HIV is often diagnosed late

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Untreated HI virus usually leads to AIDS

The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is often only recognized very late or in some cases even not at all - diagnosis as early as possible is particularly important because this is the only way to minimize the risk of further infections and to start effective treatment. However, if the HI virus, which belongs to the family of retroviruses, is not treated, in most cases it leads to AIDS after an incubation period of different lengths - mostly several years - which means acquired immunodeficiency syndrome.

Many sufferers go to the doctor too late
Despite the urgency of quickly identifying the disease, many of those affected still go to the doctor too late - according to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), it can be assumed that almost half of the approximately 3,400 new infections in 2012 are so-called “Late presenters” are those who have either already contracted the AIDS disease when visiting the doctor or at least have already weakened their immune systems.

The late detection of HIV infection also has far-reaching consequences for preventive medicine and also causes high costs, because in many cases the patient already has symptoms that make hospitalization necessary, as well as financial burdens for the patient Employer due to the loss of work.

Late diagnosis can have different reasons. A late diagnosis of the disease can have very different reasons: On the one hand, ignorance, shame or repression can play a role, because according to medical doctor Georg Härter from the Ulm University Clinic “the HIV infection is unfortunately still stigmatizing and therefore some repress or dare not speak to the family doctor, ”the expert told dpa. On the other hand, there would always be cases in which HIV symptoms such as swelling of the lymph nodes, diarrhea, fever or enormous weight loss were not associated with the disease on the medical side.

Doctors need to be made more aware. According to Härter, it is therefore extremely important to "sensitize medical colleagues to the topic, to recognize warning symptoms and to discuss an HIV test with the patients". In addition to the known symptoms, every venereal disease must also attract the doctor's attention and be closely monitored. For example, the number of late presenters has remained constant over the past few years, which is why, according to the physician, the AIDS companies would advise that resident doctors be trained in order to be able to diagnose HIV or AIDS earlier and possibly save lives .

Risk continues to be highest for men who have sex with men According to the RKI, the most affected group of new HIV infections in Germany remain men who have sex with men (MSM) - because this group has been 2011 saw a slight increase again, which, according to the RKI, "is probably related to the renewed significant increase in syphilis numbers since the beginning of 2010". Therefore, a quick diagnosis and treatment of syphilis and other sexually transmitted infections is important to counteract the increase in new HIV infections. Of the 78,000 people infected with HIV in Germany, an estimated 51,000 are men who have sex with men. (No)

Also read:
Broad-spectrum antibodies to HIV
Why some do not get AIDS despite HIV
Aids: 17 antibodies against HI viruses discovered
UN warns of rapid spread of AIDS

Author and source information

Video: Stages of HIV Infection Clinically Defined


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