What is HIV?
HIV stands for human immunodeficiency syndrome. HIV is a virus that attacks the immune system. The virus remains in the body and damages the immune system causing the person to remain infectious. They can then spread the virus to others. Once you have the virus, your immune system can no longer protect you from other sicknesses e.g. flu. HIV destroys your CD4 cells, which help fight diseases and infections.
How is HIV spread?
HIV is found in body fluids. The infection will only occur when body fluids of an infected person mix or enter another person’s blood. Unprotected sex is the main cause of HIV transmission. Other ways are sharing needles and syringes, unsterile body piercing and tattooing, mother to child during birth and blood transfusions.
How do I know I have aids?
The only way to definitely know if you are infected is to have a test. There are a few symptoms like: rapid weight loss, dry cough, fevers and night sweats, diarrhea, pneumonia, skin rashes and memory loss. At first these symptoms might seem like flu symptoms. Many don’t have symptoms, which is why it is good to get tested often. Having a test is still the only way to know for sure since these symptoms could be for other sicknesses. When getting tested you know if you are HIV positive if there are antibodies to the virus.
How can you prevent HIV?
We can prevent aids by not participating in unprotected sexual intercourse, not reusing needles or syringes, getting tested often and having one sexual partner. Making people aware about the dangers of AIDS and educating them about ways to prevent it and to get tested often. You can also talk to your partner about your previous sexual history and encourage each other to get tested often.
Will AIDS kill you?
AIDS destroys your immune system, so if you have other sicknesses while having aids e.g. flu you can be killed quickly. The disease shortens your life by about 15 years and kills you. HIV destroys the white blood cells...
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