AIDS stands for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome:
AIDS is caused by a virus called HIV, the Human Immunodeficiency Virus. If you get infected with HIV, your body will try to fight the infection. It will make antibodies - special molecules to fight HIV. A blood test for HIV looks for these antibodies. If you have them in your blood, it means that you have HIV infection. People who have HIV antibodies are called "HIV-Positive."
To schedule an HIV test or for more information on Fenway's HIV Counseling & Testing Services, call 617.267.0159.
For more information about HIV/AIDS, click here.
Hepatitis refers to viral infections of the liver. There are several types of hepatitis, but here we will discuss the most common - Hepatitis A, B and C.
Different types of hepatitis are transmitted in different ways:
Hepatitis symptoms vary in intensity from person to person but commonly include:
For more information on hepatitis, it's symptoms and how to protect yourself from it, click here.
Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) are infections you can get through sexual contact involving the mouth, penis, vagina or anus.
Each year, there are more than 15 million new STD cases in the United States. STDs are more common that most people think. Young people are at particularly high risk.
Most STDs are easily cured if they are caught early. Unfortunately, many people don't seek treatment because they have no symptoms and they don't know that they have an infection. Other people have symptoms, but they don't go to the doctor because they are embarassed or they don't realize that theiry symptoms are the warning signs of a serious infection. If left untreated, some STDs can cause severe health problems or even death. And if you don't have an STD treated, you are more likely to pass it on to someone else. Talk to your doctor or counselor about any STD concerns you might have.
Click on the links below for more information on specific STDs:
Ask the Docs is an online service of Fenway Health that allows gay and bisexual men and transgender people to get answers to questions about their medical, sexual and mental health.
Who answers these questions?
Ask the Docs is actually a group of Fenway Health medical and mental health providers who work as a team to answer your questions. Ask the Docs cannot diagnose specific health issues or conditions over the internet. Ask the Docs will respond to you directly using the email address you give us. We will not share your email address with anyone else, either inside or outside of Fenway Health.
If you have immediate concerns about your health, please make an appointment to see your doctor or call Fenway's Medical Appointment Line at 617.927.6000. If you have a mental health concern, you can contact Fenway's Behavioral Health Department at 617.927.6202.
Send us your questions. We will respond to you directly using the email address you give us.
Responses may take up to one week, so if you have an urgent medical or mental health question, please contact your provider. Fenway's Medical Appointment Line is 617.927.6000 and Fenway's Behavioral Health Department can be reached at 617.927.6202.
What You Need to Know About HIV Antibody Testing
HIV antibody testing detects for HIV antibodies, NOT the HIV virus itself—an important fact to consider when receiving HIV antibody results. The human immune system creates HIV antibodies as a response to an HIV infection, but it usually takes anywhere from 10 days to 3 months, perhaps longer in some cases, from the day of infection for the body to create enough anti-bodies to be detected in a blood test. Because of this delay, a negative HIV antibody test result does NOT guarantee that someone is not infected with HIV. It is important to understand the HIV antibody testing process and its limitations, especially when making decisions about sexual risk based on HIV antibody test results. Read more.
Remember, early detection of HIV infection can increase your options around taking care of your health and making decisions about treatment, as well as protecting the health of your sexual partners.
To schedule an HIV test or talk to a counselor, call 617.267.0159.
Do you think you've had a risky exposure to HIV within the last 3 days? Call 617.267.0159 and we can help determine if PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis) is for you. PEP is a combination of anti HIV medications that may prevent HIV from taking hold in your body. Call now to learn more.
Since February, 5 Boston area gay men have contracted a specific strain of Shigella. Shigella is a bacterial infection that can lead to gastrointestinal distress. It’s transmitted by the oral-fecal route, so hand washing and avoiding potential exposure to feces is the best way to prevent it. Severe cases require hospitalization. Shigella is generally easy to treat if those suffering from it seek medical attention. If you have symptoms and think you may have been exposed, see your health care provider right away. More here .
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