virus in your body. HIV is a type of virus (retrovirus), and the drugs used to treat it are called anti-retroviral (ARV). These drugs are always given in combination with other ARVs; and this combination therapy is called antiretroviral therapy (ART). ART is recommended for everyone who has HIV. People with HIV should start ART as soon as possible. ART cannot cure HIV, but ART helps people with HIV live long, healthy lives. To protect your health, it is important to get on and stay on HIV treatment immediately. HIV treatment is important because it helps your body fight HIV. This “treatment adherence” is essential to manage HIV (to prevent infections or complications). If left untreated, HIV attacks your immune system and can allow different types of life-threatening and opportunistic infections and cancers to develop. If your CD4 cell count falls below a certain level, you are at risk of getting an opportunistic infection. Your health care provider may prescribe medicines to prevent certain infections.
What medical action must I take if I have tested positive for HIV? Is this sequence non-negotiable?
Testing positive for HIV can overwhelm you with questions and concerns. It’s important for you to remember that HIV is a manageable disease that can be treated with antiretroviral therapy (ART). ART cannot cure HIV, but they help people with HIV live longer, healthier lives and reduce the risk of HIV transmission. The first step after testing HIV positive is to see a counsellor at the HIV testing centre or a doctor (even if you don’t feel sick). The counsellor will help you reconfirm your HIV status to rule out any inaccuracies with the tests, and then confirm your eligibility for the treatment services and free ARVs. Prompt medical care and treatment with antiretroviral therapy (ART) is the best way for you to stay healthy. The medical professional will conduct an HIV baseline evaluation, which includes a review of the person’s health and medical history, a physical exam, and lab tests:

  • Determine how far a person’s HIV infection has progressed. Treatment with ART can prevent HIV from advancing to AIDS. AIDS is the final stage of HIV infection.
  • Evaluate whether the person is ready to start lifelong treatment with ART.
  • Collect information to decide which medicines to start.

During an HIV baseline evaluation, the health care provider will explain to you the benefits and risks of HIV treatment and will discuss ways to reduce the risk of passing HIV to others. You can also ask your health care provider to answer any other questions you might have. Things you can do to help health care provider in charting out a suitable treatment plan for you:

  • Share information on all prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take.
  • Any issues that can make adherence difficult (personal habits, difficulties, responsibilities etc.).
  • Your daily schedule at home and at work.

Ask your health care provider for written directions on how to follow your HIV regimen. Discuss medication adherence at each appointment with your health care provider. If you find the regimen too complicated, let your health care provider know. Discuss any issues that are causing you to skip medicines. Important Links:

Related Videos: Hello Doctor: Episode 6 

TMKB Ep6: Life After HIV: Vishwa

Relevant Articles:

What are the thoughts (and challenges) that will come to you if you are HIV positive? How to address these thoughts?
HIV infection affects all dimensions of a person’s life: physical, psychological, sexual, and social. Counselling and social support can help people and their carers cope more effectively with each stage of the infection and enhances quality of life. With adequate support, HIV positive people are more likely to be able to respond adequately to the stress of being infected and are less likely to develop serious mental health problems. Fear of Discrimination What is it: Societies, cultures and religions struggle to accept people living with HIV, causing numerous instances of discrimination, and lack of empathy, care and support to them. What you should know: If you have HIV, you have right to treatment, right to confidentiality about your HIV status, right to employment, and right against discrimination at workplace. Fear of Homophobia What is it: Homophobia is “the irrational hatred, intolerance, and fear” of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, and is also a form of discrimination. The global HIV epidemic has always been closely linked with negative attitudes towards LGBT people, especially men who have sex with men (sometimes referred to as MSM); a group that is particularly affected by HIV and AIDS. What you should know: No one can deny you information or treatment for HIV based on your sexual or gender identity. Fear of Dying What is it: Testing positive for HIV means that you now carry the virus that causes AIDS, but it does not mean that you will die. What you should know: Although there is no cure for AIDS, but there is treatment to keep the virus in check, and many opportunistic infections that make people sick can be controlled, prevented or eliminated. This can substantially increase your longevity and quality of life against HIV/AIDS. Fear of Isolation What is it: Isolation shouldn’t be confused with the number of people around an individual. A person living with HIV can be surrounded by crowds of people, yet because of stigma and discrimination, they can experience low self-worth or feel ostracised in their social settings. What you should know: For people with HIV, their partners and families, psychosocial support can assist people in making informed decisions, coping better with illness and dealing more effectively with discrimination. It improves the quality of their lives and prevents further transmission of HIV infection. Important Links: HIV Status Disclosure: Your Right (Source: POZ)  Living Out and HIV-Positive in India (Source: HIV Plus Magazine)  Public acceptance of gay relationships will help control spread of AIDS: SC on Section 377 (Source: Down To Earth)  Doctors talk about how AIDS patients can live a normal life (Source: India Today)  Here’s a List of Support Groups for HIV+ People in India (Source: The Better India) Basic Rights Of HIV Positive People In India (Source: ED Times)   Related Videos: TMKB Ep6: Life After HIV: Vishwa

