Published on March 8, 2014
HIV~ (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) The virus compromises the body’s ability to handle disease and causes AIDS. AIDS~ (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) It is related to HIV, but they are not one in the same. A person has AIDS only in the final stages of HIV, after the immune system becomes unable to defend itself against foreign invaders like bacteria, other viruses, and allows the development of certain cancers.
STATISTICS • • • • Since 1981 1.7 million people in the U.S. are estimated to have been infected with HIV. 1 in 5 of those infected are unaware. MSM (Men who have sex with men ) accounted for 61% of all new HIV infections in the U.S. in 2009. Over 619,000 with HIV have already died since the epidemic began.
•The world first became aware of AIDS in the early 1980’s. • Researchers aren’t sure exactly when and how HIV developed. • The most likely theories assume that HIV-1 was transmitted to humans from chimpanzees sometime in the early 20th century.
When HIV emerges from latency (the period when someone with HIV shows no signs of it) symptoms can include: Dry, flaky skin (Xeroderma) Chronic fatigue Fever that comes and goes (Pyrexia) Diarrhea that lasts more than a week Heavy night sweats (Hyperhidrosis) Rapid weight loss Swollen lymph nodes White spots on tongue, mouth & throat
To be tested for HIV you usually give a sample of blood, urine or a swab of fluids from your mouth. It is recommended that if you are sexually active or have multiple partners you should be tested every 6 months.
There is no cure for HIV. Antiretroviral therapy can reduce the presence of the virus in the body, but can not eliminate it.
The prognosis for those with HIV is improving with the development of antiretroviral drugs that help reduce the amount of HIV in the blood to an “undetectable viral load”
•To prevent HIV transmission during sex you need to use a condom. • HIV can be spread through vaginal, anal or oral sex. •Open sores from STDs like herpes & syphilis provide gateways for HIV to enter the body. • Gonorrhea & Chlamydia may weaken the skin & mucous barriers that help prevent infection. •If you inject drugs, use a new sterile needle each time to significantly reduce the risk of HIV transmission.
HIV is not airborne and cannot be caught by touching skin, sweat or saliva. You cannot get HIV by holding hands or sharing drinks. Mosquito's do not inject other peoples blood when they bite and so can’t spread HIV.
www.aids.gov www.aidshealth.org www.aidsmap.com
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