Why Our HIV Specialist is the Right Doctor for You

Are you at risk of transmitting or being exposed to HIV? It's time to find out. Our HIV Specialist Ofiong Okon can help you reduce your chance of contracting HIV or passing it on to someone else. There are various options for you should you be exposed to or have HIV, but first, it's important to know the signs and symptoms.

Symptoms of HIV can appear as early as two weeks after infection, or stay dormant in the body for years, that's why if you think you've been exposed to HIV, it's important to get tested immediately. Early symptoms often present as a bad flu, it can include fever, headache, fatigue, swollen lymph glands, rash, sore throat and sore joints or muscles. At this time, you may not have any symptoms, but you are still at a high risk of passing the infection to others.

If HIV goes untreated long enough, it eventually turns into AIDS, which is why it's so crucial that you get tested as soon as possible should you suspect you've been exposed. Here at LaSante Health Center, we provide HIV testing and treatment. It can take a few weeks for your body to begin producing HIV antibodies, but there are other tests you can take to find out your status earlier. 

We offer treatment known as PrEP & PEP. PrEP, or pre-exposure prophylaxis, is used to prevent HIV infection. It can be taken before exposure to HIV. If you're sexually active and in a high risk category for getting HIV, you can take PrEP daily, which is something we highly suggest. PEP, or post-exposure prophylaxis, can be taken after being exposed to HIV, as long as you are testing negative. PEP usually needs to start being taken within 72 hours of being exposed to HIV.

We also offer treatments for those who already have HIV, and these treatments can be life changing. Most medications dramatically slow the progression of the disease, and can even make it undetectable. If you're antibody count gets low enough with medication, you can also be unable to pass the infection on, although it's still important to maintain safe sex. 

NP Ofiong Okon will be able to talk through all of out treatment options with you depending on your unique case. She'll also be able to help you with the mental toll that having a disease like HIV can take on a person. She speaks both English and Spanish, so she is able to help a wide variety of people. 

If you're worried you have HIV or may have been exposed, there's no need to worry about seeing a doctor. Our top priority is providing excellent care to our patients and making sure they feel comfortable talking about their health. Book an appointment with out HIV Specialist today at lasantehealth.org.

Picture of Katherine Griffitts Katherine Griffitts As a former Journalist with a background in both politics and healthcare, Katherine Griffitts brings an exceptional level of expertise to the table in blog writing while sticking to the hard facts. She's thorough in her research and writes on only the most important of ideas for LaSante Health Center.

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