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Early Detection of HIV Infections
      Date:2019-12-01
HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is the virus that causes AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome). HIV progressively destroys the body's ability to fight infections and certain cancers. It weakens the immune system by infecting lymphocytes that normally help the body fight infections. Specific lymphocytes known as T-helper cells or CD4 cells are major targets for HIV. The virus binds to CD4 cells, enters them, replicates inside them, and eventually kills them.
 
Initially, HIV usually causes flu-like symptoms, but some people may not experience any obvious signs or symptoms. The only way to determine whether a person has been infected is through HIV testing.
 
Over time, the amount of HIV virus increases while the number of CD4 cells in the blood declines. After several years without treatment, the number of CD4 cells can drop to the point that AIDS-associated conditions and symptoms begin to appear.
 
Detecting and diagnosing HIV early in the course of infection is important because:
1. It allows for early treatment that slows progression to AIDS.
2. An individual can learn of their status and modify behavior so as to prevent the spread of disease.
3. A pregnant woman can undergo treatment that would help prevent passing the disease to her child.
 
YHLO provides the 4th-generation HIV Ag/Ab combo kit, which detects the HIV antigen called p24 plus antibodies to HIV-1 and HIV-2 (HIV-1 is the most common type found in the world, while HIV-2 has a higher prevalence in parts of Africa.). Testing for p24 allows for the detection of early acute infections, before HIV antibody is produced. A few weeks after exposure, antibodies to HIV are produced in response to the infection and remain detectable in the blood thereafter, making the antibody test useful for detecting infections weeks after exposure. These tests can detect HIV infections in most people as early as 2 weeks after exposure.
 
On this World AIDS Day, we aim to spread awareness about the early detection of HIV infections, and provide a better life to the patient.

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