Hiv And Aids Prevention
The CDC has set a goal of reducing new HIV infections by 90% by 2030, an objective made difficult by the COVID-19 pandemic, the continuing opioid crisis, and continuing gaps in health care for at-risk populations. The ultimate goal of medical researchers, health care workers, and government officials is to end the HIV epidemic by applying a diverse arsenal of preventive measures.
- The most effective methods of preventing HIV infection are abstinence, always using a condom when having sex, and never sharing hypodermic needles.
- Medications that help prevent HIV infection include Truvada and Descovy for pre-exposure prophylaxis , a treatment regimen that is taken daily and intended to prevent HIV infection before potential exposure, and post-exposure prophylaxis , a preventive treatment regimen that must be taken within 72 hours after a possible exposure to HIV.
- Researchers are working on long-acting medications and treatments to prevent HIV infection, including a form of the HIV drug cabotegravir thats injected once every eight weeks.
Other approaches under investigation to prevent HIV and AIDs are monoclonal antibodies that block both HIV and COVID-19 long-acting drugs, such as lenacapavir and HIV treatment regimens that are begun during pregnancy using dolutegravir and efavirenz .
What Can I Do To Protect Myself From Contracting Hiv
You can protect yourself by practicing safe sex, wearing condoms the right way every time, not sharing needles, and getting tested regularly. Knowing your status gives you the information you need to make healthy decisions and prevent getting or transmitting HIV.
You can also talk to a Planned Parenthood of Illinois health provider about PrEP , a daily oral pill that reduces the risk of HIV infection. PrEP is for anyone who is HIV-negative and at risk of contracting HIV from sexual activities or intravenous drug use. PrEP is especially recommended for those with a partner with unknown STI status, an HIV-positive status, and individuals who do not regularly use condoms during sexual activities.
If you think you may have been exposed to HIV, you should consult a medical professional as soon as possible. PEP is a medication that can be taken within 72 hours of exposure to prevent HIV. PEP should only be used in emergencies.
PPIL offers testing at all of our health centers. PPIL can also help patients find organizations that help cover the cost of HIV medication. Learn more about our HIV/AIDS services by visiting ppil.org. If youre interested in getting tested, call 230-7526 to make an appointment today.
Can You Get Hiv From Kissing
Since HIV is not spread through spit, kissing is not a common way to get infected. In certain situations where other body fluids are shared, such as if both people have open sores in their mouths or bleeding gums, there is a chance you could get HIV from deep, open-mouthed kissing.
You also dont 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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How Is Hiv Spread
The spread of HIV from person to person is called HIV transmission. HIV is spread only through certain body fluids from a person who has HIV. These body fluids include:
- Rectal fluids
- Breast milk
HIV transmission is only possible through contact with HIV-infected body fluids. In the United States, HIV is spread mainly by:
- Having anal or vaginal sex with someone who has HIV without using a condom or taking medicines to prevent or treat HIV
- Sharing injection drug equipment , such as needles or syringes, with someone who has HIV
The spread of HIV from a woman with HIV to her child during pregnancy, childbirth, or breastfeeding is called perinatal transmission of HIV. For more information, read the HIVinfo fact sheet on Preventing Perinatal Transmission of HIV.
You cannot get HIV by shaking hands or hugging a person who has HIV. You also cannot get HIV from contact with objects, such as dishes, toilet seats, or doorknobs, used by a person with HIV. HIV is not spread through the air or water or by mosquitoes, ticks, or other blood-sucking insects. Use the HIVinfo You Can Safely ShareWith Someone With HIV infographic to spread this message.
Does Hiv Always Progress To Aids
HIV doesn’t always become AIDS, but when a persons immune system drops below a certain level of T cells, they are considered to have progressed to AIDS. An AIDS patients cell count drops to 200 cells/mm3 from a normal count of 5001500 cells/mm3. In laymans terms, theyve acquired an immune deficiency syndrome .
When AIDS first caught the worlds attention back in 1981, we didn’t have the same detection methods we do now. This meant it was only diagnosed by infections that occur late in the game, like Kaposi’s Sarcoma, a rare cancer. Back then, treatment focused on these infections, but by the time patients were showing symptoms, it was usually too late. Late detection meant that patients had so few T cells, they were often near death.
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Incorporating Hiv And Aids Education In Community Outreach
The National HIV/AIDS Strategy for the United States: Federal Action Plan, which the federal government originally published in 2015, was updated in 2020. The plan highlights the important role played by community-based organizations , healthcare providers and informal networks of people who have HIV in achieving the goal of making new infections rare and ultimately nonexistent.
Another important goal of the federal strategy is to ensure that everyone whos living with HIV has access to quality care and has the opportunity to live a full, healthy life free of discrimination and stigma. The plan calls for the CDC to support community mobilization efforts to strengthen CBOs social network strategies. It also recommends national campaigns targeting segments of the population who are at the greatest risk of contracting HIV.
