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Added August 01, 2013

HIV Facts

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HIV FactsWhat is that?

This viral infection (human immuno-deficiency virus) may start with no symptoms or with an illness that may be like mononucleosis. After a while (up to ten years later), as the immune system gets weaker and full-blown, AIDS develops, infections can set in, and cancerous cells can develop.


How do you get it?

AIDS is transmitted through the exchange of body fluids (blood, vaginal discharge, and semen). Almost half the people with HIV in the United States are womenand that percentage is growing. The most common way HIV is contracted is through heterosexual (man/woman) intercourse. A man carrying HIV can easily infect a woman through intercourse because the walls of the vagina are a large, vascular area where the virus can penetrate the blood stream. Semen carries a high volume of the virus.


Unprotected oral sex with a man could also cause infection in a woman, since a woman may have small cuts in the mouth (tongue or gums). Another cause of AIDS is the sharing of needles by intravenous drug users. The infected blood left on the needle can spread the disease to the next user. To a lesser extent, some people have contracted AIDS from tainted blood used in a blood transfusion. Finally, babies can get HIV from their mothers through breast milk.


It's unlikely that HIV can be spread through kissing or casual interactions.


How can you avoid it?

Read “STD Facts” in this section for general information on how to avoid STDs. Abstinence from sexual intercourse or activity where bodily fluids are exchanged (like anal or oral sex) eliminates the risk. Use of condoms greatly lowers the risk.


How is it treated?

Drug treatments often alleviate symptoms and may give a person years of survival without secondary ("opportunistic") diseases. As of now, there is no cure and AIDS is eventually fatal. If you want more information on HIV facts, there is a confidential AIDS hotline (1-800-342-AIDS).

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Posted August 01, 2012
I got a HIV shot, going back for another one in 2 months, it hurts ALOT! ;-( x
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