To know what everyone should know.
01 What is AIDS ?
It stands for
ACQUIRED-it is always caught from someone else. (i.e. infection)
IMMUNE DEFICIENCY-HIV virus destroys the body’s “Protection Mechanism” (Immune System) that fight against diseases.
SYNDROME-because this illness has a variety of signs and symptoms.
02 What is HIV ?
It stands for
This virus causes AIDS.
03 Where does HIV live in the body ?
HIV live in the body fluids of infected person such as SEMEN, VAGINAL SECRETION, BLOOD and BLOOD products made from infected blood. Though there is evidence of the presence of HIV in tears, sweat and mother’s milk, the concentration of HIV is so low that it usually does not infect others.
REMEMBER WE CAN NOT TELL WHICH PEOPLE HAVE HIV JUST BY LOOKING AT THEM, BUT THEY CAN STILL PASS ON HIV TO OTHERS.
04 How does HIV enter the body ?
(I) Through unprotected penetrative Sex with infected person.
- You could get infected with HIV if you have Sex with an infected Man or Woman.
- If you have Sex with commercial sex worker (Prostitute) or any woman with multiple sexual partners or a man who has multiple sexual partners.
- If you have Sex with many different casual partners, you have a HIGH CHANCE of getting infected with HIV.
- You might get infected the very first time you have se x if your partner is already carrying the infection.
(II) Through contaminated blood and blood products.
- HIV can enter the body when contaminated blood or blood products which contain HIV is given to person through blood transfusion.
- If injecting equipments contaminated by HIV are used e.g. by drug users to inject drugs (such as heroin) into their bodies.
- HIV can enter the body when medical instruments contaminated by HIV are not cleaned and sterilized properly.
- HIV can enter the body when sharp tools used to cut the skin (such as ear-piercing and tattoo making) are not cleaned and sterilized properly.
(III) Through infected mother to child.
A pregnant woman who has HIV in her body can pass the infection on to her baby in her womb or during birth.
- Experts are of the opinion that about 1 out of 3 babies born to infected mothers are likely to be born infected with HIV.
- There has been evidence that these babies usually do not live longer than two of five years.
- There are very little chances of infected mothers passing on the HIV infection to her child through breast milk.
05 But why should I worry about AIDS ?
- It is not any more “Not my problem “and HIV / AIDS is spreading fast in all the parts of country.
- Neither is it the problem of Prostitutes and their clients only.
- Neither is it the problem of Homosexuals alone.
- Neither is it the problem of injecting drug users.
- Neither only for those suffering from blood disorders who require frequent transfusions.
Many non high risk behavior risk groups have been detected to be HIV sero-positive, such as pregnant wives attending ante-natal clinics. Persons with HIV infection develop anti-bodies against HIV in their blood. This can be detected by laboratory examination of the blood. People whose blood show antibodies to HIV are called HIV sero-positive.
AIDS is now everyone’s problem. What’s more many of us may be exposed to HIV infection unknowingly. However those who are practicing High risk behavior (HRB) are more vulnerable than others.
- People who have multiple sexual partners have a high chance of getting HIV infection. Even if you have casual unprotected sex once in a while you are still at a high risk of contracting HIV.
- People who have Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) may have sores on their sex organs or discharges. It is easier for HIV to enter the body through these sores or due to discharges.
- People who share their drug injection syringes and needles.
- Peoples who require frequent blood transfusion (although not a high risk behavior, it is a medical need).
06 Can I identify person with AIDS ?
In the early stage people with HIV infection may look and feel well. They may not even know they carry HIV in their body. But they are capable of spreading infection to others. In the case of HIV infection in the initial stage an infected person may not be HIV positive but can still pass on the infection to others, though any of the modes of transmission or infection mentioned earlier.
What happens to a person with HIV ?
If a person with HIV in the body he/she is called a “HIV Positive Person” and does not automatically mean that he/she has AIDS at that point of time. However most HIV positive persons will develop AIDS and eventually die.
Isn’t there cure for AIDS -traditional or allopathic ?
