Where Can I Get Tested for HIV/AIDS?
Currently, there are no effective vaccines or cure for HIV.
Today, the use of antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) is the only treatment. These drugs do not kill the virus, but they prevent the destruction of the immune system and help to slow down the development of the HIV-infection and to reduce the amount of HIV viruses in the human body.
The stages of development of HIV in a human body and their symptoms:
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Acute infection
The immune system of an infected person accumulates its resources to fight back the virus. At this stage, the symptoms may include fever, swollen lymph nodes; there may be muscle pain, sore throat, weakness, sweating, patchy skin rash. Sometimes, there are no symptoms at all at this stage. Then a person starts feeling well again because the immune system can partially take the infection under control. The duration of this stage is 4-6 weeks.
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Clinical latency (Asymptomatic stage)
An HIV-infected person feels healthy, but the virus continues to propagate and thus is able to destroy immune cells. For a certain period, the resources of the organism seem sufficient to replenish the lost cells. The average duration of this stage is 8 years, but in some cases, this stage lasted much longer (15 years or more).
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Primary clinical manifestations
The immune system can no longer operate as before. The first serious symptoms can be seen, such as swollen lymph nodes, weight loss, fever, and weakness. Because of the weakened immunity, some early signs of other infections and diseases can be observed.
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The level of immune cells reaches a critically low point. At this stage, serious complications take place like the development of acute illnesses and infections, malignant tumors, and damage to the nervous system. For this stage, the average duration is 16 months.
What is ART (antiretroviral therapy)?
When is ART prescribed?
  • ART therapy is not prescribed immediately after a person has been diagnosed with HIV.
  • It is prescribed when the number of CD4 cells goes below 500 cells per 1 ml of blood, which indicates significant weakening of the human immune system.
Drug administration
  • ART-therapy is effective only if a patient takes it intra vitam and strictly adheres to the prescription.
  • A timely visit to the doctor increases the efficiency of treatment; in this case, medical help includes not only the doctor’s prescription but also medical consulting and supportive actions for people living with HIV/AIDS.
ART (antiretroviral therapy)
  • Usually, it means an efficient use of three different drugs simultaneously to fight the HIV-infection at different stages of its development.
  • The use of antiretroviral therapy can effectively suppress not only the existing version of the HIV virus in a human body, but also its mutant forms that propagate during the run of the disease.
How much does it cost?
  • In Ukraine, antiretroviral therapy is free of charge.
  • For each patient, the doctor prescribes ART individually according to the patient’s state of health. To get ART, you have to apply to your regional branch of the AIDS Centre.
Post-exposure prophylaxis
It is a short 4-week course of taking ART drugs to reduce the chances of developing the HIV-infection after a contact with an HIV infected person.
Post-exposure prophylaxis is prescribed in the following cases:
If the following groups are art risk of getting infected at the workplace:
If the following groups are art risk of getting infected in everyday life:
In such cases, you should contact the medical facility
within the first 36 hours after the accident
Right answer
Incorrect answer
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Do You Feel Protected?
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