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HELPLINE: ☎ 1800 633 634

Our HIV AIDS solicitors operate the no win no fee scheme which is totally without risk. You only pay legal charges if the case is won. There are no upfront charges to pay whatsoever. If you would like to discuss your potential compensation claim with a specialist medical negligence solicitor just complete the contact form or email our lawyers offices or use the solicitors helpline. Once you have provided sufficient information you will speak with an HIV AIDS solicitor who will advise you on the prospects of success for your claim and an estimated amount of compensation that may be awarded. Our advice is totally without cost and there is no further obligation to use our legal services. Do yourself justice and give us a call.

Our HIV AIDS solicitors have offices situated in Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Perth, Darwin, and Sydney.

HIV AIDS Overview

HIV stands for "Human Immunodeficiency Virus" and is the virus which causes an HIV infection and AIDS. AIDS stands for acquired immune deficiency syndrome and is the disease which comes out of having been infected with HIV and having the disease untreated or poorly treated with HIV drugs. HIV was first identified in 1981 in homosexual men in New York and Los Angeles. It was then considered an incurable disease with a 100 percent death rate. It is now a disease with multiple types of treatment. It much more rare to get AIDS from an HIV infection. On the bad side, it occurs in both men and women of all sexual proclivities and is a rampant disease in places like Africa, where children and adults both have the condition.

In HIV/AIDS, there is a reduction in T cells so that the immune system is suppressed. These are called CD4 cells and they help the body fight off infections. It is spread through the sharing of needles, through the sharing of bodily fluids, such as during sex and through receiving the AIDS virus in a contaminated blood sample. In today's time, all blood products are checked for the HIV virus so blood products are safe from contamination. Both homosexual and heterosexual sex can pass the virus on to another person. It can also pass through the placenta if a pregnant woman has the virus; she can give it to her unborn child. A woman with HIV cannot breastfeed because HIV can be passed through the breast milk. Accidental needle sticks by healthcare personnel are common ways to pass HIV from an infected person to an uninfected healthcare individual. HIV is not transmitted through casual exposure to an individual who has the disease. Kissing, for example, is not considered to be a risk factor for transmitting HIV. There are theoretical risks in passing HIV from person to person if there is sharing of razors or toothbrushes because blood can be transmitted from these objects but the rate of transmission is extremely low.

The risk of infection is not known on a per exposure basis. It is estimated that a person has a 3-5 percent risk of developing the disease with each exposure although it depends on the amount of blood or bodily fluids exchanged or passed on to another. The highest risk is through anal intercourse without a condom. Even if the risk is less than five percent, you should be careful with all possible exposures, particularly with one known to have the HIV virus in their bloodstream.

It takes about 2-6 weeks from the time of an exposure until a positive antibody test for HIV shows up in the bloodstream. The first test used for testing for HIV is called an ELISA test. It is confirmed by a test called the Western Blot test for HIV virus. Rapid antibody tests are available that can give a result within about 20 minutes. About 20 percent of those infected by HIV do not know they have the disease. It is now recommended as of 2007 that all individuals get tested as part of their routine blood screening at the doctor's office. Hopefully, this will pick up more people who are HIV positive and will help prevent the spread of the disease.

In the early stages of the disease, half the people will develop a flu-like illness as part of developing HIV disease. The symptoms include fever, muscle and joint aches, sore throat and swollen neck glands. Glands can be swollen in other body areas as well. During this time, the antibody tests are often negative.

Doctors evaluate the progress of HIV by following the CD4 cell count. When the CD4 cell count drops, the immune system is more affected and the disease is considered more severe. With medications for HIV, the CD4 cell count goes up above 400 cells per mm3 of blood. Infections and other complications occur when the CD4 cell count drops below 200 cells per mm3. Further decline in the blood cell count means more chance of secondary infections and death from complications of AIDS.

HELPLINE: ☎ 1800 633 634

Medical Negligence Solicitors

Our personal injury solicitors operate a specialist medical negligence compensation service. Our HIV AIDS solicitors deal with claims using a no win no fee arrangement which means that if you don't win then you don't pay them their professional costs. If you would like legal advice at no cost with no further obligation just complete the contact form or email our lawyers offices or use the helpline and a solicitor will review your medical negligence compensation claim and phone you immediately.

HELPLINE: ☎ 1800 633 634

The author of the substantive medical writing on this website is Dr. Christine Traxler MD whose biography can be read here