If a healthy person is exposed to blood or potentially
infectious fluids from an HIV-positive person, there is treatment.
This treatment is called
). It must be started within 72 hours of exposure. Please consult
our doctors for an assessment.
The first symptoms occur within 2 to 4 weeks after infection with HIV (acute seroconversion). HIV Screening
can start from 14 days after sexual exposure.
The symptoms may last for a few weeks and person is very infectious at this stage. Symptoms include:
- Flu-like symptoms
- Swollen lymph nodes
After acute seroconversion, the virus and its host cell can avoid detection by the immune system (latent). The HIV virus may remain dormant in the human body for up to 10 years and there may be no symptoms during this period (this also known as asymptomatic HIV infection or chronic HIV infection).
AIDS is the last stage of HIV infection, where the vital cells in the human immune system have been largely destroyed. Thus, people with AIDS often develop symptoms and signs of infections or cancers.
Common symptoms of AIDS include:
- Chills, prolonged fever and night sweats
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Relentless fatigue and unexplained weight loss (wasting syndrome)
Cross Street Medical Clinic
is approved to do HIV Testing
by the Ministry of Health Singapore. Cross Street Medical offers all relevant HIV screening tests. Speak to our doctors today about what you may need. Female doctors are available by appointment. We ensure patient privacy and confidentiality for all discussions, tests and treatments.
HIV infects vital cells in the human immune system such as helper T
), macrophages, and dendritic
T cells are a critical part of our
immune system in fighting infection and killing cancer cells.
T cell numbers decline below a
critical level (200 cells per uL), the body becomes progressively susceptible to life-threatening opportunistic infections (such as pneumonia), leading
to the development of AIDS.
) is started immediately after diagnosis.
Studies show that the sooner people with HIV start treatment
after a positive diagnosis, the more they benefit from ART, as treatment:
Lowers the level of HIV in the blood (i.e. viral
load, or CD4 cell count)
Reduces HIV-related illness, and lowers the risk
of transmitting HIV to others
This treatment can suppress
HIV replication to undetectable levels (viral load <50 copies/ml) in the
blood. It is widely recognised that a person is not infectious when viral load
However, successful treatment
is determined by many factors, including treatment adherence, drug resistance
and local health support.
Many people who are treated with ART have near-normal life
expectancies if treatment is started early. In fact, taking ART the right way,
every day, can reduce a person’s chance of transmitting HIV through sex by as
much as 96%.