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HIV/AIDS

HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is a virus that attacks a person’s weak immune system. HIV can infect and destroy the CD4 cells in our body. Over time, the virus can kill the immune cells leaving the body defenseless against various types of disease. If this virus is left untreated, it will lead to Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome or AIDS. Once you have HIV it will stay in your system for the rest of your life.

AIDS is a medical condition. It is a severe phase infection of HIV. It is possible to contract HIV without developing AIDS. People with AIDS are the ones with a damaged immune system. Once you have AIDS you are prone to different severe kinds of illnesses.

CAUSES OF HIV

HIV is viruses that infect African chimpanzees. Scientist suspect that the virus present in the chimps infected humans when they consumed the infected meat. The virus mutated into what we call now as the HIV. HIV virus was first discovered in a human blood in 1959.

TRANSMISSION

HIV can transmit by performing specific kind of activities such as:

  • Having an oral sex with a person with HIV.
  • A vaginal sex with a person having HIV without the use of a condom.
  • Sharing of equipment such as syringe and needles used by someone with HIV.
  • Receiving blood transfusion from a person having HIV.
  • Being bitten by a person with HIV.
  • Having contact between wounds.

PRE-EXPOSURE PROPHYLAXIS (PrEP)

PrEP is a way for people who are at greater risk of having HIV to prevent HIV infection. Pills are taken each day to help lower the risk of having HIV. These drugs can prevent the virus from creating permanent infections.

POST-EXPOSURE PROPHYLAXIS (PEP)

PEP is a way of taking Antiretroviral Medicines or (ART) after being exposed to HIV. This should only use in emergency situation. PEP must start within 72 hours after a recent exposure to HIV.

PREVENTION

HIV is a condition that can spread in many ways. It requires deep knowledge and knowing your case properly. The following are the safety measure to prevent HIV:

  • Having oral sex with a dental dam
  • Having a vaginal sex with a condom
  • Having an anal sex with a condom
  • Use of clean sex toys
  • Always take PrEP or daily pill
  • Don’t share needles or syringe
  • If possible don’t let them bit you

LIVING WITH HIV

A person with HIV can live their lives just like normal people around them. Living with HIV is choosing to be healthy and protecting others. The following are the facts of living with this condition:

  • Taking an antiretroviral treatment for HIV
  • Eating the right food to live healthily
  • Exercising regularly
  • Avoid drinking excess alcohol
  • Do not abuse drugs
  • Manage stress
  • Get support from others

TREATMENTS

This condition has no cure but there’s a treatment option that has a great help to people with HIV. The following are the agencies that keep on working with this disease:

  • Clinical research and drug trials for HIV/AIDS
  • Vaccine research
  • Treatment guidelines & practice
  • Implementing treatment strategies to help prevent or stop new infections