What Are Hiv And Aids
- HIV is a virus that attacks and weakens a person’s immune system. The immune system is made up of a network of cells, tissues, and organs that work together to protect the body and fight off germs and diseases.
- If the immune system of an HIV-positive person gets so weak that it can no longer fight off a range of health problems it would normally be able to cope with, the person is considered to have AIDS.
- HIV can be passed from person to person through blood, semen, vaginal fluids, breast milk and other body fluids. It can happen:
- When a person has sex with someone who has the HIV virus and they do not use a condom
- When people exchange infected needles or syringes
- During pregnancy, childbirth or breastfeeding, when an HIV-positive mom can pass the virus to her baby .
How Can I Make Sure I Dont Give Hiv To Anyone During Sex
If you find out that you have HIV, try to stay calm. People living with HIV can have normal, healthy relationships and sex lives. But its important to take precautions to help your partner stay HIV-free.
There are a few ways that you can avoid giving HIV to other people:
Always use condoms when you have vaginal and anal sex.
Start treatment for HIV as soon as possible, and keep taking your HIV medicine. When you take it correctly, HIV treatment can lower or even stop your chances of spreading the virus to your sexual partners .
Theres a daily pill your partner can take to lower the risk of getting HIV, called PrEP.
Dont share needles for shooting drugs, piercings, or tattoos.
Get tested and treated for other STDs besides HIV regularly. Having other STDs makes it easier for you to spread HIV to others.
If you test positive for HIV, its important to tell your sexual partners about it so they can be tested, too. Even if youre really careful to not spread HIV, be honest with your future partners about your status so you can both be informed and help each other stay healthy. Read more about talking with your partners about HIV.
How Can I Prevent Hiv If I Inject Drugs
Intravenous drug users who share needles are at high risk for HIV. Sharing needles can place another person’s blood right into your body, even if the amount is so small that you can’t see it on the needle.
People who inject steroids, insulin, or medicines for other health problems are at risk for HIV if they do not use sterilized needles every time. Whenever you need to use a needle, be sure that it is sterilized. Do not share needles with anyone. You can also get HIV if the equipment used for body piercings and tattoos is not sterilized.
If you inject drugs or medicines, follow these steps to lower your risk of getting HIV:
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How Can I Prevent Hiv If I Get Tattoos Or Body Piercings
Follow these steps to lower your risk of getting HIV:
- Ask questions about how the staff sterilizes their equipment. Single-use instruments that cut the skin should be used once and then thrown away. Reusable instruments that cut the skin should be cleaned and sterilized between uses.
- Find out what steps the staff takes to prevent HIV and other infections, like hepatitis B and hepatitis C.
- Make sure your tattoo parlor follows state regulations and health inspections.
Is Hiv And Aids An Occupational Concern
Where ever there is the possibility of contact with blood in the workplace, workers should take precautions to prevent contact with the skin, eyes or mucous membranes .
Routine Practices are recommended to prevent the spread of HIV in the workplace. Routine practices are based on the principle that all blood, body fluids, secretions, and excretions except sweat, non-intact skin, and mucous membranes, unless they contain visible blood, may contain transmissible infectious agents. Steps involve using protective clothing such as gloves, gowns or aprons, masks and protective eye wear when dealing with people’s blood and other blood-contaminated body fluids such as semen and vaginal secretions. They also do not apply to saliva except in dentistry where saliva is likely to be contaminated with blood.
Hand washing after contact with blood, blood-contaminated body fluids and soiled items is also recommended to reduce the risk of infection.
The best approach to most diseases is to prevent their occurrence – occupationally-related diseases are no exception. In the case of HIV, prevention is the only cure.
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Is There A Safe Way To Share Needles
Needle SafetyThe only way to completely avoid potential transmission of blood-borne illnesses when injecting drugs is by not sharing needles. If people do share needles, cleaning the needles and works properly with bleach and water before and after each person uses them will help reduce the risk.
How Do I Clean My Used Needles?
The most effective way to sterilize used syringes is the 3x3x3 method:
If bleach isnt available, you can use soap and clean water, or even just water to clean your works. ANY steps you take to clean syringes before use will reduce your risk of HIV and hepatitis C transmission.
Where can I get clean needles/syringes?Prior to September 2006 the only way to acquire clean needles in Massachusetts was via a prescription or through a needle exchange programs. As a result of the Pharmacy Access Bill, it is now legal for pharmacies to sell medical syringes over the counter without a prescription. Anyone 18 or older can purchase clean needles at many pharmacies in Massachusetts. They are relatively inexpensive. Although pharmacies are allowed to sell syringes, they are not required to do so. A phone call to the pharmacy in advance can save a trip to the drug store.
