In 1981, the first cases of severe immune system deterioration were recognized developed unusual infections. The new disease was later named “AIDS”. At that time, no one knew what was causing the disease. Since then, science has shown that the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is the cause of AIDS. As HIV infection progresses, it weakens a person’s ability to fight off diseases.
By attacking the immune system, the virus leaves people more susceptible to other diseases. When a person with HIV contracts one of several additional diseases, or when a person’s immune system shows serious deterioration, that person is classified as having AIDS. As of June 1994 over 550,000 Americans had AIDS. I have updated numbers.
Globally, 37.8 million adults and children were living with HIV/AIDS at the end of 2003.
More than 95% were living in low- and middle-income countries. In 2003, 4.8 million people were newly infected with HIV, and there were 2.9 million adult and child deaths due to HIV/AIDS. Almost 50% of newly infected adults were women. Since the beginning of the epidemic, there have been more than 20 million AIDS deaths.Order now
HIV is transmitted during sex, through significant and direct contact with infected blood (including menstrual blood), from mother to baby, Breast milk, Semen and possibly pre-seminal fluid (“pre-cum”), Vaginal secretions. In order for HIV to be transmitted HIV must be present. HIV must get inside the body. The sexual behaviors that can transmit HIV. Vaginal sex (penis in the vagina), Anal sex (penis in the anus) involving either men or women and Oral sex (mouth on the penis or vagina). Other ways that HIV can be transmitted Sharing needles when shooting drugs Home tattooing and body piercing Accidental needle sticks Blood transfusions Childbirth Breast-feeding.
It is important to know, Most people with HIV infection do not look sick. It is important to remember that HIV is NOT transmitted through Saliva, tears, sweat, feces, or urine Hugging Kissing Massage Shaking hands Insect bites Living in the same house with someone who has HIV Sharing showers or toilets with someone with HIV
Some behavior is more risky than others. It is important to recognize that risk factors are not the direct cause of disease. HIV affects people at every point on the risk spectrum and many people who are most “at risk” for HIV infection never become infected. Understanding HIV risk factors can help you better evaluate your own risk.
Some of the most common behavioral risk factors include:
Having unprotected anal or vaginal sex with an HIV-infected person or with a person whose HIV status is unknown Having multiple sexual partners Having sex with sex workers Having sex with IV drug users Sharing syringes or needles Using nonsterile needles for piercing or tattooing
Having vaginal or anal sex with a condom Oral sex
Other factors that may put one at risk for HIV infection include Another sexually transmitted disease (STD) such as herpes, chlamydia, gonorrhea, trichomoniasis, or hepatitis Having been the victim of sexual assault Having sex while under the influence of drugs or alcohol Having a mother who had HIV when you were born
Protecting yourself against HIV is about knowledge.
Understanding how you get (and avoid getting) HIV, and knowing yourself and your partner (or partners), are key to protecting yourself against HIV.
Many people who “know better” engage in risky activities. The reasons for this are numerous and normal: you could be afraid to insist that your partner use a condom; you could make false assumptions about partners (they seem too young, old, healthy-looking, or nice to be HIV positive); you might be a drinker or recreational drug user who does things while under the influence that you wouldn’t otherwise consider. The hardest part of protecting yourself can be learning how to apply what you know to your life and behavior.
Be safe and smart with your decisions. Reduce your risk for HIV by avoiding activities that put you at risk and only practicing safer sex.
Don’t be afraid to get tested or to insist that your partner get tested; knowing your HIV status and that of your partner (or partners) will help you make more informed decisions.
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