Understanding HIV & AIDS
Human Immunodeficiency Virus • An infection in which HIV enters the blood and is multiplying in the person’s cells.
AIDS Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome
Opportunistic Infections infections or illnesses that take advantage of a weakened immune system
Phases & Symptoms of HIV
Phase 1 Little or no symptoms (Asymptomatic) could last up to 10 years HIV fatigue, weight loss, fever and diarrhea Possible mental changes White blood cell count drops below200. Opportunistic infections appear Phase 2 Phase 3
Fluids that transmit the HIV virus: BLOOD Vaginal Fluid semen Breast milk
How is HIV transmitted?
Sexual activity • with an • infected person • ABSTINENCE is the only 100% effective way to prevent HIV infection through sexual transmission.
Sharing needles with an infected person
injecting drugs or steroids • sharing drug equipment or drug solutions • sharing objects used for piercing or tattooing • Blood Transfusion
Infected mother to her infant • before or • during the birth • process or • breast feeding
Testing for HIV: HIV antibodies may be found within 6 – 12 weeks after infected with HIV. • In rare cases up to 6 months, for these tests to be accurate.
When Should I get Tested for HIV? • You should be tested for HIV if you have… • had sexual intercourse (vaginal, oral, or anal) without a condom • learned that a partner was not monogamous • have been sexually assaulted • had a condom break • shared needles or syringes to inject drugs (including steroids) or for body piercing, tattooing, or any other reason • had multiple sexual partners • found out that a partner has shared needles • learned that a past or current partner is HIV-positive • discovered that a partner has been exposed to HIV • had a recent diagnosis of another sexually transmitted infection (STI) • are pregnant
Even though there is • no cure, • ARV drugs can slow • down the replication • process allowing people • with HIV to live longer, • healthier lives than those • who are infected with • HIV who are not taking ARV drugs.
ANTIRETROVIRAL (ARV) DRUGS: • Today there are over 31 FDA approved antiretroviral (ARV) drugs to treat HIV/AIDS. • These drugs • DO NOT cure people with HIV/AIDS, they just suppress the virus. • AZT • is the most common • drug used
It’s VERY important to remember that people infected with HIV who are on ARV drugs can STILL TRANSMIT HIV to others!