HIV And AIDS FAQ – How Much Do You Know About HIV And AIDS?

There are so many things you can and should know about HIV/AIDS, so that you understand more about them and stop the stigmatization, which leads to discrimination, unfair and unjustly treatments on the basis of people living with HIV and AIDS being perceived to below to a particular group.

Below are some of the important questions that you may not know the answers to.

How does someone get HIV?

Worldwide and in the United States, most people become infected with HIV through unprotected sex, including vaginal, anal and oral sex, and through injection drug use.

Certain body fluids including blood, pre-ejaculation, semen, and vaginal secretions, can spread HIV. An HIV infected woman can pass HIV to her baby through pregnancy, labor, or delivery, as well as through breast milk.

HIV cannot be spread by casual contact such as hugging or shaking hands. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), contact with saliva, tears or sweat has never resulted in HIV transmission.

How does the “AIDS test” work?

The “AIDS test” is really a test for HIV antibodies, or markers in a person’s system which indicates infection with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). The body produces antibodies to fight infection. HIV antibodies develop in a person when the body is trying to fight off HIV infection. While there are tests for the virus itself, these tests are costly, and generally not used until after an antibody test proves the presence of HIV infection in the body.

What is the window period?

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It takes some time after a person is first infected with HIV for the body to produce enough antibodies to show up on a test. For some weeks, or even months, it is possible to be infected with HIV, and to have an antibody test result show up negative. This period of time is called the window period.

During this window period, HIV is still active in an infected person’s system, even though the test cannot pick up the presence of antibodies. The virus can be transmitted to another person who has unprotected contact with the infected person’s blood, semen, vaginal secretions or breast milk.

Because of the window period, the antibody test is not useful immediately after a first exposure to HIV. If you want to get tested for HIV antibodies, you need to remember the last date that you believe you were at risk for HIV infection. The New York State Department of Health recommends that a person be tested 30 days after possible exposure, and then again at three months. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control, which monitors the presence of HIV disease throughout the country, recommends that a person be tested three months after possible exposure, and then again at six months after exposure.

Can I tell by looking at someone if they have HIV infection or AIDS?

NO. You cannot tell by looking at someone if they have HIV/AIDS. People are not put at risk for HIV infection because of their age, race, gender or sexual orientation. Certain types of behaviors can lead to the transmission of HIV, not certain types of people.

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It is important to remember that it does not matter who you are when it comes to contracting HIV/AIDS. The point is that people get HIV/AIDS if they engage in behaviors that put them at risk.

Are women at equal risk of getting infected with HIV?

Women are in fact more at risk of getting infected because of their increased vulnerability. In addition, their low status within the family and society further heighten their vulnerability to infection. It is therefore most important that every woman has access to information about HIV/AIDS to protect herself.

Does the presence of other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) facilitate HIV transmission?

Yes. Every STD causes some damage to the genital skin and mucous layer, which facilitates the entry of HIV into the body. The most dangerous are syphilis, cancroids, genital herpes and gonorrhea.

Why is early treatment of STD important?

High rates of STD caused by unprotected sexual activity enhance the transmission risk in the general population. Early treatment of STD reduces the risk of spread to other sexual partners and also reduces the risk of contracting HIV from infected partners. Besides, early treatment of STD also prevents infertility and ectopic pregnancies.

How serious is the interaction between HIV and TB in South-East Asia?

Tuberculosis kills nearly 3 million people globally, of whom nearly 50 percent are Asians. The rapid spread of HIV in the region has further complicated the already serious situation. Not only is TB the commonest life threatening opportunistic infection among patients living with AIDS, but the incidence of TB has now begun to increase, particularly in areas where HIV seroprevalence is high. Multi-drug resistant TB is also quite common in many areas.

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Do people living with HIV/AIDS have special rights or responsibilities?

Since everyone is entitled to fundamental human rights without discrimination, people living with HIV and AIDS have the same rights as seronegative people to education, employment, health, travel, marriage, procreation, privacy, social security, scientific benefits, asylum, etc.

Seronegative and seropositive people share responsibility for avoiding HIV infection or re-infection. But many people, including women, children and teenagers, cannot negotiate safe sex because of their low status in society or lack of personal power. Therefore men, whether knowingly infected or unaware of their HIV status, have a special responsibility of not putting others at risk.

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2 Responses

  1. We should read more post like this wonderful one about HIV and AIDS. And South-East Asia should be the main target to review this type of posts.

  2. deden luo says:

    I read lot of book related about HIV and AIDS. After get the knowledge i am scare to have sex with someone i dont know which is good for me. I am more selective.

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