Human Immunodeficiency Virus & Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome
Why are you giving this information on HIV infection to me?
We need your consent for performing the blood test for the detection of HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) infection. We would like to provide you with this basic information on HIV infection and then proceed with HIV testing.
Why should kidney patients undergo testing for HIV?
Patients with kidney disease may be asked by their doctor to undergo testing for HIV as a) the virus could cause or contribute to or coexist with kidney problems and b) detection of HIV virus can change management plans and will require test and treatment for the virus apart from those for the kidney problems. In the absence of change in these plans, the patient’s clinical condition may not improve.
What is HIV?
HIV is a small microorganism belonging to virus type.
What does it cause?
It causes Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), a disease characterized by a tendency for recurrent infections with several microorganisms.
How is it transmitted? In other words what are the risk factors for HIV transmission?
It can be transmitted
- through unprotected sex with someone who has HIV,
- through HIV-infected needles (piercing, tattooing, needles used for administering drugs)
- by HIV infected pregnant women to their children during pregnancy or delivery or while breast feeding and
- rarely by transfusion of blood containing HIV
How is it detected?
HIV infection can be detected by using a blood test. The blood test for HIV infection can be done at any time of the day and no special precautions like fasting is required.
When will the report be available?
The report will be available within a few hours. If the initial test (called screening test) is negative, no further testing is required if there is no exposure to the above mentioned risk factors within the last 6 months.
If the initial test is positive, additional tests will be required for confirmation; HIV infection will be diagnosed only if the confirmatory test is positive.
How will you proceed if I test positive for HIV?
You will be referred to HIV specialist outside the Hospital for further management of HIV infection; management includes further testing to assess your immune system and treatment for HIV infection and other infections if present; treatment required for your kidney condition will be continued here irrespective of the diagnosis and treatment of HIV infection.
If I test positive for HIV, will it be revealed to others?
If you test positive for HIV, it will not be revealed to others but your doctor will talk to you on informing your sex partners of possible transmission of infection in case of unprotected exposure.
If I test positive for HIV, will I be discriminated in the society?
The law prohibits discrimination based on an individual’s HIV status and services are available to help you in such situations.
Can AIDS be prevented?
AIDS can be prevented by following safe sex (use of barrier), avoiding shared needles and using blood transfusion only if strictly needed; all pregnant ladies should undergo routine testing for HIV to assess the possibility of risk of transmission to the growing fetus.
Can AIDS be treated?
AIDS can be treated; if patient tests positive, the patient will be referred to HIV specialists for counselling, management and HIV prevention programs. AIDS is not incurable and active life is possible with medications.
Is this treatment free of side effects?
Treatment for HIV can be associated with side effects and patient needs close monitoring for the same.
Why should I inform the kidney doctor about my treatment for HIV infection?
Drugs prescribed for HIV infection may have interactions with drugs given for treatment of kidney disease and also can cause kidney disease on their own. So, please provide periodic feedbacks on your HIV medications to the treating kidney consultant.
For any further clarifications, contact the treating consultant