HIV healthcare is continually evolving, in treatment options, onward transmission prevention, and other health and quality of life issues. However, the best way to manage people living with HIV remains the same. They should be:
- treated with respect and dignity regardless of lifestyle choices
- an equal participant in open and honest discussions about their health care choices
- able to access healthcare free from stigma, shame and discrimination
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HIV and Sexual Health North
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What is HIV?
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How do I know if I have HIV?
An estimated 25 - 30,000 people in Australia are HIV positive. But around 11% of the people in Australia don’t know they have it. The only way to know for sure is to have a test. Knowing your HIV status puts you in control of your health. And it allows you to take steps to keep you and the people you have sex with healthy.
If you test positive, you can take medicine to stay healthy. The medication also greatly reduces the chance of transmitting HIV to your sex partners. If you test negative, there are effective prevention tools available, such as HIV Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP).
Mostly there aren’t any signs that someone is HIV positive. However, in the early stages of infection patients go through seroconversion, that is, the HIV becomes detectable in their blood. This can result in flu-like illness, swollen lymph glands, and sometimes a rash.
If people aren’t diagnosed and treated, they may later develop symptoms of a greatly reduced immune system or AIDS.
These can include:
- weight loss
- night sweats
- chronic diarrhoea
- shortness of breath
- skin changes
- long-term swollen glands
- and neurological changes
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How can I get it?
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Who should get tested?
You should consider an HIV test if :
- you or your doctor are concerned that you may have symptoms of an HIV infection
- you have recently been diagnosed with an STI, hepatitis B or hepatitis C
- you or your partner have travelled to countries of high HIV prevalence and engaged in at-risk behaviours with local people
- you or your partner come from a high HIV prevalence country and are unaware of your/ their HIV status since you/ they left that country
- you received a blood transfusion or blood products before 1985
- you have been in custodial care or incarcerated
- you are pregnant, as part of antenatal screening
- you ever tried injecting recreational drugs or steroids and may have shared needles or equipment in the past, even once
Routine screening is recommended for several at-risk groups. these include:
- gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men
- people who inject recreational drugs or steroids
- people whose partners are HIV positive
- people whose partners engage in higher-risk behaviours
- sex workers
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Management of HIV infections
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HIV prevention strategies
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Sexual health clinic Joondalup
If you are living with HIV or at risk of acquiring HIV, Sexual Health North can help you take the right steps to look after your health. We offer testing, treatment, prevention strategies and counselling for anyone with HIV or who is at risk.
We have many years of experience in the management of HIV. Our highly experienced specialists will ensure you receive the best care, irrespective of lifestyle, sexual preference, or gender identity.
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3/5 Regent's Park Road,
Monday : 8.30 am - 1.00 pm
Tuesday : Closed
Wednesday : 9.00 am - 7.00 pm
Thursday : Closed
Friday : 9.00 am - 7.00 pm
Saturday : 9.00 am - 5.00 pm
Sunday : Closed