Diagnosis of HIV/AIDS

Diagnosis of HIV/AIDS Diagnosis of HIV/AIDS: Know all about causes, symptoms and treatment of Diagnosis of HIV/AIDS

What is it?

There are two types of HIV that are currently known - HIV-1 and HIV-2. Worldwide, the predominant virus is HIV-1. Both viruses are transmitted by blood and blood products, sex, and from infected mother to child. Although the disease caused by both is clinically indistinguishable, HIV-2 is less easily transmitted and the period between initial infection and illness is longer for HIV-2.

How is the diagnosis made?

Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assays (ELISAs) or Enzyme Immuno-Assays (EIAs) are the most widely used screening tests for HIV/AIDS and detect antibodies produced by our body against HIV. Earlier test kits used crude viral antigens to detect HIV antibodies but the new kits use more specific recombinant protein and synthetic peptide antigens, giving highly sensitive and specific test results. Some new kits also detect viral antigens for an early diagnosis.

What is the prognosis?

CD4 T-cell counts are used, together with the viral load test, to get a complete picture about how the immune system is fighting the virus. As HIV multiplies within the body, the viral load increases and HIV destroys the CD4 T-cells, lowering the number of CD4 cells. Generally, the higher the HIV viral load, the more CD4 T-cells are being destroyed. The goal is to keep CD4 T-cell count high and the viral load low.The number of CD4+ T-cells and viral load will guide a patient and their doctor in deciding when to start anti-viral treatment and assess the response in patients on treatment.

DoctorNDTV Team

Anuj Sharma#/doctor/anuj-sharma-108692#108692#Entity

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