HIV blood test. December 1st is the World AIDS Day, aimed at raising awareness about a disease which fortunately has had a drastic reduction in victims over the years.
However, some behaviors can favor contagion with people affected by the virus.
What is AIDS
AIDS, acronym for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, is an advanced stage of the HIV infection.
It can also occur several years after the infection, when the number of CD4 cells in the immune system drops.
In the presence of AIDS syndrome, the body is unable to fight even the weakest infections and diseases, because it is unable to react.
However, antiretroviral therapy has made possible for HIV positive people to live a good life as well.
Life prospects have also increased for those who manage to undergo therapy immediately after becoming aware of them having the virus.
If the viral load is not measurable, even when is persistent for at least 6 months, the possibilities of transmitting the disease are non-existent.
The virus is present in the blood and in body secretions, therefore the transmission can occur through them.
When it is not transmissible, HIV is defined as U=U, i.e., Undetectable = Untransmittable
Differences between HIV and AIDS
The Human Immunodeficiency Virus, also known as HIV, destroys the CD4 lymphocytes, a kind of white blood cells that enables the body to perform an immune response.
When the HIV virus is in circulation, the immune system fails to respond against viruses, bacteria, protozoa, fungi, and tumors. Thus, there are no specific symptoms for HIV, it only manifests itself through effects on the immune system.
When anti-HIV antibodies are present in the blood, it’s called seropositivity.
It’s a silent disease that can live for years in our body without any symptoms or consequences. To detect it, it’s required to undergo the specific blood test, which in some cases gets only performed in presence of an opportunistic disease, a disease that attacks because of the immune system’s deficiency.
World AIDS Day
Every year on December 1st there’s the World AIDS Day, a disease that has killed 25 million people all around the world so far. The Day was announced during a summit of health ministers from all around the world in 1988. It’s one of the most destructive epidemics in history.
On November 24, 1991, the world mourned rockstar Freddy Mercury, lead singer of Queen, who died of AIDS.
Also, Keith Haring, creator of the most famous murals in New York, died on February 16, 1990, at the young age of 31. They were just two of the famous victims of a disease that has scared the whole world before the end of the last century.
Where to get tested for HIV
There’s no test that can prove HIV contagion right after the contraction. The virus must enter the circulatory system first in order to be detected. The time range between the contraction and the detection is called “window period”. This time range is identified within 90 days of the last risky behavior.
Recently, 4th generation tests have been able to also detect parts of the virus such as the p24 antigen. In this case, the window period is further reduced, reaching a response even 20 days after the exposure to the last risk factor that could’ve caused the transmission.
HIV blood tests, the Nefrocenter labs where is possible to undergo them are:
Laboratorio Maiello in Naples, in Via Sant’Alfonso Maria de’ Liguori 3. It operates continuously from Monday to Friday from 7am to 7pm, and from 7:30am to 1pm on Saturdays.
Toma Centro Sud in Naples, in Via Generale Francesco Pignatelli 2. It operates continuously from Monday to Friday from 7:30am to 6:30pm, and from 7:30am to 11:30am on Saturdays.
Laboratorio Miglio d’Oro in Ercolano, in Via Emilio Bossa 24. It operates continuously from Monday to Friday from 7:30am to 1:30pm, and from 8:30am to 11:30am on Saturdays.