HIV/AIDS

Description

HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is a virus that attacks your body’s immune system. HIV infects and destroys key cells in the body which fight off invading organisms, germs or cancers. AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) refers to the range of specific illnesses that a person with HIV may get when their immune system is badly damaged.

Symptoms

A person newly infected with HIV may show no symptoms at all. Some people experience acute retroviral syndrome/illness in the weeks following infection and show flu like symptoms which may include fever, swollen glands, sore throat and a rash. The most common test for HIV is an HIV antibody test. The antibodies can take up to 3-6 months to develop. This is called the window period. There’s also a test measuring the amount of virus in your blood, but it’s not approved to diagnose HIV infection.

Prevention

HIV can be transmitted by blood, cum, pre-cum, vaginal fluids or breast milk entering the bloodstream. Traces of HIV can be present in other body fluids like saliva and mucous, but not in sufficient concentration to transmit the virus. The most common ways HIV can be transmitted are:

  • Anal or vaginal sex if you are fucking or being fucked without using condoms.
  • Sharing drug injecting equipment, including needles and works.
  • Sharing body piercing or tattooing needles.
  • For sexually active people, HIV infection is best prevented by using condoms and plenty of lube when giving or receiving anal or vaginal sex. If you have cuts or sores in your mouth or if you’ve had recent dental work, using a condom when giving oral sex or avoiding oral sex altogether is helpful in prevention. HIV can be transmitted during the window period before HIV antibodies appear.

Treatment

Although we know more about HIV than ever before, there’s still no cure and no effective vaccine. HIV treatments are complex, have numerous side effects, and don’t always work for everyone. There are several treatment options available, and several different classes of anti-HIV drugs. A common treatment is combination therapy which usually uses three or more anti-HIV drugs simultaneously.

Vaccines

While there are many HIV vaccines at different stages of testing around the world, there is currently no vaccine proven effective in preventing HIV infection in humans.

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