Frequently Asked Questions

HIV infection is a slowly progressive infectious disease caused by the human immunodeficiency virus. By multiplying, HIV affects not only the cells of the body, but also CD4 + T-lymphocytes, that is, the very cells that must fight the virus. When trying to get rid of the "enemy", the body independently activates the system of destruction of viruses, including the infected cells. And they immediately reproduce their offspring.
AIDS stands for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. HIV infection can develop asymptomatically in the human body over the long time - from 5 to 15 years. AIDS can be called the last stage of HIV. This is a serious condition caused by a prolonged course of HIV infection. If the cells of the immune system are destroyed to the limit, a person acquires various infectious and tumor diseases that cannot be cured. This is the main difference between HIV and AIDS. AIDS cannot be cured, but it can be avoided by detecting HIV infection in time and starting antiretroviral therapy that blocks the virus’s reproduction. Taking drugs, an HIV-positive person is not an AIDS patient. He/she is able to live as long as uninfected people, and also will not be dangerous for his/her sexual partner.
Symptoms specific to HIV do not exist. A couple of weeks after the virus penetrates, a person may have a fever, muscle and throat pain and other symptoms, such as the flu. After some time, the body will “adapt” and may not show signs of the virus at all.
Since HIV infection cannot be determined by symptoms, the only way to exclude or confirm it is to make a test.
HIV tests are divided into screening and confirmatory tests. According to the recommendations of the Ministry of Health, the initial analysis should be an Enzyme Immunoassay (EIA) screening test. This method is not intended to detect the virus itself, but the antibodies that our immune system produces to combat it. The test allows you to identify antibodies to the virus of the first and second types (HIV-1 and HIV-2). If the result of the screening test is positive (i.e. antibodies are detected), a confirmatory test is made that determines the presence of the virus itself.

As a sample of biological material for a screening test for antibodies, blood, blood plasma, or outer gum fluid (mouth fluid) can be used. The choice of biological material for the test does not affect the accuracy of the test.
HIV antibody test detects cells that the body's immune system creates in response to HIV infection. When HIV enters the body, the body begins to produce antibodies. In the case of HIV, antibodies cannot fight infection. But their presence can be used to say whether a person has HIV in the body. Most HIV tests detect antibodies to the infection, not the virus itself.
Yes, HIV does not really spread through saliva. But the OraQuick test does not detect the virus itself, but antibodies produced by the body in response to the virus.
Screening tests for antibodies of the latest generation (OraQuick refers to them) can detect antibodies to HIV of Type 1 and Type 2 (HIV-1 and HIV-2), which appear in the body 3-6 months after the infection. At an earlier stage, laboratory blood tests can detect the virus.
HIV is not considered the most contagious virus. For example, saliva, sweat and urine do not contain enough virus to infect, i.e., HIV is not transmitted by contact with these fluids or through the air. Typical ways of infection are unprotected penetrating sexual contact, the sharing of non-sterile equipment for injections, tattoos or piercings, and the use of non-sterile medical and cosmetic instruments. In addition, the virus can be transmitted from an HIV-infected mother to her child.
This is a liver disease caused by the Hepatitis C virus. Being the most serious type of liver infection, without timely treatment, it develops into liver fibrosis, then into cirrhosis or cancer. Currently, there is no vaccine for hepatitis C, but if the virus is detected at the initial stage, antiviral drugs can save a person’s life.
Hepatitis C affects the human liver, and HIV affects an immune system. HIV infection can be transmitted both through the blood and through other human biological fluids, such as the breast milk. Infection with Hepatitis C occurs only through the blood. Most often, infection occurs through the sharing of injection tools, the use of non-sterile medical and cosmetic tools, the transfusion of unverified blood or blood products, and sexual relationship that leads to contact with blood. The similarity of viruses is that both of them practically do not manifest themselves after infection. Without realizing his/her positive status, a person does not start treatment on time, which leads to fatal consequences.
Hepatitis C virus can cause both acute and chronic illness. During the acute human hepatitis, pain in the abdominal cavity can disturb, sometimes nausea and vomiting occur, the temperature rises and other symptoms appear which a person cannot always associate with a specific disease. However, such hepatitis can disappear spontaneously even without treatment, while chronic hepatitis can be asymptomatic for many years. Its danger is that if a person does not know about the virus, then when the symptoms finally appear, it will be too late to treat the disease.
The World Health Organization recommends that every adult check for the presence of the virus in the body for preventive purposes, regardless of whether the person is at risk. If the test shows the presence of antibodies to the virus, a confirmation test should be done at the laboratory. PCR test (Polymerase Chain Reaction) detects the presence of the virus in the body at the moment. A biochemical blood test can evaluate the functionality of the liver. A liver biopsy gives information about the degree of organ damage and allows you to choose an individual treatment.
As in case of HIV, there are far more people infected with hepatitis worldwide than we can imagine. Including because many people themselves do not know that they are carriers of the virus. Hepatitis C is not transmitted through the breast milk, food, water, or through contacts such as hugs, kisses, or sharing food and drinks. It turns out that ordinary household contacts with infected people do not need to be avoided, since only direct contacts with blood are dangerous.