. FAQ Page - South India AIDS Action Programme

FAQ Page

All your questions answered in one place

About HIV/AIDS

What is HIV? What is AIDS?

HIV (Human Immuno Deficiency Virus) is a virus that destroys the human immune system. Immunity gradually reduces over a period of time and, when it gets affected below a certain level, several infections can attack such a person. These are called Opportunistic Infections. This stage is called AIDS. A person with HIV cannot always be said to be suffering from AIDS.

Do I have AIDS?

One can’t say that a person has AIDS by looking at him. It is possible to detect this only through a specific blood test.

What is the test to be done to know if I am HIV infected?

You can take the Rapid test, which is done at a very nominal cost. 2 ml of your blood will be drawn for doing the test. Results are provided on the same day as the blood test.

What is meant by ‘Window Period’?

Once the HIV virus enters our body, our body takes anywhere between 3 to 12 weeks to produce antibodies to HIV. Therefore, any blood test done during this period will not be able to confirm HIV infection, even though HIV has entered the body. This period is known as the ‘Window Period’.

Is there no medicine to cure AIDS?

So far, there is no medicine available to completely cure AIDS. However, every Opportunistic Infection (OI) such as TB or Pneumonia is curable through appropriate treatment available free of cost at Govt. hospitals.

How long will I live if I have AIDS?

Medicines are available to control the replication of the HIV virus. Besides, medicines are available for treating all Opportunistic Infections (e.g. Tuberculosis, Pneumonia etc.,) arising out of this immuno-compromised state. One has chances for prolonging one’s life by taking a balanced diet, maintaining a clean environment, handling stress appropriately and by practicing safe sex. It is difficult to state a specific life span, even for people without HIV.

Is AIDS a life threatening disease?

AIDS is a chronic manageable condition. HIV is the virus that causes AIDS. Infection is the first stage. HIV slowly reduces the immune system. One can lead a qualitative life if one adheres to the following: hygienic atmosphere, safe sex, and prompt treatment of any infections. If the immune system breaks down further, Opportunistic Infections can occur in the person; for example – Tuberculosis, Pneumonia and Diarrhoea. These can be cured through proper medication. There are also medicines (anti-retroviral therapy) to control the replication of the virus.

Is there a medicine for AIDS?

Medicines (anti-retroviral therapy) are available to control the replication of the HIV virus within the body. Once initiated, it has to be continued throughout one’s life. There is no medicine to cure AIDS. However, serious research continues all around the world. Hence, there is hope that some medicine will be available soon.

Can AIDS be cured through Tamil medicines?

No, it has not been scientifically proven that AIDS can be cured through Tamil medicines. There is no authentic data available. However, there are medicines (anti-retroviral therapy) to control the replication of the virus.

Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI)

Do sexually transmitted infections mean V.D. or is it different?

Yes, V.D. is known as a Sexually Transmitted Infection,however there are different kinds of Sexually Transmitted Infections as well.

If I have white discharge, will I be infected with HIV?

White discharge doesn’t mean that you are necessarily infected with HIV; it can be due to an STI. You need to take a medical opinion and if it is found to be an STI, you will need to take treatment. Completing treatment is critical so that the STI does not recur. Exposure to STIs however increases the risk of HIV transmission. Using condoms is a good protection.

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