HIV is, of course, a well-known term - but there remains a number of myths associated with the condition.  So what exactly is HIV, and why is it so dangerous?


What is HIV?

The Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is a lentivirus (virus with a long incubation period) that targets the body's immune system and weakens people's defence systems against both infections and some types of cancer. As the virus destroys and impairs the function of immune cells, people infected with HIV gradually become immunodeficient. This immunodeficiency results in increased susceptibility to a wide range of infections and diseases that those with healthy immune systems can usually successfully fight off.


What is the difference between HIV and AIDS?

HIV progresses in stages. The three stages of the virus are Acute Infection, Clinical Latency and AIDS.

Acute Infection (or ARS) is characterised by fever, swollen glands, sore throat, rash, muscle and joint aches and pains, and headaches. It is during this early period of infection that large amounts of the virus are being produced in your body.


Is it possible I got a false positive on my HIV test?

Firstly, you must approach a reputed private medical clinic for HIV testing. If you stay in and around London, a lot of options are available. After the primary test, you should be offered a confirmatory test, basically a second test to make sure you’re HIV-positive. The likelihood of two false positives is extremely rare. According to, the likelihood of a false negative depends on when you might have been exposed to HIV and when you took the test - It takes time for seroconversion to occur. This is when your body begins to produce the antibodies an HIV test is looking for—anywhere from two weeks to six months after infection. So if you have an HIV test with a negative result within three months of your last possible exposure to HIV, it is recommended that you be retested three months after that first screening test. A negative result is only accurate if you haven’t had any risks for HIV infection in the last six months—and a negative result is only good for past exposure.

Author's Bio: 

Contrast this to Jems Fort, who focuses only on the credentials and status signifiers that the reader would care about and understand, like his specialties and companies he works for  IPSA Medical.