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All About HIV. Produced by. What is HIV?. HIV is a virus that attacks the body’s immune system The immune system fights off infections and protects the body from disease If HIV goes untreated the immune system becomes very weak and people become extremely sick

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All About HIV

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    1. All About HIV Produced by

    2. What is HIV? • HIV is a virus that attacks the body’s immune system • The immune system fights off infections and protects the body from disease • If HIV goes untreated the immune system becomes very weak and people become extremely sick • At this point, doctors say that someone has AIDS

    3. How is HIV transmitted? • HIV can be passed on through these bodily fluids: • Blood • Semen • Vaginal fluids or anal secretions • Breast milk

    4. You cannot get HIV from • Kissing • Shaking hands • Sneezing • Spitting • Using the same toilet • Sharing cups, plates, forks…

    5. History of HIV • 1981 – first cases of AIDS are identified in the USA • 1986 – HIV is identified as the virus that causes AIDS • 1987 – The Government sends ‘AIDS – Don’t Die of Ignorance leaflets to every home in the UK • 1996 – Newly available treatment transforms the lives of many people living with HIV

    6. HIV and blood • HIV can be passed on if blood infected with HIV gets into the body • Sharing needles, for tattoos, piercings or injecting drugs can pass on HIV • One in 75 injecting drug users in the UK is thought to be HIV-positive

    7. HIV and blood • In the UK all donated blood and organs are screened to make sure the blood is safe • Nobody has ever become infected after getting hurt during sports (even boxing) • There has never been a case of HIV infection in a school

    8. HIV and sex • HIV can be passed on through sexual fluids such as semen • The vast majority of people with HIV in the UK were infected during sex • Condoms are the only way to protect yourself from getting HIV through sex

    9. HIV and sex • Think you’re not at risk? More than 1 in 10 new HIV diagnoses in 2007 were amongst those aged 16-24 years old • The vast majority (96%) became infected through unprotected sex

    10. Do babies get HIV? • If a mother has HIV she can pass it on to her child during pregnancy, birth or from breast feeding • But with proper treatment and care, and if breast feeding is avoided, an HIV-positive mother can have an HIV-negative baby

    11. Do babies get HIV? • Without treatment, up to a third of babies will be born with HIV • With treatment and if the mother avoids breast feeding the risk that the baby will be HIV-positive is less than 1 in every 100 • Most pregnant women in the UK now have an HIV test

    12. The HIV test • HIV can be diagnosed through blood or saliva samples • The tests look to see if there are antigens or antibodies to HIV in the blood • Antibodies are produced when the body is exposed to infection. Antigens are what make the antibodies form

    13. Testing times • New tests can tell if someone is HIV-positive within 12 days of infection • Results can be ready in as little as 20 minutes • 7,700 people in the UK tested positive for HIV in 2007 • Over 75,000 HIV tests were taken in 2007

    14. Is there a cure? • There is no cure for HIV • Treatments are available and they are very effective • Treatment helps keep the immune system healthy and strong • People with HIV who are on treatment can live a long, healthy, active life

    15. All about treatment • Most people on treatment take a combination of 3 drugs • Drugs have to be taken every day otherwise they can stop working • The drugs can have side effects, such as nausea or insomnia. • Sometimes these can be so bad you have to switch drugs

    16. Protect yourself and others • Most people in the UK get HIV from unprotected sex, always use a condom • Never share needles. Not for tattooing, piercing or injecting drugs

    17. Presentation produced by November 2008 For more information visit