The AIDS Virus – Everything You Need to Know

November 12, 2012

The AIDS Virus - Everything You Need to Know

Although a lot of advancements have been made in preventing the spread of the AIDS virus and caring for it, a lot people still don’t know much about it.

What is AIDS?

The AIDS virus comes from the HIV virus and stands for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome.

This is how it happens: several weeks after getting infected with the HIV virus, some people might get flu-like symptoms for a couple of weeks to signal the onset of AIDS. Other people who are infected, however, do not get any symptoms at all. Because of this, anybody who has HIV should visit their doctor regularly, no matter how healthy they may feel. Most people who have HIV also benefit a lot from medications that are designed to treat the infection.

Overall, these medications can slow down or limit the immune system’s destruction, improve people’s overall health, and reduce their chances of spreading the virus to other people. Now, the AIDS virus, on the other hand, is the last stage of the HIV virus. By this point, the person’s immune system has already suffered through extreme damage and no longer has the power to fight diseases or cancers. Before the aforementioned medications were developed, people who had HIV ended up progressing to AIDS in only a couple of years. Fortunately, people live much longer now.

How Does HIV Spread?

You might have heard various myths or rumors as to how HIV can be transmitted. However, these are the main ways it can be spread:

- Having sexual intercourse without a condom with somebody who is infected with HIV.

- Having a sexually transmitted disease or multiple sex partners can increase the overall risk of HIV infection while having sex.

- Sharing rinse water, syringes, needles and other equipment needed for injecting and preparing illicit drugs.

- Being the child of a mother who is infect with HIV.

Conversely, these are the less common ways it can be spread:

- Getting pricked with a needle or any other sharp object that is contaminated with HIV.

- Getting blood transfusions, organ transplants, tissue transplants, or blood products contaminated with the AIDS virus.

- Through unsanitary or unsafe injections or various other dental or medical practices.

- Eating food that somebody infected with HIV was chewing beforehand.

- Getting bitten by somebody who has HIV.

- Contact between wounds, mucous membranes, broken skin, HIV-infected blood or other HIV-contaminated bodily fluids.

- During open-mouthed French kissing with somebody who has HIV.

Overall, though, HIV cannot be spread in these ways:

- Through water or air.

- Through insects like mosquitoes.

- Through sweat or tears.

- Through casual contact, such as sharing dishes or shaking hands.

Any reported cases that suggest potentially unknown or brand new transmission routes of the AIDS virus are always investigated very thoroughly by both local and state health departments with the help, guidance and support of the CDC.

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