HIV/AIDS

What Is HIV?

HIV is the Human Immunodeficiency Virus. It is a virus that gets into a person’s cells. HIV affects the immune system, specifically the T-Cells or CD4 cells which fight infection. Simply put, the virus destroys the T-cells so that the immune system of a person with untreated HIV infection is not able to fight off diseases and infections.

What is AIDS?

AIDS stands for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. AIDS is caused by HIV and is a last stage of infection. A person can live many years with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus in his or her system without experiencing any symptoms. When enough T-cells have been destroyed to severely compromise the body’s ability to fight infection and disease, a person’s diagnosis progresses to AIDS.

There is no cure for HIV yet, however, treatment can control HIV and enable people to live a long and healthy life.

How is HIV Transmitted

HIV is transmitted through the following bodily fluids: Blood, Semen, Pre-seminal fluid (pre-cum), Breast milk, Vaginal fluids, Anal mucous

When you have sex with someone who is HIV-positive (infected with HIV) the virus can enter your system through small tears in your vagina, anus, penis or – rarely – your mouth. Open sores caused by sexually-transmitted diseases (STDs) such as herpes and syphilis can make it easier for HIV to enter your system.


Unprotected Sex

Having sex without the correct use of a condom is a risky sexual encounter, anal, vaginal and in some cases oral sex can transmit HIV virus or other STI infections.

Blood

Having contact with someone’s open injury, getting in a fist fight or sharing needles for IV drugs can be considered a high risk practice that can transmit HIV or other STI infections.

Breast Milk

Breast feeding an infant while living with HIV can transmit the HIV virus to the baby, there hasn’t been any studies related to undetectability and breast feeding so it is still considered at risk for HIV.

HIV is NOT transmitted through the bodily fluids like  Saliva, Vomit, Feces, Nasal  fluid, Tears, Sweat, Urine or others.

CDC.gov

How to prevent HIV Infection?

Use condoms: If you are sexually active, always use a condom during vaginal and anal intercourse. Condoms are highly effective in preventing HIV transmission.

Use clean needles: If you inject drugs, use new, sterile needles.

Discuss sexual histories: Knowing the HIV status of your partner or partners will enable you to take steps to prevent transmission, like using condoms. About 25% of people in the U.S. who are infected don’t know it. Get tested together.

Have sober sex: If you are drinking or taking drugs, you are less likely to practice safer sex and use condoms. If you feel like you may have a drug or alcohol, seek help.

Get tested for other STDs: Having a sexually-transmitted disease (STD)—such as Chlamydia, gonorrhea or syphilis—can increase your risk of getting infected with HIV. Many STDs do not have obvious symptoms. Get tested for free through an AIDS Healthcare Foundation Wellness Center. For locations visit: www.freestdcheck.org. Or visit http://hivtest.cdc.gov/stdtesting.aspx to find a testing location in your area.

Abstain or have fewer partners: Having fewer sexual partners will decrease your risk for contracting HIV or other STDs.

Symptoms

Many people with HIV do not experience any systems until the late stages of the disease.

In fact, the virus can live in your body for as many as 10 years – or more – without causing any obvious symptoms. Extreme fatigue, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, fever and wasting syndrome can be some of the symptoms experienced at the late stages –when the disease has progressed to AIDS. These symptoms are most often caused by the opportunistic infections that a weakened immune system has been unable to fight off.

In the first 2 weeks to 30 days after infection—when higher levels of the virus are in a person’s system and he or she is most infectious (or, able to pass the virus on to others)—some may experience severe flu-like symptoms. It’s important to remember that not everyone who gets infected experiences these symptoms.

If you are HIV Positive

Contact US immediately to get you on treatment as soon as possible, this will guarantee you a long healthy life, call us TODAY to make an appointment with Allied Health,