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Last Updated: Nov 12, 2023


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Dr. Ajay Kumar PujalaHIV Specialist • 25 Years Exp.FHM Fellowship In HIV Medicine, MD, MBBS

Here are the symptoms , diagnosis , prevention & treatment of HIV

This is Dr. Ajay. Last time I spoke to you about HIV the symptoms, the staging and how to identify the patient with HIV phase down symptoms. So today in this video I will be discussing more about how to diagnose the patient with HIV.

What are the tests available? What are the treatment options available? And how to prevent HIV?

So when we come across the patient with HIV the only way we can diagnose the patient with HIV is by doing blood test. There are different kinds of blood tests available. They can be from the tests that detect the antibodies for HIV. There are tests to detect the antigens on HIV like P-24. Then there are tests to detect the virus itself like PCR. So when a patient is exposed the HIV positive patient either sexually or through injections. Then the patient develops antibodies in his body. So these antibodies take at least three to six months’ time to develop. So in this duration which is called as window period. In this period we won’t be able to detect antibodies. So all the tests like Elisa, Tridot, and Western blot. These tests won’t be able to pick up the patient’s window period when the antibodies are not there. So if you want to detect the antibodies you need to wait for three months or three to six months after exposure.

So if you can’t wait for three to six months you can do the other tests which can pick up the virus directly. So once we diagnose the patient with HIV then the next step would be to monitor the disease I mean how to stage the patient. So because HIV damages the immune system. So there are the tests which can assess the immune system of the patient so these tests are called cd4 count and viral load. CD-4 is nothing but it is a sub site of T-cell. So the normal CD count for a patient would range from 500-1500 which is a normal range. The other test which is available is viral load. The viral load is nothing but it detects how many viral copies are present in the body. After diagnosing the patient with HIV. The next step would be to start the treatment. So the treatment what we give for HIV is what we call is antiretroviral treatment or ART. ART is the most popular treatment available for treatment and in this ART there are different medicines available.

The most important thing which determines is the CD-count and the viral load. So before we start the antiretroviral treatment we assess the patient. First we counsel the patient whether the patient is prepared to start the treatment or not. Then we also rule out the other opportunistic infections. Because patients who have HIV already have other opportunistic infections. So before you start the antiretroviral treatment you need to assess whether the patient is having any opportunistic infection. You have to rule out those then you also have to assess the baseline function of the patient like whether the patient is having any liver abnormalities or if the patient is having normal liver function, normal kidney function and we also have to do the complete blood picture.

So if the patient is having all the parameters normal and if the patient is not having any opportunistic infection. Then we do preparedness counselling for the patient that is when we start the treatment. So before we start the treatment we see the CD-4 count. Now previously the guideline was to depend on the CD-4 count. They use to start the treatment when the CD-4 count is low but now the guidelines say that HIV treatment can be started irrespective of the CD-4 count.

So this is all about HIV treatment and in the subsequent video I will be talking more about the HIV treatment and I would like to thank lybrate and if you want to consult me you can consult me through lybrate or you can directly walk in or take an appointment and meet me at my clinic at Narayanguda.


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