TMKB Ep7: Love & Acceptance: Vishwa & Vivek

TMKB Ep8: Family: Vishwa and his Mother

Relevant Articles: I AM HIV+… AND I AM STILL SMILING 

I know someone who is HIV positive. How can I help him/her?
You can be a very important source of support to someone who is HIV positive: by helping with psychosocial, medical and logistical support. Here are few things you can do to help:

  • Inform yourself about HIV and difficulties (physical, social, mental) faced by people living with HIV
  • Let them know you are available to help in your own capacity
  • Listen to what they have to say. It can help with reducing their fears, inhibitions, and reservations around HIV (or their sexuality)
  • Help them access mental health and HIV treatment services (Do Not Force)
  • Treat with Respect and Empathy, and Not Pity
  • Accept the person as you would without HIV
  • Help neighbours, colleagues, friends and relatives to understand the nature of the illness and the care and precautions required.

Important Links:

Related Videos: Hello Doctor: Episode 6 

TMKB Ep7: Love & Acceptance: Vishwa & Vivek

TMKB Ep8: Family: Vishwa and his Mother [emebed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xZdyM-WObkQ&t=181s[/embed]   Relevant Articles: I AM HIV+… AND I AM STILL SMILING  Living With HIV: Seven Habits For “Positive Living 

What are my legal rights at work and in social context if I am HIV positive?
As an HIV positive person, your rights as a citizen are protected under the Constitution of India. You can also read about the HIV and AIDS (Prevention and Control) Bill, 2017 which was introduced to help strengthen the rights of the people who have been suffering from HIV or AIDS. Four important rights you should know about include:

  • Right to Treatment: A person suffering from any ailment has the right to get treatment for his suffering. Information and treatment cannot be denied to a patient because of her/his HIV/AIDS status. If any HIV/AIDS patient is denied treatment, it amounts to discrimination. The Government of India provides free treatment of HIV. You can visit your nearest ART centre and collect free Medicine from there.
  • Right to Informed Consent: HIV Testing requires specific and informed consent of the person being tested for the test results to be used for any research and information sharing.
  • Right to Confidentiality: A person has the right to keep information on their HIV status confidential.
  • Right against Discrimination: A person has the right to be treated equally as any other citizen of the country as per the fundamental rights covered under law and constitution.

Important Links: HIV Status Disclosure: Your Right (Source: POZ) Basic Rights of HIV Positive People In India (Source: ED Times)  Living Out and HIV-Positive in India (Source: HIV Plus Magazine)  Public Acceptance of gay relationships will help control spread of AIDS: SC on Section 377 (Source: Down To Earth)  Doctors talk about how AIDS patients can live a normal life (Source: India Today) Here’s a List of Support Groups for HIV Positive People in India (Source: The Better India)  Understanding ART Treatment (Source: NACO)    Related Videos: TMKB Ep6: Life After HIV: Vishwa

TMKB Ep7: Love & Acceptance: Vishwa & Vivek

TMKB Ep8: Family: Vishwa and his Mother

Relevant Articles:

My partner has HIV. What precautions do I need to take?
Do not need to stress. With proper precautions and information, couples or sexual partners can reduce (but not eliminate) the risk of transmitting HIV to the healthier partner:

