▪️Some Facts about HIV and AIDS:
💯 information is the key to understanding and preventing HIV and AIDS. Myths can be harmful. Getting the facts about HIV and AIDS can lead to better health and better living with HIV.
-HIV and AIDS are not problems that exist only in Africa or in other parts of the world. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that more than 1.2 million people. 13 years and older are living with HIV.
-HIV is the virus that leads to AIDS. You have AIDS if your CD4 count drops below 200 or when you have certain infections or cancers. You can have HIV for years without having AIDS. Being infected with HIV does not mean you have developed AIDS.
-Also, people with HIV who start treatment early in their infection, stay on treatment, and have an undetectable viral load can stay healthy and prevent the disease from progressing to AIDS.
-Newer HIV tests identify the virus itself and a marker on the virus called p24 antigen.3 These tests can detect HIV infection much earlier than previous tests. A follow-up test to confirm the results also can determine the strain of HIV infection you may have.
-There is no cure for HIV at this time. But with today’s medicine, women can reduce their viral load (amount of HIV in the blood) to the point that it is undetectable. This means that your viral load is fewer than 40 to 75 copies in a sample of your blood.
-An undetectable viral load does not mean that you no longer have HIV. It is still possible to pass HIV to others, although the risk is much lower. Having an undetectable viral load also helps prevent the progression to AIDS or getting other infections.
-Research is being done that may lead to new treatments and new ways of preventing HIV infection. In the meantime, women with HIV are living full lives, including working, having children, and participating fully in their communities.
-It can take years for you to see symptoms of HIV. This is called the latency period. The only way to fully protect yourself from sexually transmitted HIV is to not have sex of any kind. Using a condom correctly every time you have vaginal, oral, or anal sex can reduce the risk of passing HIV by 80%.6 Male latex condoms offer the best protection against HIV, but female condoms are also approved by the Food and Drug Administration to help lower your risk for HIV infection.
-Use a condom every time you have sex for two reasons. First, your partner might be infected but not know it. Second, you cannot control your partner’s risky behavior. You can know only your HIV status and control only your own risk-taking.
-Even if mosquitoes could carry the HIV virus, they do not inject blood into your skin. No transmission of this type has ever been reported around the world. Also, you cannot get HIV from shaking hands, using the toilet, or coming into contact with someone’s sweat or tears from their eyes. The only bodily fluids that are known to transmit HIV are semen, vaginal fluids, anal fluids, breastmilk, and blood (including menstrual blood)
-An estimated 128,778 women have died of AIDS since the beginning of the epidemic in 1981.