HIV 101
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12. What if I test positive for HIV?

A positive result means:

  1. You are HIV-positive (carrying the virus that causes AIDS).
  2. You can infect others and should try to take precautions to prevent doing so.

A positive result does NOT mean:

  1. You have AIDS.
  2. You will necessarily get AIDS.
  3. You are immune to AIDS, even though you have antibodies.

A negative result means:

  1. No HIV antibodies were found in your blood at this time.

A negative result does NOT mean:

  1. You are not infected with HIV (you may still be in the "window period").
  2. You are immune to AIDS.
  3. You have a "resistance" to infection.
  4. You will never get AIDS. You may wish to consider avoiding unsafe activities to protect yourself.

An indeterminate result (which is rare) means:

  1. The Western Blot (WB) result is unclear. The entire HIV test must be repeated with a new blood sample, usually several weeks after the first blood test.
  2. Indeterminate results usually occur if the test is performed just as the person begins to seroconvert.

If you are tested positive for HIV, immediate medical treatment and a healthy lifestyle can help you stay well.

There are now many drugs that treat HIV infection and AIDS-related illnesses.

Prompt medical care may help delay the onset of AIDS and prevent some life-threatening conditions.

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