How Common Is Hiv
HIV is a global disease that affects all demographics, both directly and indirectly. Over 35 million people, the majority of whom are in Sub-Saharan Africa, live with the virus today. HIV is deadliest in impoverished nations where access to care is difficult or impossible. In 2012, over 1.5 million died from AIDS most were children in Africa. Since the pandemic began, AIDS-related illnesses have taken the lives of 36 million people.
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Ending The Hiv Epidemic In Illinois By 2030
In addition to providing HIV testing and treatment, PPIL participates in the Illinois HIV Integrated Planning Council through the Illinois Department of Public Health, in support of the Getting to Zero initiative, which aims to end the HIV epidemic in Illinois by 2030. We also support local health departments and agencies like U of Is Positive Health Solutions, Friends of Central Illinois, and Greater Community AIDS Project of East-Central Illinois.
How Is Hiv Treated And What Can Happen If It Goes Untreated
Unfortunately, there is still no absolute cure for HIV. However, medication is now available to suppress the virus to an extent where you can live a full life comparable with someone without HIV.
This medication can reduce or, as we’ve heard, completely eradicate your chances of spreading the virus.
Firstly, if you think you have been exposed to HIV, you can take post-exposure prophylaxis medicine that can hugely reduce the chance of you becoming infected. This medication must be started within 72 of coming into contact with the virus and can be prescribed by A& E departments and sexual health clinics.
PEP involves taking HIV treatment every day for one month.
There is also PrEP, which stands for pre-exposure prophylaxis. If taken correctly, this daily pill can protect you from HIV. It’s a combination of two drugs used to treat HIV and protects your negative HIV status. With this medication, you can have a far lower level of concern about a sexual partner being HIV positive.
PrEP only protects against HIV, not other STIs, so you still need to take other precautions. However, it is a good idea if you are HIV negative, want to have control of your sexual health and are having sexual encounters that put you at risk of being exposed to HIV.
HIV can quickly become resistant to medication, so a combination of drugs is used to fight the infection. You might be able to get these drugs in a single pill, but might have to take four pills a day.
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How Is Hiv Transmitted
Like other viruses, HIV can be transmitted between people. It can spread if you come in contact with the body fluids of a person with HIV, including:
Most commonly, it can spread during unprotected sex without condoms with a person who has HIV. It can also spread through shared needles. Less often, it can be transmitted from an HIV-positive mother to their baby during pregnancy.
Getting Tested For Hiv
An HIV test can be done with an oral swab or with a blood sample in rare cases, a test is performed on a urine sample.
- The cheapest, quickest, most common method of testing is antibody testing, which uses oral fluids, blood, or urine to look for HIV antibodies instead of the virus itself. A positive antibody test requires a second test known as the Western blot test for confirmation of infection. It may take up to two weeks to receive results for this test.
- Antigen testing, which looks for a particular protein produced by HIV, is done on the blood. It is less common than antibody testing and is more expensive. However, antigen testing is very good at early HIV detection , making it ideal for those who are of a high-risk demographic and fear they have recently come into contact with the disease.
- Two types of genetic testing known as PCR testing and NAT testing look for genetic material of HIV in the blood. These tests are less commonly used on adult patients, but they are often used on babies born to an HIV-positive mother. These are also the tests used to ensure donated blood is safe to enter into the blood supply.
Those in the U.S. can use AIDS.gov’s service locator to find nearby clinics and care centers that will provide HIV testing. Furthermore, the FDA has approved one type of at-home rapid HIV testing kit, which can be bought from many pharmacies or .
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Virus Versus Health Condition
One of the most significant differences between HIV and AIDS is the classification of the health issue. HIV is a virus that enters the body and inserts its RNA into healthy cells to reproduce. Over time, this can compromise the hosts immune system, leaving them vulnerable to infections and other illnesses.
HIV can be classified in stages.
- Stage 1 HIV is highly manageable as the viral load is relatively low. Often a person will feel slightly sick with flu-like symptoms, or they may not experience symptoms at all.
- Stage 2 is difficult to catch because people will oftentimes feel no health issues whatsoever for up to ten or more years.
- If kept unchecked, HIV can progress into stage 3, when the immune system is damaged beyond repair.
AIDS is the acronym for auto-immunodeficiency syndrome it is the result of HIV progression once it reaches this third stage. In this case, the immune system is so compromised that it is considered to be an auto-immune disease. This leaves the person vulnerable to many health issues, since their immune system can no longer protect them.
Hiv Infection Can Be Diagnosed By A Simple Test
On HIV transmission, the immune system produces antibodies against the virus. A blood or saliva test can detect those antibodies to determine if the virus is present. It can take several weeks after transmission for the HIV antibody test to come back positive.
