HIV AIDS AWARENESS

What is HIV?

HIV is a virus that damages the immune system. The immune system helps the body fight off infections. Untreated HIV infects and kills CD4 cells, which are a type of immune cell called T cells. Over time, as HIV kills more CD4 cells, the body is more likely to get various types of infections and cancers.

HIV is transmitted through bodily fluids that include:

  • blood
  • semen
  • vaginal and rectal fluids
  • breast milk

online casino deutschThe virus doesn’t spread in air or water, or through casual contact.

What is AIDS?

AIDS is a disease that can develop in people with HIV. It’s the most advanced stage of HIV. But just because a person has HIV doesn’t mean they’ll develop AIDS.

HIV kills CD4 cells. Healthy adults generally have a CD4 count of 500 to 1,500 per cubic millimeter. A person with HIV whose CD4 count falls below 200 per cubic millimeter will be diagnosed with AIDS.

A person can also be diagnosed with AIDS if they have HIV and develop an opportunistic infection or cancer that’s rare in people who don’t have HIV. An opportunistic infection, such as pneumonia, is one that takes advantage of a unique situation, such as HIV.

Untreated, HIV can progress to AIDS within a decade. There’s no cure for AIDS, and without treatment, life expectancy after diagnosis is about three yearsTrusted Source. This may be shorter if the person develops a severe opportunistic illness. However, treatment with antiretroviral drugs can prevent AIDS from developing.

If AIDS does develop, it means that the immune system is severely compromised. It’s weakened to the point where it can no longer fight off most diseases and infections. That makes the person vulnerable to a wide range of illnesses, including:

 HIV TRANSMISSION

Anyone can contract HIV. The virus is transmitted in bodily fluids that include:

  • blood
  • semen
  • vaginal and rectal fluids
  • breast milk

Some of the ways HIV is spread from person to person include:

  • through vaginal or anal sex — the most common route of transmission, especially among men who have sex with men
  • by sharing needles, syringes, and other items for injection drug use
  • by sharing tattoo equipment without sterilizing it between uses
  • during pregnancy, labor, or delivery from a woman to her baby
  • during breastfeeding
  • through “pre-mastication,” or chewing a baby’s food before feeding it to them
  • through exposure to the blood of someone living with HIV, such as through a needle stick

The virus can also be transmitted through a blood transfusion or organ and tissue transplant. However, rigorous testing for HIV among blood, organ, and tissue donors ensures that this is very rare in the United States.

It’s theoretically possible, but considered extremely rare, for HIV to spread through:

  • oral sex (only if there are bleeding gums or open sores in the person’s mouth)
  • being bitten by a person with HIV (only if the saliva is bloody or there are open sores in the person’s mouth)
  • contact between broken skin, wounds, or mucous membranes and the blood of someone living with HI


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