WHAT IS HIV/AIDS?
HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus.
Many people also refer to HIV as the AIDS virus.
AIDS stands for Acquired ImmunoDeficiency Syndrome.
The immune system of persons with AIDS becomes very weak and cannot fight infections anymore. Therefore they succumb to common diseases.
In other words: HIV is the virus, AIDS is the infection.
In 1986, the first patients were diagnosed with AIDS.
So far, there doesn't exist any cure for HIV/AIDS
WHY IS HIV DANGEROUS?
The immune system is a group of cells and organs that protects your body by fighting diseases. Usually, the human immune system finds and kills viruses quickly and effectively.
So if the body's immune system attacks and kills viruses, where's the problem?
Different viruses attack different parts of the body.
What makes HIV so dangerous is the fact that it attacks the immune system itself - the very organ that would normally get rid of a virus. In consequence, the body of an HIV infected person is not able to fight the disease.
There isn't any way to tell if someone is infected by HIV just by symptoms and appearance. The only reliable method to test someone for HIV is taking a blood test, which can detect the virus from a few weeks after the infection.
In fact, a person infected with HIV may look and feel perfectly well for many years and may not even know that he is infected. But as the person's immune system weakens, he'll become increasingly prone to illnesses which his body previously would have fought off easily.
|WAYS OF INFECTION|
Risk of Infection
No Risk of Infection
"You only have to drink a mouthful of infected saliva get infected yourself"
This is a
typical myth. HIV can be found in saliva, but in quantities that are too small to infect someone. If you drink a mouthful of saliva from an HIV positive person, you won't become infected! There
is only one recorded case of HIV transmission via kissing - out of all the many millions of kisses. And in this case, both partners had extremely badly bleeding gums.
"Sex with a virgin can cure HIV"
is common in some parts of Africa and it is totally untrue. The myth has resulted in a lot of rapes of young girls and children by HIV+ men who often infect their victims. Rape won't cure
anything. It is a serious crime all around the world.
"It can only happen to gay men/ black people/ young people..."
This is false. The most people who became infected with HIV wouldn't have thought that it could happen to them - and were wrong.
"HIV can pass through latex"
Some people have been spreading rumors that the virus is small enough to pass through tiny 'holes' in the latex used to make condoms. This is untrue. Latex blocks sexually transmitted diseases as well as sperm, condoms prevent HIV infections as well as pregnancies.