AIDS is affecting a large number of people around the world. This disease can be controlled if awareness is created among people.
1. What is HIV?
HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus. HIV is a retrovirus that infects cells of the human immune system.
In simple words what it means is infection with this virus results in the progressive depletion of the immune system, leading to immunodeficiency.
2. What is AIDS?
AIDS stands for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome and describes the collection of symptoms and infections associated with acquired deficiency of the immune system. In simple words again what it means is infection with HIV has been established as the underlying cause of AIDS.
3. Where is HIV found?
HIV can be found in body fluids, such as blood, semen, vaginal fluids and breast milk.
4. How can HIV be transmitted?
HIV can get transmitted through various ways:
- penetrative (anal or vaginal) sex,
- blood transfusion,
- the sharing of contaminated needles in health-care settings and drug injection and
- between mother and infant during pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding.
5. How can HIV infection be prevented?
Sexual transmission of HIV can be prevented by:
1) Monogamous relations between uninfected partners.
2) Non-penetrative sex
3) Consistent and correct use of condoms by male or female
4) By ensuring that blood and blood products are tested for HIV and all blood safety standards are implemented.
Remember- AIDS today is not a death sentence. It can be treated with timely diagnosis and management.