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Most people are aware that sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and infections (STIs) exist. Though, many may not quite know how these infections and diseases affect us and if there are any treatment plans for them.

In Malaysia, one of the pre-requisite requirements for couples who intend to marry is for them to be HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) tested.

However, do you know what happens if either partner ends up being tested positive for HIV?

“Good morning, Mr. A. Please sit down.

My name is Dr Nimelesh. I’m the doctor in charge of this clinic.

My nurse sent you to my room for further screening because you tested positive in the Pre-Marital HIV Screening Programme.

Have you ever had a HIV test done prior to this?”

Doctor Nimelesh explains what happens and what it means for your future family if you or your partner is diagnosed with HIV in this extensive Twitter thread.

Dr Nimelesh presents a scenario where a man tests positive during the pre-martial HIV screening programme conducted by the Health Ministry.

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Often, patients are not aware that they have HIV.

Doctors will ask the patient about their sexual history. Whether they were previously sexually active and how many partners they’ve had in the past.

Usually, patients have not practiced safe sex such as using a condom.

Doctor’s will have to take information about the patients previous sexual partners and will offer to explain the situation to their fiance.

What is HIV?

Picture credit: hiv.gov

HIV is a virus that attacks cells that help the body fight infection, making a person more vulnerable to other infections and diseases.

If left untreated, HIV can lead to the disease AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome).

There is no effective cure for HIV.

So, once you have HIV, you have it for life.

However, by taking HIV medicine (called antiretroviral therapy or ART), people with HIV can live long and healthy lives and prevent transmitting the virus to their sexual partners.

HIV patients can still live, marry, and have children like anybody else.

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There are effective methods to prevent getting HIV through sex including taking pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) and making sure you ALWAYS use a condom.

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Dr Nimelesh recommends that HIV negative partners wait for their HIV positive partners to begin HIV treatment to suppress the viral load in the blood before trying to have a baby together.

“Methods to reduce chances of having HIV positive children:

A. Taking PrEP during the ovulation period – having sex without a condom is done only during this time (the rate of getting a HIV positive baby is 0.001 in 10000 pregnancies).

B. Taking PrEP (rate of getting a HIV positive baby is 0.005 in 10000 pregnancies).

C. Being intimate during the ovulation period (rate of getting a HIV positive baby is 0.002 in 10000 pregnancies).

D. Medically Associated Procreation: for example IVF, IUI – procedures that are usually performed with sperm washing (rate of getting a HIV positive baby is almost 0 in 10000 pregnancies).”

Picture credit: Community

HIV cannot be transmitted through hugs, kisses, holding hands and similar activities.

Picture credit: Avert

The HIV virus cannot live long outside the human body and can only be transmitted through bodily fluids:

  • During unprotected sexual intercourse (semen, vaginal fluid).
  • Sharing needles between drug abusers of which one is HIV positive.
  • Medical staff who get needle pricked with HIV positive patients.
  • HIV positive mother breastfeeding their baby.
  • Blood transfusions.
  • Transmissions from HIV positive mother to baby during pregnancy.

Don’t wait to get married before being screened for HIV.

If you are sexually active, you can be screened for HIV at any health clinic closest to you.

All pregnant mothers should also be screened for HIV, Syphillis and Hepatitis B.

Testing positive during the screening test doesn’t necessarily mean you are HIV positive.

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According to Doctor Nimelesh, doctors will follow up the screening test with a blood test to confirm the results before you are diagnosed with HIV.

HIV is not the problem of specific populations. It can happen to anyone, no matter what you work as, or what your sexual orientation is.
We all play a role to prevent and eradicate HIV/AIDS.

via GIPHY

Couldn’t have said it better ourselves.

Sourced Via
(What Are HIV and AIDS?)

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