HIV FACTS

Want to learn about HIV symptoms and transmission? Having the fear of a medical consultation is not unique. Prepare yourself by reading about the HIV test by pressing the buttons on the various topics below and learning about HIV.

When you’re ready, come for an HIV test at our clinics.

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HIV is the Human Immunodeficiency Virus. It is a virus that enters the body of a person. HIV affects the immune system, specifically T-Cells or CD4 cells that are resistant to infection. In other words, the virus destroys T-cells so that the immune system of a person with untreated HIV infection is not resistant to diseases and infections.
This is the Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome. AIDS is caused by HIV and is a final stage in the presence of such an infection. A person with HIV can live a long time without any signs or signs of illness. When enough T-cells have been destroyed or damaged, it compromises the ability of the body to fight infection and disease, leading to AIDS.

HIV is transmitted through the following bodily fluids:

  • Blood
  • Pre-seminal fluid (pre-cum)
  • Semen
  • Breast Milk
  • Vaginal fluids
  • Anal mucous

When you have sex with someone who is HIV-positive (infected with HIV) the virus can enter your system through small tears in your vagina, anus, penis or – rarely – your mouth. Open sores caused by sexually-transmitted diseases (STDs) such as herpes and syphilis can make it easier for HIV to enter your system.

If you are an injection drug-user, HIV can be transmitted when your blood comes into contact with another person’s blood through sharing needles. HIV can pass from mother to child while a woman is pregnant or through breast milk. In rare cases, healthcare workers have come into contact with body fluids and become infected. Effective screening has made HIV infection via blood transfusion or organ donation extremely rare

HIV is NOT transmitted through the following bodily:

  • Saliva
  • Vomit
  • Feces
  • Nasal fluid
  • Tears
  • Sweat
  • Urine

There is no cure or HIV vaccine. However, HIV can be treated and prevented.

Here are some ways to reduce your risk of getting infected:

Use of Condoms: If you are sexually active, always use a condom every time you have sex. The condom is very effective in preventing HIV transmission to others.

Use a clean needle: If you are injecting drugs, use a fresh and clean needle.

Talk about sex history: Knowing your partner’s or partner’s HIV status will help you avoid transmission of HIV such as condom use. 25% of Americans with HIV do not know they have been infected. Test you both simultaneously.

Stay in control: If you are drinking or using drugs, it is more likely that you will not use a condom and have safe sex. If you feel like you need drugs or alcohol, ask for help.

Get tested for STDs: Having a sexually-transmitted disease (STD)—such as Chlamydia, gonorrhea or syphilis—can increase your risk of getting infected with HIV. Many STDs do not have obvious symptoms. Get tested for free in your area.

Abstain or have fewer partners: Having fewer sexual partners will decrease your risk for contracting HIV or other STDs.

The symptoms may vary depending on the stage of HIV infection. Many don’t report feeling ill.

Many people with HIV do not experience any systems until the late stages of the disease. In fact, the virus can live in your body for as many as 10 years – or more – without causing any obvious HIV symptoms. Extreme fatigue, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, fever and wasting syndrome can be some of the symptoms experienced at the late stages –when the disease has progressed to AIDS. These symptoms are most often caused by the opportunistic infections that a weakened immune system has been unable to fight off.

In the first 2 weeks to 30 days after infection — when higher levels of the virus are in a person’s system and he or she is most infectious (or, able to pass the virus on to others) — some may experience severe flu-like symptoms. It’s important to remember that not everyone who gets infected experiences these symptoms.

While HIV is a serious illness, it is important to remember that it is treatable. Many people with HIV and AIDS live long, healthy, and productive. HIV is no longer a “death sentence”. Since 1995, drugs have been known as anti-retroviral effective antidepressants. In fact, the medicine is very effective and some that regularly and regularly drink it can not detect the number of viruses in the body. If you are HIV positive, there is hope and help.

Looking for a clinic? Find the closest to you on our website.

When you are living with HIV, you can give birth to a healthy baby. When you are diagnosed while pregnant, you should start treatment as soon as possible. When you are already on treatment, you should continue your treatment regularly. Placenta protects your unborn child from getting HIV. Giving birth and breastfeeding potentially pose a risk for vertical transmission (from mother to child). However, if the virus is suppressed and undetectable, the chances are reduced greatly.

If your viral load is undetectable, you can give birth vaginally or naturally. When, at the time of conceiving, your viral load is not undetectable (yet), you will probably be advised a caesarian cut. After delivery, your infant will receive PEP (post exposure prophylaxis) for 4 weeks to ensure that HIV will not be transmitted, and will be tested for HIV. It is important that each step in the process is thoroughly discussed with your doctor.