HIV is known as Human Immunodeficiency Virus which attacks the body’s immune system. No treatment for HIV could lead to AIDS(Acquired Immunodeficiency Virus). It has no cure and once someone gets it they are stuck with it for life, and although it is incurable, it is controllable with the right medical experience.
What Are The Symptoms?
- Muscle Aches
- Sore Throat
- Mouth Ulcers
- Night Sweats
Where Did It Originate & Do I Have It?
HIV came from a chimpanzee in Central Africa. The chimpanzee version of HIV is known as SIV or Simian Immunodeficiency Virus & was passed to humans when humans hunted and ate these chimpanzees infecting their own blood with the SIV positive blood.
The virus is known to date as far back to the late 1800’s but to our own knowledge, we know the virus was existent in the mid to late 1970’s.
The only way to know if you have it for sure is to get tested that way you can plan accordingly.
Stages Of HIV
1. Acute HIV Infection – People will have a large amount of HIV in their blood also deeming them very contagious. They will have flu-like symptoms but some may not feel it as fast as others.
2. Chronic HIV Infection – This stage is called clinical latency and although the HIV is still active in the bloodstream, it produces at a very low rate. Some might not show the symptoms at this stage but it is very transmittable in this stage. At the end of this stage, the HIV goes up and the CD4 cell count goes down moving on to the next stage. If you don’t take the necessary HIV medicine you may never see stage 3.
3. Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome – This is the most severe stage of HIV. People at this stage have horribly damaged immune systems and are prone to many severe illnesses. People with AIDS can be very infectious & without any treatment they usually have about 3 years to live.
- Anal sex is the most riskiest type of sex when it comes to HIV. The receptive partner is more likely to get it due to the rectum’s thin lining allowing the HIV to enter the body during anal sex.
- Vaginal sex is much less risky than anal but it is still possible to infect the other person leaving both exposed.
- HIV can be transmitted from a mother to her baby during pregnancy, birth, or during breastfeeding. It is less common but is called perinatal transmission. If the mother were to take prescribed HIV medicine & give her baby medicine after birth for a month or so, the risk of the baby getting HIV can be less than 1%.
- Needles, syringes, or any type of drug injection poses a high risk of catching HIV. Used needles or syringes could have other people’s blood on it & that blood could be infested with HIV. Sharing also increases chances of getting hepatitis B & hepatitis C.
How To Prevent HIV
- Use condoms to prevent sexually transmitted diseases like gonorrhea & chlamydia.
- Take PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis) which is a medicine for people at risk of getting HIV to prevent HIV. It is highly effective only when prescribed.
- Refrain from sexual activities or practice abstinence for a 100% chance of not catching HIV through sex.
- STD positive people have a much higher risk of getting HIV so the best course of action would be to get tested for STD’s so you can plan accordingly.