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25 things you should know about HIV (and probably don’t) #4

Posted in Awareness on Wednesday, October 13th, 2010 by Kelly - 2 Comments


We are sharing 25 things you should know about HIV (and probably don’t) over 25 days. Today is #4.  These 25 things will impact what you do and the choices you will make.

Understand that the right to choose your own path is a sacred privilege. Use it. Dwell in possibility.” ~Oprah Winfrey

#4: Don’t search for symptoms to prove you are HIV positive.            

If you go looking for symptoms of HIV when you think you may have been exposed, you probably won’t find them. When you are infected, your body’s response may be so subtle there are no signs or symptoms you have an invader in your system.

When you are first infected, you go through something called the Primary HIV Infection and it typically only lasts a week or so as the virus establishes itself in your body. About two out of every three people might get a mild flu-like feeling, but it won’t be distinguishable from the flu or other viral infections.

After the primary stage of HIV infection, you continue to look and feel completely well for long periods, usually for many years. This is called the Asymptomatic Stage where the only indication that you are infected with HIV is that you will test positive on standard HIV tests and you may have swollen glands.

Why is this important to you?

During this time (usually around ten years) that you show no symptoms, you can still infect others and your immune system is slowly being destroyed until you pass into full blown AIDS.

Even though you are feeling good and appear healthy, HIV is still very active. At some point, your immune system gets damaged and the virus starts to replicate very rapidly.

The time to address HIV and begin your battle is before you have any symptoms. During these years, you will need to be checked about every three months to make sure nothing has changed with your health.  

Your best treatment options are available to you before you start to get sick from HIV. It gives you a better chance of survival and improved quality of life. You have the opportunity to take control of your treatment and your health.

How does this affect your path?

You are faced with choices every day. Ignoring the facts about HIV is a choice.

If you have already made the choice to expose yourself to HIV through risky behavior, please make the choice to get tested regularly. If you have tested positive, don’t wait to get sick before you see a doctor.

Ten years might seem like a long time, but it gets awfully short when you are facing the end of your life.

“When you have to make a choice and don’t make it, that is in itself a choice”.  ~William James

The power is yours. What path will you choose?

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2 Responses to “25 things you should know about HIV (and probably don’t) #4”

  • Hi, it was really interesting to read this i only read the one that said #4 wasn’t sure were tto find the rest of them. I think what your doing is a marvelous thing. I myself am not positive but my boyfriend is, and i love him dearly and one of the things that kills me is for him to say that he believes i should be with someone who is not positive. I honestly disagree. What do you think?We’ve had a lot of risky behaviior about 90 percent of time . and just more more recent we have been more proctectant.and why do doctors manipulate their hiv patients to be with someone who is positive. It hurts me to know that he’s doctor is one tot say that to him.
    lover juan

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    To read the rest of the series, please click on the Kelly’s Blog tag above.

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