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Q&A Topics

Hiv


Angela Lombard Nursing Practitioner View profile

Dear C

Thank you for your query. I fully understand your complete apprehension and concern about having an HIV screening. An HIV screening can be a harrowing experience for most individuals. It is commendable that you are being responsible in having an HIV test done.

I encourage all my patients and clients to consider having an annual HIV screening as it is really important to know one's HIV status, especially as we have a pandemic of HIV in South Africa.

There are a number of different types of HIV tests available using a simple finger prick method - where-ever you have booked to have this done, the name of the HIV test must be given to you and fully explained. You must see your final result. Also, the sero-conversion for that particular test used for you, must be fully explained. To answer your question - it is the sero-concersion time that needs to be considered for the particular test you have booked for. Every situation is different, sexual history needs to be considered, and the circumstances at the time when intercourse took place, and any other dynamics a client is concerned about, including a previous partner(s) etc. You are likely to test negative as things are for you, but don't forget a previous partner(s) and then their previous sexual contacts as well.

HIV screening is one of the frequently requested services with our Kloof Clinic, and all clients see myself. The finger prick test used takes 30 minutes to read, and in that time it can pick up the prescence of HIV in the blood before sero-conversion (i.e. there are tests now more clever than the HIV virus in detecting its presence), and it can determine stage 1 or stage 2 of an HIV infection, and is 98 % accurate. This is always an hour appointment. The service is non-judgmental, and must be so where-ever a service is provided.

So the best thing you can do is to just go and have your HIV screening done please. You are welcome to see me or contact me again should you be concerned further.

Warmest regards

Angela

Gabriell (dr.) Prinsloo Medical Doctor View profile

Hi

I apologise for the delay in answering. I have forwarded your question to the other practitioners.

As you have found, there are numerous lists on the internet. The South African Medicines Formulary (SAMF) contains all researched drug information and interactions.

According to the SAMF:

Truvada contains tenofovir and emtricitabine and is largely cleared by the kidneys so any product that strains the kidneys could affect metabolism.

The medications listed include:

• Nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors such as didanosine

• Protease inhibitors atazanavir, lopamivir, ritonavir

• Drugs that reduce renal function such as acicolvir, valaciclovir, gancilovir and valganciclovir

Stocrin is efavirenz which is metabolised in the liver so any liver disease or products that affect liver metabolism could affect metabolism.

The medications listed include:

• Protease inhibitors such as amprenavir, atazanavir, indinavir, lopinavir, nelfinavir, ritonavir, saquinavir

• Benzodiazepine derivatives midazolam and triazolam,

• Ergot alkaloids such as ergotamine for headaches and migraine

• Seizure medication including phenytoin, carbemazepine, phenobarbitol

• St John’s Wort

• Oral contraceptives

• Rifampicin

• Warfarin

I suggest that you contact the department of pharmacology at UCT. They research and produce the SAMF and have also starting doing a lot of research into botanical products. They will be able to give you the most comprehensive list.

Warm regards

Gabriell

Sean (dr.) Gomes Medical Doctor View profile

There are no specific signs and symptoms associated with HIV and pregnancy. Signs and symptoms of HIV are normally associated with progression of the virus, a low CD4 count and resultant opportunistic infections. Initially one can develop a brief flu-like illness two to four weeks after becoming infected. Signs and symptoms may include: Fever, Headache, Sore throat, Swollen lymph glands and Rash. One can remain symptom free for up to 8 years after the initial infection. However, as the virus continues to multiply and destroy immune cells, you may develop mild infections or chronic symptoms such as: Swollen lymph nodes — often one of the first signs of HIV infection, Diarrhoea, Weight loss, Fever and Cough and shortness of breath. After about ten years more serious symptoms may begin to appear,which are associated with a CD4 count of less than 200, thereby meeting the official criteria for AIDS. At this stage, the immune system has been severely damaged, making you susceptible to opportunistic infections. The signs and symptoms of some of these infections may include: Soaking night sweats, Shaking chills or fever for several weeks, Dry cough and shortness of breath, Chronic diarrhoea, Persistent white spots or unusual lesions on your tongue or in your mouth, Headaches, Blurred and distorted vision and Weight loss. If you think that you may be at risk of being HIV positive, I would recommend you have an HIV test as taking retroviral medication can greatly reduce th risk of transmission to your baby. Kind regards Dr Sean Gomes


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