Another test looks for antigens, which are proteins produced by the virus, and antibodies. This test can detect HIV just days after infection.
Both tests are accurate and easy to administer.
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How Are Hiv And Aids Related
The HIV attacks the human immune system, causing the body to be unable to defend against other forms of viruses and bacteria . When a person has HIV, their immune systems keep getting weaker and is unable to defend the body against even the mildest pathogens. It is at this stage that the person is considered to have AIDS because the immune system has already been depleted.
Even though you might have HIV infection, it does not mean that you will need AIDS management any time soon. In many cases it requires years for AIDS to develop, especially nowadays with advanced treatment, infected people can live longer before developing AIDS.
Why Is Education Around Hiv And Aids Important
Unfortunately, there is still great stigma attached to the conditions, which we need to remove.
Dr Win-Leung Siu says tackling this stigma will encourage people who are worried to get tested without feeling ashamed.
“The earlier we diagnose, the earlier we can treat and the less chance the condition will spread. This allows for patients to live the longest, healthiest lives possible.”
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What Does Hiv Actually Do
The HIV virus attacks the bodys healthy T cells, which help to fight off infections. It takes over the nucleus of each cell, essentially turning it into a factory to make more HIV cells, which move out into the bloodstream and continue to replicate. By killing off T cells, HIV causes the body to lose its natural disease-fighting mechanisms it becomes defenseless.
Efforts To Overcome Hiv And Aids Education Challenges
The greatest challenge to HIV and AIDS education efforts in the U.S. and worldwide is the COVID-19 pandemic. Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria examines the impact the coronavirus has had on the most vulnerable communities who suffer the highest rates of HIV/AIDS as well as tuberculosis, malaria and other infectious diseases.
When the AIDS epidemic began 40 years ago, the goal of governments, researchers and healthcare providers was to stop it from spreading and develop effective treatments. Today, the challenges are much different, as a recent United Nations meeting on AIDS discussed:
- Wipe out AIDS by 2030.
- Face sensitive issues relating to sex between men, drug use, prostitution and sex trafficking.
- Use new communication methods to reach young people with a message of prevention, testing and treatment.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Hiv
An early HIV infection is often marked by flu-like symptoms, including a headache, fever or rash. These symptoms are the bodys natural immune response to the virus. The T cell count drops very quickly, before leveling out a bit though not to previous levels. This is the best time to start treatment.
Understanding The Difference Between Hiv And Aids
Viruses cause many diseases in humans, as Medical News Today explains. Some are relatively mild, such as cold sores, the common cold, and seasonal influenza outbreaks. Others are potentially deadly, including measles, mumps, chickenpox, hepatitis, polio, rabies, Ebola, severe acute respiratory syndrome , dengue fever, Zika virus, Epstein-Barr virus and AIDS.
The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services explains that HIV attacks the cells that help our bodies fight off infections. Without these cells, were more susceptible to infections from other sources, including other viruses. Thats HIVs insidious nature: rather than being fatal itself, it destroys the bodys ability to stave off other diseases that can ultimately cause the persons death.
Efforts to combat AIDS rightly focus on prevention, but successful treatments are now able to boost the immune system of people who contract HIV and prevent the virus from attacking patients natural disease-defense mechanisms.
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What Are Causes And Risk Factors For Hiv And Aids
The cause for HIV infection is the human immunodeficiency virus it is spread by person-to-person contact mainly by body fluids during unprotected sex and/or the use of needles contaminated with the human immunodeficiency virus. Other less frequent ways HIV is transmitted are through contaminated blood or tissue during a transfusion or transplant, to a fetus by an infected mother, or to an infant via breast milk from an infected mother.
The cause of AIDS is infection by human immunodeficiency viruses that eventually damage the person’s immune system so severely that the person develops additional medical problems like opportunistic infections or cancers.
The risk factors for HIV and AIDS include
- unprotected sexual contact,
- a generalized rash.
How An Hiv Infection Develops Into Aids
As Medical News Today explains, a person with HIV who follows an effective treatment regimen is unlikely to have the virus lead to AIDS. However, if HIV is untreated, the persons immune system will continue to be damaged. The more compromised the immune system becomes, the more likely the person will develop an opportunistic infection.
The opportunistic infections that are most likely to affect AIDS patients include the following:
- Invasive cervical cancer, lung cancer, Kaposis sarcoma and other cancers
- Candidiasis, which is a fungal infection that affects the throat and lungs
- Pneumocystis pneumonia, which is a fungal form of pneumonia
- Toxoplasmosis, which is a parasitic infection that affects the brain
- Cryptococcosis, which is a fungal infection that often causes pneumonia
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