- HIV only affects humans.
- Currently, there is no cure for HIV, but it can be treated with a series of medications.
- The virus attacks the body’s immune system by attaching itself to its T-cells to duplicate itself, destroying those cells in the process.
- Overtime, HIV destroys so many T-cells that the body’s immune system can no longer fight off infections and diseases. When this happens, HIV can lead to AIDS because of the lowered number of T-cells.
- HIV is spread through a healthy body coming into contact with the bodily fluids of an infected individual through sexual intercourse, pregnancy or breast feeding, injection drug use, occupational exposure or blood transfusion/organ transplant. The healthy individual becomes infected once the virus filters into the bloodstream.
- The fluids that carry HIV are blood, semen, pre-seminal fluid, vaginal fluids, breast milk and rectal (anal) mucous.
- HIV can be transferred through oral sex and anal sex
- Having a STI can put a person at higher risk for contracting HIV.
- Using condoms during sex reduces a person’s chances of contracting HIV.
- The only way to prevent the contraction of HIV is to abstain from sex.
- The symptoms of HIV vary from person to person, but the only way to know if the virus is present in the body is to get tested.
- Flu-like symptoms are the typical symptoms of HIV, and they normally appear two to four weeks after becoming infected.
- Some people never show any symptoms of having HIV and don’t become sick until the virus turns into AIDS.
- Men who have sex with men (MSM) within any race is the population affected profoundly by HIV/AIDS.
- 1 in 6 people has HIV and is unaware of their infection.
- Heterosexual African American women follow behind MSM in the group most affected by HIV/AIDS.
- By race, African Americans face the greatest burden of HIV
- Monogamy or sticking to having sex with one partner reduces a person’s chances of becoming infected with HIV.
For more HIV information, visit the BlackDoctor.org HIV/AIDS center.
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