HIV is a virus that damages the immune system, and if left untreated can lead to other unusual and difficult to treat infections, and eventually AIDS. The virus is transmitted through exposure to infected blood and body fluids, usually through unprotected sexual intercourse or sharing needles and other drug injecting equipment.
An HIV diagnosis is no longer a death sentence but it still has lifelong consequences that vary from person to person. You may not know you have HIV. Your partner may not know they have HIV either. Transmission often occurs when people are not aware they have HIV. You are most infectious soon after getting HIV, even though you may not show any signs. The only way to know is to have a HIV test.
Early diagnosis and treatment can improve your health outcomes and can dramatically reduce the risk of passing on HIV. Treatment today is now simpler with fewer side effects. Treatment is not a cure. While treatment reduces the risk of passing HIV on to someone else, you still need to use condoms, use sterile injecting equipment, and be safe.
At Fountain Street General Practice, we have doctors who participate in shared care of people with HIV with HIV specialists, and we also have one doctor (Dr Brad) who is a community S100 prescriber and looks after a number of patients living with HIV. If you think that you or your partners have been at risk of HIV, call us on 8303 2900 to make an appointment to discuss this with one of our doctors and have a test.
PrEP Prevents HIV
Looking for access to PrEP? Enrolment is now open for the NSW EPIC study at Fountain Street General Practice.
Contact us now to secure your spot on 8303 2900.
More information can be found at the EPIC-NSW website.