I grew up with a public school education, and from about 4th to 12th grade, I have been subjected to countless seminars, lectures, guest speakers and classes which focus specifically on HIV/AIDS and preventing it. The information I have recieved each year has been the same, essentially these matters:
HIV can be transmitted by needle sharing, sexual intercourse, and from mother to child during childbirth.
One can not be certain that his partner is free from HIV infection from his/her appearance, or based upon what he or she says, that the only way to be certain is to obtain results from an HIV test performed at least 6 months after infection has occurred.
Blood transfusions have not been a source of infection in the United States since 1986.
hearing this information repeatedly has provked me to question one thing: If HIV infection cannot be safely determined by the information provided by the individual nor by a blood test performed within 6 months of infection, how are blood banks able to insure that donated blood is free of HIV?
If the tests performed on donated blood are sufficient to determine if it is infected regardless of how long ago infection occurred, why must individuals who wish to get tested wait 6 months to recieve accurate results?
If a single test and interview is sufficient for the US medical community, why is it not sufficient for a sexually active couple?
I’ve asked this question of every individual I’ve known who claims to be knowledgeable on the subject, I’ve asked it in school, and I’ve never recieved a certain answer.
Anything anyone can tell me will be greatly appreciated, thanks.