HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) Infection (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
What Increases Your Risk
You have an increased risk of becoming infected with HIV through sexual contact if you:
People who inject drugs or steroids, especially if they share needles, syringes, cookers, or other equipment used to inject drugs, are at risk of being infected with HIV.
Birth mother infected
Babies who are born to mothers who are infected with HIV are also at risk of infection.
Most children younger than 13 years who have HIV were infected with the virus by their mothers.
When To Call a Doctor
Known HIV infection
If you are infected with HIV or caring for someone who is, call
Call your doctor if any of the following conditions develop:
Suspected or known exposure to HIV and symptoms are present
Call your doctor to find out whether HIV testing is needed if you suspect you have been exposed to HIV, particularly if you engage in high-risk behavior and have any of the following symptoms:
Suspected or known exposure to HIV but no symptoms
If you have not been tested for HIV, call your doctor if:
Getting tested for HIV can be scary, but the condition can be managed with treatment. So it is important to get tested if you think you have been exposed.
If you don't have symptoms of HIV even though you have tested positive for the virus, you and your doctor may simply keep watching for symptoms to occur.
If you don't show any signs of disease and your CD4+ cell count is more than 500 cells per microliter (mcL), you may not need treatment. But during this time you still need regular checkups with a doctor to monitor the amount of HIV in your blood and see how well your immune system is working.
Who to see
Health professionals who can diagnose and may treat HIV include:
HIV can also be diagnosed and treated at an HIV care clinic.
Complications of HIV may require treatment by the following doctors:
If you don't have a doctor
Public health clinics and other organizations may provide free or low-cost, confidential testing and counseling about HIV and high-risk behavior.
If you don't have a doctor, contact one of the following for information on HIV testing in your area:
To prepare for your appointment, see the topic Making the Most of Your Appointment.
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