Dec 7, 2016
20 Things Everyone Should Know About HIV
HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus. The main causes of HIV are attributed to this virus. When it is left untreated, HIV can result in AIDS. AIDS means Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome.
HIV is known to attack the immune system of the body, especially the CD4 cells (T cells). The T cells are vital in assisting the immune system fight off infections. When HIV is left untreated, it results in the reduction in the number of CD4 cells in your body. A decrease in the level of CD4 cells exposes the body to many types of infections. HIV can destroy many of these cells leading to a compromised immune system. This may result in the emergence of opportunistic infections. These infections signal that you have AIDS, which is the last state of HIV infections.
Here are 20 things that everyone should know about HIV:
1. There’s no cure yet
Currently, there exists no effective cure for HIV, but it is possible to control the condition with proper treatment and medical care.
Antiretroviral drugs are the medicines that are used to treat HIV, and when these drugs are taken in the right way, they can prolong your life if you have HIV. These drugs have the ability to keep you healthy in addition to lowering your chances of transmitting the virus to other people.
2. Testing is simple
You can know if you have HIV by getting tested. Testing is a relatively simple procedure. People who suspect they have HIV should request testing for confirmation.
Currently, many substance abuse programs, medical clinics, community health centers and hospitals are known to offer testing services. Home testing kits are available in drug stores or online.
3. Onset of AIDS takes many years
The onset of AIDS can take more than a decade from the time you are infected with the virus. If you have been infected with the virus, you can feel and look healthy for many years, although you can transmit the virus to other people during this time.
4. HIV is commonly transmitted through infected body fluids
HIV is mainly passed from one person to another through the exchange of HIV-infected body fluids. Transfer of the virus is possible during all the stages of the disease.
5. Sexual intercourse is the leading mode of transmission
HIV is mostly transmitted through sexual intercourse. The virus can readily be exchanged where there are tears in the anal or vaginal tissues. Younger women are more vulnerable to infection because their vaginal membranes are thin and more susceptible to infections than those belonging to older women.
6. People with sexually transmitted diseases are at a greater risk of getting infected
If you have a sexually transmitted infection, the chances of being infected with HIV are higher. If you have an infection that is sex related, you should seek medical assistance immediately. You should also avoid having sexual intercourse or practice safer sex.