There are several stages of HIV disease. The first HIV symptoms may include swollen glands in the throat, armpit, or groin. Other early HIV symptoms include a slight fever, headaches, fatigue, and muscle aches. These symptoms may last for only a few weeks. Then, there are usually no HIV symptoms for many years. That is why it can be hard to know if you have HIV.
Planned Parenthood offers HIV testing by blood draw with results available in seven to 10 business days. HIV counseling referral services and treatment referral services are also available. Counseling and confidential testing for HIV are provided by trained staff who are sensitive to your needs and concerns.
HIV is transmitted in blood, semen, vaginal fluids, and breast milk. The most common ways HIV to spread include:
- having vaginal or anal intercourse without a condom with someone who has HIV/AIDS
- sharing needles or syringes with someone who has HIV/AIDS
- being deeply punctured with a needle or surgical instrument contaminated with HIV
- getting HIV-infected blood, semen, or vaginal secretions into open wounds or sores
- babies born to women with HIV/AIDS can get HIV from their mothers during birth or from breastfeeding.
HIV is not transmitted by simple casual contact such as kissing, sharing drinking glasses, or hugging.
Pre-exposure prophylaxis, also known as PrEP, is a daily pill that can reduce your chances of getting HIV by 92 percent. PrEP does not work if you're already HIV positive. PrEP may be right for you if you have unprotected anal and/or vaginal sex, have a partner who is HIV positive, engage in sex work, use intravenous drugs and/or share needles. Book your appointment today to see if PrEP is right for you.