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Misconceptions about sexual problems

Diagnosis of infection using antibody testing is a well-established technique in medicine. HIV antibody tests exceed the performance of most other infectious disease tests in both sensitivity (the ability of the screening test to give a positive finding when the person tested truly has the disease) and specificity (the ability of the test to give a negative finding when the subjects tested are free of the disease under study). Many current HIV antibody tests have sensitivity and specificity in excess of 96% and are therefore extremely reliable. While most patients with HIV show an antibody response after six weeks, window periods vary and may occasionally be as long as three months.

The myth that sex with a virgin will cure AIDS is prevalent in South Africa. Sex with an uninfected virgin does not cure an HIV-infected person, and such contact will expose the uninfected individual to HIV, potentially further spreading the disease. This myth has gained considerable notoriety as the perceived reason for certain sexual abuse and child molestation occurrences, including the rape of infants, in South Africa.

Diagnosis of infection using antibody testing is a well-established technique in medicine. HIV antibody tests exceed the performance of most other infectious disease tests in both sensitivity (the ability of the screening test to give a positive finding when the person tested truly has the disease) and specificity (the ability of the test to give a negative finding when the subjects tested are free of the disease under study). Many current HIV antibody tests have sensitivity and specificity in excess of 96% and are therefore extremely reliable. While most patients with HIV show an antibody response after six weeks, window periods vary and may occasionally be as long as three months.

Progress in testing methodology has enabled detection of viral genetic material, antigens, and the virus itself in bodily fluids and cells. While not widely used for routine testing due to high cost and requirements in laboratory equipment, these direct testing techniques have confirmed the validity of the antibody tests.Positive HIV antibody tests are usually followed up by retests and tests for antigens, viral genetic material and the virus itself, providing confirmation of actual infection.

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