HIV Seroconversion: Definition, Symptoms, and Treatment
What is HIV Seroconversion?
HIV Seroconversion is the period between viral exposure and when antibodies are detectable within the blood. Once an HIV infection happens, the body’s immunity produces antibodies to fight the virus. The seroconversion period takes a few weeks, where testing positive for HIV is highly possible.
An HIV test checks for HIV antibodies in the blood to ensure that an infection is active. However, if an individual takes the HIV test before seroconversion starts, the result is most likely to be negative. That is why doctors recommend most of the tests a few weeks after the exposure to the virus.
During this period also, flu-like symptoms can develop. These symptoms serve as the first signs of HIV infection. Testing is necessary to know your status.
Symptoms of HIV Seroconversion
Not all individuals develop symptoms of seroconversion. However, to fully understand such a condition, we listed the most common signs you need to watch out for.
- Chills or fever
- Skin rashes
- Swollen lymph glands
- Excessive night sweating
- Sore throat
- Coughing or colds
- Mouth sores
- Extreme tiredness
Some of these symptoms can also be the results of various factors other than HIV. Therefore, it is necessary to identify the main triggering factor with a test.
What you need to know about HIV Seroconversion
The time between HIV acquisition and the production of antibodies can vary. It is because personal lifestyle and habits that define the condition of the immune system.
Viral transmission can happen even before the onset of seroconversion. Despite the delay in producing antibodies, HIV remains active within the body. That is why specific precautionary measures should be taken to avoid the spread of the infection to other individuals.
What are the types of tests you can follow?
- Antigen/Antibody Test – This particular testing type checks the presence of HIV in the blood. This test can tell you if you have HIV after 18 to 45 days of infection.
- NAT – Also known as the nucleic acid test, you will know your status right away by using this method. This test is more expensive than antigen/antibody tests.
- Antibody Test – From what it’s called, this test only checks for the presence of HIV antibodies. However, you need to take this a month or two after the viral exposure.
Unfortunately, there is no known cure yet for the human immunodeficiency virus. However, antiretroviral therapy is available to treat the infection. This therapy involves the combination of antiviral drugs that individuals with HIV need to consume to boost their immune systems and fight the virus.
Ask for more details about antiretroviral therapy and follow the prescription strictly. If you are negative, take extra measures to prevent the infection from affecting your body.