  • Consult a doctor and get advice on preventive measures like PrEP (Pre-exposure prophylaxis) and PEP (Post exposure prophylaxis) that reduce the risk of HIV.
  • Make sure your partner is taking regular medication and treatment for HIV. People who aren’t on HIV treatment will have higher concentration of the virus in their bodily fluids, making it more probable to pass it on to a sexual partner. People living with HIV taking proper medication, undergoing HIV treatment and Antiretroviral therapy (ART) will usually have less of the virus in their bloodstream and consequently reduced risk of transmission.
  • Please consistently use of condoms with lubricants is a must. (buy here)
  • Regular HIV testing (every 3-6 months) is crucial for you, to keep a check on your HIV status. (book a test)
  • Do not avoid intimacy! Couples dealing with HIV should be aware of the risk of transmission (unsafe activities elimination/reduction).
  • Hugging, kissing, and touching are all safe activities — so Give love!

Related Videos: Hello Doctor: Episode 6 

Hello Doctor: Episode 7

TMKB Ep6: Life After HIV: Vishwa

TMKB Ep7: Love & Acceptance: Vishwa & Vivek

TMKB Ep8: Family: Vishwa and his Mother

Relevant Articles:

Can I not have sex if I am HIV positive?
Of course, you can! And you can have sex without any fear of transmitting HIV to the partner if you are practicing safe sex. Also, if you are taking regular ART, then in a few months’ time the ART will make your viral load undetectable which makes HIV transmission highly unlikely. (Hyperlink to Viral Load and Undetectable) Related Videos: Hello Doctor: Episode 7 

I am Positive. How do I prevent my partner from getting HIV?
When one of the partners is HIV positive and the other is negative, such a couple is called a ‘sero-discordant couple’. There are numerous ways of enjoying a healthy sexual relationship with a HIV negative partner without having the risk of transmitting the HIV virus to him.

  • Regular HIV medications (ART): When the positive partner takes ART regularly, every day, without fail, then his viral load will be undetectable in a few months. With undetectable viral load, the risk of transmission of HIV through sex is very small. But do remember, the positive partner must be very regular with his medicines. This approach is called as TasP: treatment as prevention. Treatment of the HIV in the positive partner is working as a preventive measure for the negative partner.
  • Condoms: Condoms along with regular ART can further minimize the risk of HIV along with protecting from other STDs.

 

  1. PrEP: PrEP for the negative partner is another option if the positive partner is not undetectable or is not regular on treatment. Please remember PrEP along with condoms is more efficacious than PrEP alone.
  2. PEP: If there is an accidental high-risk exposure in a sero-discordant couple, such as a condom rupture, you could go and see a doctor immediately to avail PEP. Please remember if your partner is on regular medications and is undetectable, PEP is not indicated.
  3. Combination: Combination of the above methods (such as ART + condoms + PrEP) can significantly reduce the risk of HIV transmission if the positive partner is not undetectable.

Related Videos: Hello Doctor: Episode 7 

TMKB Ep7: Love & Acceptance: Vishwa & Vivek

Hello Doctor: Episode 6 

Frequent HIV/STD Testing
How frequent is frequent?
This depends on a lot of factors including your number of partners, your frequency of sex, your use of condoms or PrEP, your use of injectable drugs, your contact with commercial sex workers etc. There is no one size fits all approach here.  A schedule can be worked out by your doctor after knowing your life style. Be honest with your doctor about your sexual practices otherwise he/she will not be able to help you. A rough guide for the testing is –

  1. A screening test for HIV every 6 months to 1 year.
  2. Once a year tests which screen for Syphilis, Chlamydia and Gonorrhea.

