World AIDS / HIV Day

December 1st is Worlds AIDS Day!  Started on 1st December 1988, World AIDS Day is about raising money, increasing awareness, fighting prejudice and improving education. Go out and get tested today and support the various AIDS awareness events is your area.

What is HIV?
HIV is a virus that attacks the body’s immune system – the body’s defense against diseases.

Are HIV and AIDS the same?
No. When someone is described as living with HIV, they have the HIV virus in their body. A person is considered to have developed AIDS when the immune system is so weak it can no longer fight off a range of diseases with which it would normally cope.

How is HIV passed on?
HIV can be passed on through infected blood, semen, vaginal fluids or breast milk.

The most common ways HIV is passed on are:
* Sex without a condom with someone living with HIV
* Sharing infected needles, syringes or other injecting drug equipment
* From an HIV-positive mother (to her child) during pregnancy, childbirth or breastfeeding (but with effective treatment and care the risk of transmission can be greatly reduced)

Is there a cure for HIV?
No, but treatment can keep the virus under control and the immune system healthy. People on HIV treatment can live a healthy, active life, although they may experience side effects from the treatment. If HIV is diagnosed late, treatment may be less effective.

How can I protect myself and others from HIV infection?
Always use a condom when having vaginal or anal sex. You also may want to use a condom or dental dam during oral sex although the risk of transmission of HIV is much lower. You can get free condoms from a sexual health clinic. Never share needles, syringes or any other injecting equipment.

WORLD AIDS DAY (Homepage)

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