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ALSH

Question: 

I had relationship with a girl on DEC 13 and I am afraid that I am having AIDS what do you recommend?

Answer: 

 
Hi there and thanks for using the AIDS Vancouver online helpline as your source of HIV/AIDS related information.
 
First off, it is necessary to define what you mean by relationship. The transmission of HIV is dependent on 3 factors: an HIV + fluid (such as blood or sexual secretions), a risky activity (such as unprotected anal/vaginal sex or shared needle use), and direct access to the bloodstream (such as through the mucus membrane of the vagina, anus or urethra, or needle injection). All 3 of these factors (fluid, activity, access) must be present for HIV transmission to be possible. Therefore, if you had unprotected sex with her, there may be a risk for HIV transmission.
Also, we should clarify the difference between HIV and AIDS. The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) attacks the immune system, eventually crippling its ability to act effectively. This renders the body susceptible to opportunistic infections, which are infections that the body would normally be resistant to. This eventual failure of the immune system, along with an opportunistic infection and or a really low CD4 count, is called acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). You cannot get AIDS without prior HIV infection, and progression from initial HIV infection to full blown AIDS commonly takes years.  
If you are at risk for the transmission of HIV, testing is recommended. There are many different tests available, though ones most commonly used detect the presence of HIV antibodies in the blood. Since it takes time for the body to build these antibodies, we recommend testing at or after 3 months post exposure. In addition, we do also recommend that all individuals who are sexually active undergo regular STI (including HIV) testing for their safety and the safety of their partners. If you live in the Vancouver area, a list of sites offering testing can be obtained from our website.
 
I hope this has helped to answer your questions, and please do not hesitate to ask if you have any further questions.
 
Regards,
JonathanAIDS Vancouver Helpline Volunteer604.696.4666, Monday-Friday 9am-4pm PSThelpline@aidsvancouver.org