The term HIV, is surrounded by so many false ideas and Myths that it is rather essential to know about HIV facts.
HIV Facts and AIDS Facts
- HIV is the Virus, AIDS is the disease caused due to HIV
- Being infected with HIV does not mean that the person has AIDS, nor does it means that the person is going to die.
- It is the deadliest pandemic in the history of mankind, affecting 33.4 million people. Most of them belong to the lower and middle-income groups in developing nations.
- 2.7 million people are infected with HIV every year, and 2 million of them die.
- HIV maligns the human immunity system, by destroying the CD4 cells.
- The Sub Saharan Desert is the most HIV inflicted region in the world.
How is HIV Acquired?
- From one infected person to another, through unprotected sexual contact, or oral sex. It can even be acquired by sharing the same sex toy with a HIV patient.
- Transfusion of infected blood through donations
- Reusing and piercing drug insertion syringe (including using the same tattoo needle) , or other sharp instrument, that is contaminated with HIV.
- From mother to her fetus, during the course of pregnancy or breast-feeding
- From homosexual or heterosexual relationships with a person infected with HIV.
How is HIV Transmitted?
- Vaginal Secretion
- Breast milk
HIV Facts about Treatment
- No complete treatment is available for AIDS
- However, HIV can be treated with antiretroviral therapy, only to keep the number of CD4 cells above 300. A count of CD4 cells above 300 means, the person just the sufficient number of immunity cells to fight a disease. This increases the person's survival period.
- If antiretroviral therapy is done in the initial stage of the HIV disease, then the person can have more chances of survival.
- However, antiretroviral therapy reaches to only 42% of the HIV patients around the globe.
- An early PCR treatment for HIV infected infant, can give the child a healthy normal life.
- A HIV positive pregnant woman can get good treatment during the early stages of her pregnancy, to give her child a healthy life.
HIV Facts about Testing and Counseling
- ELISA (Enzyme Linked Immuno Sorbent Assay) - This is the oldest HIV testing method, and should be repeated twice to get a confirmatory result.
- Western Blot Test- This test is successive to ELISA Test, if the latter yields a positive result. Western Blot Tests examines the HIV more intricately.
- Orasure test- The mucous fluid inside our mouth is collected to test the presence of HIV antibodies.
- OraQuick Rapid HIV1 antibody blood test- It tests the blood taken from the subject's fingertips
- OraQuick Rapid HIV1/2 antibody oral fluid test- The oral fluids are collected with a swab to check the presence of HIV antibodies.
- RNA Testing- This test is prevalent only in Carolina and San Francisco. Instead of looking for HIV antibodies, it looks for the RNA of the virus within the human body.
HIV Facts: Precautions
- Indulge in safe sexual practices with enough precautions, like Condoms, female condoms etc.
- People belonging to the high-risk groups should go for regular HIV tests.
- A syringe should not be reused
- Blood should be tested before being donated to others
- HIV positive mothers should get treated during the early stage of their pregnancies and should not breast-feed her child.
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