December is World AIDS Day


What is World AIDS Day?


World AIDS Day is a day to unit against the fight of HIV, support indivduals with a diagnosis of AIDS/HIVand a time to remember those who have passed. The first World AIDS day was held in 1988. There are 34 million people currently living with HIV in the world. Even though treatment for AIDS and HIV has come along way and there are laws to protect the people with this diseadee, Stigmas and discriminationstill exists against those with the disease.

What is the Difference between AIDS and HIV?


HIV means that you have the Human Immunodeficiency Virus in your body. You get  Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) when your body’s immune system can no longer fight off diseases. As HIV advances, it causes more damaged to your immune defence cells. People can live many years with HIV and not develop AIDS; however they can still pass on the virus. This is why it is important to be tested regularly.



How is HIV transmitted?


HIV is transmitted through bodily fluids, such as vaginal fluids, semen, blood, rectal secretions, and breast milk. The most common way of transmission is through sex without a condom or sharing infected needles or syringes. HIV can also be transmitted through oral sex but the risk is lower than anal or vaginal sex. You cannot transmitt HIV through normal contact, kissing, or sharing a cup or plate.


What are the Symptoms of early HIV Infection?


Ten days after infection  is usualywhen the most common symptomsappear. Symptoms  can be a fever, rash, and severe sore throat that all happen at the same time. It is strongly encouraged that patients are tested during symptoms as they may not show any further symptoms. Right before HIV turns into AIDS some other diseases  such as uch as pneumonia, blood poisoning, tuberculosis, fungal disease, and viral diseases may appear.


Is there Treatments or Vaccines for HIV?


HIV treatment has become more effective in the past decade and helps HIV positive indiviudals life a normal and active life. .  HIV treatment reduces the level of HIV in the body which can also reduce the chance of HIV being transmitted to others. Treatment also reduces the chance of an HIV positive woman to pass it on to her child.

There are no vaccines to prevent against HIV.


Where can I get tested?


You can make an appointment at Friend Family Health Center with your Primary Physican to get tested. You can be tested through blood or saliva. Depending on the type of test you have  it can take anywhere from 20 minutes to 2 weeks to get your results. These tests are very accurate and all HIV postive tests are repeated for verification. If you think you are at risk do not wait to get tested.

**It is best to see your primary care physician regularly in order to prevent, get tested, and treat HIV! Please call 773-702-0660 to make an appointment at Friend Family Health Center.**

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