No! We don’t have medicine to cure AIDS so far.
Though some people have made claims that they have a cure for AIDS, these claims have not been proved. There is a lot of research going on in many countries to try and find a medicine to cure AIDS. Till a cure is found PREVENTION IS THE ONLY CURE.
Isn’t it then very important to know about HIV and AIDS. Let us know more.
Remember correct information followed by adoption of safe behavior is the only way for prevention from getting HIV/AIDS.
07 You won’t get HIV/AIDS from :
Scientific evidence shows that unlike many other viruses such as the common cold, the HIV does not spread through casual everyday contact. That means you are not at risk through:
Normal social contacts:
HIV does not spread during casual, social situations such as
touching, handshaking, talking to someone or living with a relative in the same house or sitting next to someone in a crowded bus or train.
In the workplace:
You don’t have to worry about getting HIV from a colleague or
co-worker by touching or being near to him or her. There is no evidence that the virus is spread by sharing equipments like telephone, typewriter books,pen,computer and other similar items.
Scientist believe that the amount of HIV percent in sweat is so low that it is not enough to infect you.
In the classroom:
It is natural to feel protective about our children. But there is no scientific evidence that they can get HIV infection at school by sitting near or playing with a child who has HIV or from a teacher with HIV.
There is no evidence that HIV is transmitted through sharing of food, drinks, plates, glasses and similar items. You don’t have to worry for example if a waiter or a cook has HIV.
Sharing toilets and latrines:
HIV is not spread through toilet seats, wash-basins, bath tubs or swimming pools.
Coughing or sneezing:
HIV is not spread through air.
Hand shakes, hugging or kissing:
HIV is not spread through social contacts like hand shaking, embarrassing, hugging and normal kissing.
HIV is not spread through mosquitoes, bed bugs or other insects. Though these insects suck blood, the HIV dies quickly when it enters the body of these insects and thus it can not pass it on to another person.
08 What happens to a person infected with HIV ?
The body of healthy person is well protected by a strong defense system which fights off harmful infections.
BUT in HIV infected person:
HIV weakens and destroys the defense system of the body and because the body then has no protection, many other illnesses make the person very sick and eventually the person dies.
IN the early stage….
Many people with HIV infection look healthy and feel well. They may not even know that they are carrying HIV in their bodies though they are capable of infecting others.
….BUT before some years
Most HIV positive Persons go on develop AIDS as their immune system becomes severely weakened. Normally mild diseases turn into fatal diseases.
For clinical definition of AIDS in adults there must be least two major signs with at least one minor sign and the absence of known causes of immunosuppression.
CLINICAL CASE DEFINITION OF AIDS IN ADULTS
- Weight loss, at least 10 percent body weight.
- Chronic diarrhea, for more than one month.
- Prolonged fever, for more than one month (intermittent or constant).
- Persistent cough, more than one month.
- Generalized puritic dermatitis (general skin disease infection).
- An episode of herpes zoster (Virual infection).
- Oro-pharyngeal candidiasis (fungus infection in mouth and throat)
- Chronic progressive and disseminated herps simplex infection.
- Generalized Iymphadenopathy (enlargment of lymph glands)
The presence of generalized Kaposi’s Sarcoma or Cryptoccal meningitis are sufficient by themselves for the diagnosis of AIDS in adults.
CLINICAL CASE DEFINITION OF AIDS IN CHILDREN
The major and minor signs in paediatric age groups are mentioned below. There should be absence of known cause of immunio suppression (such as malnutrition) and the presence of at least two of the major and two of the minor signs for clinical diagnosis of AIDS.
- Weight loss or abnormally slow growth.
- Chronic diarrhoea, for more than one month.
- Prolonged fever, for more than one month.
- Generalized Lymphadenopathy (enlargment of lymph glands)
- Oro-pharyngeal candidiasis (fungus infection in mouth and throat)
- Repeated common infection such as otitis media,(ear infection),pharyngitis.
- Persistent cough.
- Generalized dermatitis (general skin disease infection).
- Confirmed maternal HIV infection.