What Is Art And How Does It Help Prevent Hiv
Antiretroviral therapy is a combination of medicines that slows down the effects of HIV in your body and can help you stay healthy for many years. It can also lower or even stop your chances of giving HIV to anyone else.
ART lowers the amount of HIV in your body sometimes to the point where HIV wont show up on standard blood tests. If your HIV viral load is so low that certain tests cant see it, its called undetectable. When someone has an undetectable viral load, they cant spread HIV to others during sex.
Its important to remember that even with an undetectable viral load, HIV is still present in your body. If you stop treatment your viral load can go up, making it possible to pass HIV to others you have sex with. Your doctor or nurse can help you find the treatment thats best for you to help keep your viral load low, so you can stay healthy.
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Prevention And Control Measures For Hiv Infection And Aids
Even though HIV is preventable through effective public health measures, the HIV epidemic persists largely unchanged in the countries of the European Union and European Economic Area with around 30 000 newly reported diagnoses every year.
ECDC estimates that around 810 000 people are currently living with HIV in the EU/EEA of which 122 000 are not aware of their infection.
If diagnosed and treated early enough, people can live long and healthy lives with HIV. To reach the estimated 15% who are not aware of their infection, Europe needs to increase efforts to promote and facilitate more testing for HIV. And link those diagnosed to care.
Response should be strengthened and tailored to each countrys specific needs in order to control the HIV epidemic in Europe. This includes implementation of targeted, evidence-based HIV prevention programmes for key populations who are most at risk but might not be reached by current interventions like men who have sex with men, people who inject drugs and migrants from countries with generalised epidemics.
How Do I Use External And Internal Condoms
Most external condoms are made of latex. For people who are allergic to latex, polyurethane condoms can be used instead. If youve ever experienced irritation from latex, ask your doctor to test you for a latex allergy. When used properly, both latex and polyurethane condoms are effective ways of significantly reducing the risk of HIV transmission.
When using either latex or polyurethane condoms for vaginal or anal sex, water-based lubricants on the outside of the condom will help to reduce friction that could cause the condom to tear. If desired, a small amount can be placed inside the tip of the condom as well.
Important Notes: The use of oil-based lubricants such as Vaseline can deteriorate latex condoms and significantly increase their chance of breaking. Oil-based lubricants should only be used with polyurethane condoms. It is also worth noting that Lambskin condoms will not protect against HIV or STIs.
When Using an External Condom:
For Vaginal Sex:
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Dolutegravir Warning For Pep
CDC currently recommends that prior to starting PEP all women of childbearing potential should have a pregnancy test performed.
The use of dolutegravir may pose risks for neural tube defects in pregnancy. Health care providers prescribing PEP should avoid use of DTG for:
- Non-pregnant women of childbearing potential who are sexually active or have been sexually assaulted and who are not using an effective birth control method and,
- Pregnant women early in pregnancy since the risk of an unborn infant developing a neural tube defect is during the first 28 days.
The preferred PEP regimen for these women is raltegravir, tenofovir, and emtricitabine. However, individual circumstances may dictate consideration of alternatives . If the PEP regimen for a non-pregnant woman of childbearing potential must include DTG, she should use an effective birth control method until the PEP regimen is completed.
Effective Ways To Prevent Hiv/aids
The human immunodeficiency virus destroys immune cells which fight infection. This makes it difficult for your body to fight off infections and certain kinds of cancer. Without proper treatment, an HIV infection can progress to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome or AIDS, a stage where your immune system is seriously damaged and you get a number of severe illnesses known as opportunistic infections.1
HIV spreads through contact with body fluids like blood, semen, pre-seminal fluids, vaginal fluids, rectal fluids, or breast milk from an infected person. In the United States, this virus is mostly spread by having sex with or sharing syringes or other injection equipment with someone who is infected. It can also be transmitted from a mother to her child during the course of the pregnancy, while breastfeeding, or during childbirth.2 Although the number of people being infected with HIV has been declining, it still remains a cause of concern with thousands of new cases being diagnosed every year.3 But take heart, there are things you can do to protect yourself from this dangerous infection.
Here are some ways to keep yourself safe.
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Protect Yourself From Hiv/aids
HIV and AIDS in South Carolina
- In South Carolina, almost 15,000 of your neighbors including about 200 children and teens are living with HIV infection or AIDS.
