Human Immunodeficiency Virus - HIV

HIV type 1 (HIV-1) and type 2 (HIV-2) are the two etiologic agents of AIDS. HIV-1 is the cause of much of the AIDS pandemic around the world.  HIV-2 is endemic in West Africa, but an increasing number of cases have been seen elsewhere, including the United States.  Pre- and postexposure treatments have become available to avoid contracting HIV, and therapy exists to treat HIV infection. However, infection rates remain high among at-risk populations, and HIV continues to be a major public health problem.  Transmission is primarily via sexual contact (particularly in men who have sex with men) or injection drug use; other modes of transmission include blood transfusion and perinatal exposure.  HIV is not transmitted via saliva, insect vectors, or household contacts.  Screening in asymptomatic individuals and early identification of active disease are critical. Recommended diagnostic testing includes “fourth generation tests” that detect both HIV antigens and antibodies, HIV-1/HIV-2 antibody differentiation tests, and nucleic acid amplification tests (NAATs). 

Tabs Content
Content Review: 
November 2019

Last Update: November 2019