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HIV Awareness and Screening
Dr. Dawn-Elise Snipes PhD, LPC-MHSP
AllCEUs Counselor Education
~ Review current knowledge reference HIV awareness and screening
~ An estimated 1.1 million people in the United States have the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and approximately 1 in 7 (nearly 15%) are unaware of their status
~ Studies show that a people with HIV have a similar life expectancy to HIV- people provided they are diagnosed early, have good medical care, and adhere to their HIV treatment
~ From 2014 to 2018, HIV diagnoses decreased 7% among adults and adolescents
~ HIV can be transmitted by sexual contact, sharing needles, mother to baby during pregnancy, birth or breastfeeding
~ According to the CDC, there is a very low risk of contracting HIV from oral sex
Stages of HIV Infection
~ Seroconversion is the brief illness people may experience soon after they contract HIV. During this time they are most infectious
~ The asymptomatic stage of HIV occurs once seroconversion is over and can last for several years.
~ Symptomatic HIV occurs when the immune system succumbs to opportunistic infections and cancers
~ Late stage HIV occurs when the disease has caused a lot of damage to the immune system
HIV & Opportunistic Infections & Cancer
~ Main risk factors for most cancers
HIV & Opportunistic Infections & Cancer
~ Main protective factors for most infections
~ Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
~ Cover your nose and mouth when you sneeze or cough
~ Social distancing from strangers and people who are sick
~ Wearing a mask
~ Vaccinations (HPV, Flu, COVID, Shingles)
~ Early intervention and treatment
~ Regularly wipe down frequently touched objects
~ By achieving and maintaining an undetectable (less than 200 copies/mL) viral load, people with HIV can remain healthy for many years.
~ ART is now recommended for all people with HIV, regardless of CD4 count
~ Evidence from the PARTNER1 and PARTNER2 study indicate that the likelihood of passing on HIV is linked to the amount of the virus in the blood.
~ PEP or post exposure prophylaxis (for 28 days) can be started up to 72 hours after exposure to HIV
Types of Tests
~ Nucleic Acids Test identifies the virus in the blood (10-33 days post exposure)
~ Antigen/antibody test looks for evidence of exposure(antibodies) and antigens (p24) which are produced before antibodies are developed (18-45 days post exposure)
~ Antibody test look for antibodies in blood or saliva (23-90 days after an exposure)
~ The oral fluid antibody self-test provides results within 20 min.
~ With a rapid antibody screening test, usually done with blood from a finger prick or with oral fluid, results are ready in 30 min.
~ Negative results do not necessarily mean you do not have HIV because of the window and false negatives especially from user error in home tests
~ Negative results only mean you are negative and are not reflective of your partner’s status even if you have engaged in high-risk behaviors with that person.
~ Positive results need to be confirmed by a second test, even if the first test was done at the doctor’s office.
Video by Dr. Dawn Elise Snipes on integrative behavioral health approaches including counseling techniques and skills for improving mental health and reducing mental illness.
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