HOW CAN I BE SURE I DO NOT HAVE HIV IN MY BODY ?
If you have any reason to think you have been exposed to HIV infection go and see a doctor or a health worker or a counsellor. They will answer your questions and give you correct information and advice.
These is a special blood test, called ELISA test. This test will indicate if you have HIV in your body. Confirmatory test is WESTERN BLOT test .Meanwhile,
- Stop having sex with anyone.
- Stop sharing injecting equipments.
- Do not donate BLOOD.
- Do not panic-consult health worker or a counselor.
09 What can I do to keep HIV away ?
- Do I have any habit that increase the risk of HIV infection.
- How sure can I be of my sexual partner ?
- Could he/she have had sex with someone who has been infected.
- Could my sexual partner have had a partner who used IV drugs ?
- Has my sexual partner received blood transfusion recently ?
Because your questions may not be easily answered…you will have to make a choice. You can practice such behaviors which do not allow HIV infection to be transmitted.
IF YOU ARE A SEXUALLY ACTIVE PERSON REVIEW YOUR SEXUAL BEHAVIOUR.
The only sure way to avoid getting HIV (through sex) is:
- Avoid sex till you get married.
- If sexual active, non-penetrative sex is the only guarantee of no risk, so explore alternative ways of “Safe Sex” such as massaging, caressing, kissing or mutual masturbation.
- If you have a sex, limit to only one faithful sexual partner to reduce your chance of being exposed to HIV.
- Do not forget to use a new condom properly every time you have sex from START to FINISH.
- The only sure way to avoid getting HIV (through sex) is to have sex with one partner for life and to be loyal with him or her.
- If you must have sex with anyone other than your faithful partner you are at risk of catching HIV. To reduce this risk, use a new condom properly and carefully everyone you have sex.
- Both men and women should take responsibility for using condoms even if another form of birth control is used.
10 Safe sex by use of condom ?
Use a condom properly every time you have any penetrative sexual contact. It helps to protect you and your partner.
- Read the directions on condom packet.
- Do not forget to check for the expiry date.
How to use Condom ?
Handle condoms gently. Store them in a cool, dry place. Long exposure to air, heat, and light makes them more breakable. Do not stash them continually in a back pocket, wallet or glove compartment.
1)Pull back the foreskin of erected penis before rolling on the condom.
- Free of charge at Government Hospitals or Clinics.
- For a small charge from private Chemists or from other stores like local grocery of panwallahs.
But why should I use a condom when I am using oral pills/spermicide ?
Using pills or spermicide may help you to plan your family to prevent you from unwanted pregnancy but it can not protect you from HIV infection and Sexually Transmitted Diseases.
11 Do not inject drugs:
- STOP injecting DRUGS, it is safer to take drugs by inhaling, smoking or swallowing them to avoid HIV infection.
- If you already taking drugs, have guts to say NO to drugs or seek advice from a counsellor meanwhile.
- Drugs such as “Smack”,”Charas”,”Heroin” or “Morphine” etc. can seriously harm your mind and body.
If you already injecting drugs in your body:
Clean and disinfect injecting needles and syringes thoroughly.
You can easily clean your needles & syringes by any of these two methods given below:
- Boiling for 20 minutes.
- Bleach or washing up liquid.
- Cleaning by bleach solution.
- Flush 2-3 times.
- Repeat steps 2 and 3.
Watch out for those intoxicants:
Though they don’t spread HIV by themselves, they lower inhibitions leaving you more vulnerable to unprotected sex of intravenous drugs which are high risk.
12 Safe blood for transfusion.
Should you or your relative or friends require blood transfusions, seek blood from relatives or friends. They are safer than buying blood from professional donors.
If not, insist on the Hospital/Nursing Home on using blood/blood products that they have already tested for HIV. Every bag or bottle should have this information labeled on it.
What about donating blood ?
Donate blood you can not get HIV by donating Blood. All requirements used are sterile and used only once. Motivate more people for voluntary blood donation. Voluntary blood donation will reduce professional blood donors donating infected blood.
13 Latest situation in Osmanabad District -