What Is AIDS: You Need to Know About HIV and AIDS

Today I’m Going to Discuss About HIV and AIDS 

You Need to Know About HIV and AIDS | What Is AIDS | How Are They Spread | How Do I Protect Myself | How Do I Treat it | How Can I Prevent Infection/Prevent Transmission
 

INTRODUCTION

What Is AIDS & HIV:

There are currently more than 35 million people worldwide living with HIV, and AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) has claimed more than 30 million lives since it was first discovered in the early 1980s.  

What exactly is HIV, and how did it become such an epidemic? Learn about the history of this disease, current research on treatment and prevention, and what you can do to stay safe and healthy today.

 

What is HIV

HIV, or human immunodeficiency virus, is an infectious disease that can develop into acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), a severe condition in which your body has trouble fighting off infection. HIV weakens your immune system by destroying important white blood cells that protect you from illness. 

This damage leaves you vulnerable to infections and illnesses you wouldn’t normally get. Without treatment, HIV will progress into AIDS within a decade in most people who are infected with it. 

However, antiretroviral drugs can slow down HIV’s development into AIDS or even stop it altogether if they’re taken early enough in infection. Read more…

 

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What Is AIDS

In 1982, a young gay man in California named Rock Hudson died from an unknown immune deficiency. It wasn’t until 1984 that researchers made a startling discovery: Hudson had been infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which causes acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). 

Since then, scientists have learned more about both diseases. Learn what is HIV, what causes AIDS, how people are infected and how they can protect themselves by reading our comprehensive guide. Read more…

 

How Are They Spread

HIV is spread when infected blood, semen, or vaginal fluids enter another person’s body. In other words, there has to be an exchange of bodily fluids. 

For example, a person with HIV can spread it during s**x if their partner’s genitals come into contact with semen, vaginal fluid, or blood. HIV can also be spread through shared needles when injecting drugs or using contaminated equipment for tattooing or piercing. 

People can also get HIV from breastfeeding if they are exposed to blood from their children. Sharing straws used to take drugs can also put people at risk for infection because they too could pass on bodily fluids.

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How Do I Protect Myself

Prevention is key in protecting yourself from contracting or spreading HIV. Using a condom during sexual activity can greatly reduce your risk of contracting or spreading HIV, according to The CDC. Condoms are also effective in preventing many other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). 

If you are allergic to latex, use a polyurethane condom instead. Use only water-based lubricants with condoms, because oil-based lubricants like petroleum jelly and mineral oil can break down latex condoms. If you have sex without a condom, make sure you get tested for STDs regularly—especially if you have multiple partners—to prevent the further spread of any STD.

 

How Do I Treat it

There is currently no cure for HIV, but with proper treatment and care, people living with it can expect to live long lives. However, without treatment, patients often develop opportunistic infections that prove fatal within a year or two of infection. 

The key to treating HIV/AIDS is using antiretroviral therapy medications (ART), which suppress viral replication and help prevent damage from opportunistic infections. It’s important that people who are taking ART take their medications correctly—it’s not enough for patients just to be undetectable (which means an undetectable viral load in your blood). 

Taking ART correctly means maintaining an undetectable viral load in your blood as well as consistently following a complicated drug regimen. 

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How Can I Prevent Infection/Prevent Transmission

Certain activities can increase your risk of getting or transmitting HIV. If you’re at high risk for contracting or spreading HIV, speak with your doctor about what precautions you can take. 

There are ways to protect yourself from infection if you’re in contact with body fluids during sex, sharing needles, or engaging in other activities that put you at risk for transmission. 

If your physician has diagnosed you with an STD such as gonorrhoea or chlamydia, he or she will talk with you about ways to minimize further transmission of STDs once those conditions have been treated.

 

What Is AIDSWhat You Need to Know About HIV and AIDS

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