These can be more frequent, like once in 3-6 months, if you are sexually more active and often have unprotected sex or involve in other high-risk activity. Hello Doctor: Episode 8 

What is a Window Period?
When testing for HIV is done, it is usually the antibodies that are tested. Body takes time to produce antibodies after the infection. So, if an HIV test is performed after the HIV enters the body but before the body can produce antibodies, then this test will be negative, even if the person has HIV infection in the body. This is called as the window period – The time duration between the infection and the first possible detection. In case of antibody-based HIV testing, the body usually takes about 4 weeks to begin producing antibodies against HIV and on an average in about 6 weeks’ time, most people with HIV would have produced detectable antibodies. But exceptions do exist and sometime the antibody production may be delayed by up to 3 months due to many reasons. Therefore, in regular HIV testing two tests three months apart are always advised before to ensure one does not miss the infection in a window period. There are window periods for even antigen based and genetic material-based tests.
What is the benefit of an HIV test?
Knowing your HIV status can have 2 important benefits.

  • If you learn that you are HIV positive, you can take steps before symptoms appear to access treatment, care and support, thereby potentially prolonging your life and preventing health complications for many years.
  • If you know that you are infected, you can take precautions to prevent the spread of HIV to others.
What are the various HIV tests available?
Many different strategies are used to detect HIV in the blood. The following from blood can be used to detect an HIV infection –

  1. Antibodies in the blood to HIV virus: Antibodies are those chemical substances produced in body to fight a germ/infection. It takes about 1-3 months for the body to be able to produce these antibodies when infected with the HIV virus. So, these tests will not be positive for before 1 month of exposure and may be falsely negative till up to 3 months. These are the most commonly used tests to diagnose HIV infection. They are recommended to be taken after 6 weeks of exposure. Western blot is also an antibody-based test which is used to confirm the diagnosis of HIV infection when in doubt.
  2. The viral proteins or antigens: Antigens are those foreign substances belonging to viruses or germs which induce production of antibody in the body. Example: p24 protein antigen of the HIV virus. After the HIV infection it takes about 2 weeks to 1 month for the p24 antigen to be released in the blood. So, any tests before this time will not be positive. These antigens also disappear 2-3 months after infection. So, if a test for p24 is performed after 2-3 months, these may also be negative. This is not a commonly used test on its own. It is commonly combined with the antibody detection tests so that the infection can be detected both early and late during infection.
  3. The viral genetic material: This involved detecting the RNA or DNA of the HIV virus. The Viral RNA can be detected as early as 3 days but usually between 7-14 days. This is not routinely used for diagnosis of HIV due to many reasons including cost, time and complexity.
How long after a possible exposure should I be tested for HIV?
The time it takes for a person who has been infected with HIV to seroconvert (test positive) for HIV antibodies is commonly called the “Window Period.” The California Office of AIDS, published in 1998, says about the window period: “When a person is infected with the HIV virus, statistics show that 95-97% (perhaps higher) of all infected individuals develop antibodies within 12 weeks (3-months).” The National CDC has said that in some rare cases, it may take up to six months for one to seroconvert (test positive). At this point the results would be 99.9% accurate. * What does this mean for you? The three-month window period is normal for approximately 95% of the population. If you feel any anxiety about relying on the 3-month result, by all means you should have another test at 6 months.    (Source: San Francisco AIDS Foundation)


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Safe Masti
Safe Masti
Aadmi Khoobsoorat Hai To Tum Unsafe Mat Ban Jao! Test karo, PrEP karo aur lambi raahat ki saans lo! Click here! https://buff.ly/2QGueHy
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#gay #gayindia #gaysex #hivtesting #safesex #safemasti
Hrithik Roshan
Safe Masti
Safe Masti
Aapne iss Diwali kya kya kiya? Aasha hai jo bhi kiya ho, safe kiya ho! PrEP lene ke liye yahan click karein : https://buff.ly/2QGueHy
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#gay #safesex #prep #hivtesting #hivaids
Safe Masti
Safe Masti
In Part I, Vivek answered questions about the emotional labour of loving and living with an HIV+ person. In this part, he addresses questions about the practical aspects of their relationship.
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#gay #sex #hiv #livingwithhiv #hivpositive #safesex #SafeMasti

http://safemasti.com/loving-an-hiv-person-part-ii/
Safe Masti
Safe Masti
Always with condom! To buy condoms, please click here : https://buff.ly/2QGueHy
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#condom #oralsex #gay #msm #india #hivtesting #safesex #safemasti

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