- Throughout the United States, more than 1 million residents are living with HIV or AIDS, and nearly one-fifth do not know they have it.
- Each year, more than 56,000 new cases are diagnosed. An estimated 600,000 U.S. citizens have already died from the virus.*
- Worldwide, more than 60 million people, including millions of children, have been infected since the early 1980s. As many as 25 million people have died from AIDS.**
*U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.** Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS
How Do People Get Hiv
You can get HIV when body fluids from an infected person enter your bloodstream. Body fluids are blood, semen, vaginal fluids, fluids from the anus, and breast milk.
The virus can enter the blood through linings in the mouth, anus, or sex organs , or through broken skin. Both men and women can spread HIV.
You can have HIV and feel okay and still give the virus to others. Pregnant women with HIV can also give the virus to their babies.
The most common ways that people get HIV are having sex with an infected person and sharing a needle to take drugs.
You cannot get HIV from:
- Touching or hugging someone who has HIV/AIDS.
- Public bathrooms or swimming pools.
- Sharing cups, utensils, or telephones with someone who has HIV/AIDS.
- Bug bites.
- Donating blood.
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What Activities Are Safe
While certain sexual activities, such as mutual masturbation, barrier-protected oral sex, and oral to anal contact have little or no risk of HIV transmission, some of these activities may have the potential for transmitting other STIs. While HIV is transmitted only by blood, semen, vaginal fluid, and breast milk, other STIs can be transmitted by simple genital skin-to-skin contact or oral sex.
What Are The Symptoms Of Hiv
Some people get flu-like symptoms a month or two after they have been infected. This is called the acute stage. These symptoms often go away within a week to a month.
You can have HIV for many years before feeling ill. This is called clinical latency or the chronic stage.
AIDS is the most severe stage of HIV infection. In this stage, the immune system has been weakened by the HIV virus and is less able to fight off infections. Opportunistic infections are infections that could generally be fought off by a healthy immune system. In order to be diagnosed with AIDS, you have to have fewer than 200 CD4 cells per cubic millimeter of blood , OR you must have developed what are called opportunistic infections or certain cancers. You can develop AIDS even if your CD4 count is not 200 or lower.
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How To Get Prep For Free
In December 2019 the U.S Department of Health and Human Services launched “Ready, Set, PrEP“, a national program to help people without prescription health insurance get PrEP treatment at no cost. You can find out if you qualify by visiting GetYourPrEP.com or by calling toll-free at 855-447-8410.
Most insurance will cover PrEP but a Prior Authorization form may need to be completed by your doctor. You may still be a responsible for a copay, which can vary from one insurance company to another based upon their formulary and copay tier of the medication. Contact your local pharmacist with your prescription to determine your copay and if prior authorization is required.
Gilead, the manufacturer of Truvada and Descovy also offers a program to help offset copay costs for PrEP, which may bring your cost to zero. If your insurance is with Medicare, Medicaid, or other government programs this copay card is not valid. In addition, Gilead may also cover the full cost of your PrEP medication if you do not have prescription insurance coverage. You can contact them at 1-800-226-2056. Lab work or doctor’s office visits may result in copays, too.
In May 2019, Gilead also announced they would donate 2.4 million bottles of Truvada and Descovy each year to the CDC to help support efforts to end the HIV epidemic in the U.S. These donations are intended for uninsured Americans at risk for HIV. The donation extends up to the year 2030.
What About Oral Sex
The best way to reduce the risk of becoming infected with HIV while performing oral sex is to maintain good oral hygiene. That, in addition to not flossing or brushing your teeth right before or after performing oral sex, will also reduce the risk of transmission.
Performing Oral Sex on a Woman When performing oral sex on a woman, a dental dam or common kitchen plastic wrap can be used as a barrier to protect from HIV transmission. It covers the area you are performing oral sex on . If you do not have a dental dam, you can also use a new, unused, non-lubricated or flavored condom by stretching it out and cutting it down the side, then stretching it out in the same way you would a dental dam or plastic wrap.
Performing Oral Sex on a Man In addition to good oral hygiene, proper use of a non-lubricated or flavored condom on a man can significantly decrease risk of HIV transmission. If a condom is not available or an option, not accepting semen into the mouth or spitting rather than swallowing will reduce the risk. You can also use the harmonica method by focusing on the shaft of the penis while avoiding the head.
Performing Oral Sex on the Anus For oral to anal contact, or rimming, a dental dam, plastic wrap, or a condom can be used in the same way described above under the heading Performing Oral Sex on a Woman. This can be a great barrier against not only HIV, but possible hepatitis A exposure.
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