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HIV Prevention

For those looking to stay HIV negative, there are several ways you can prevent an infection. Using condoms is always recommended, but we also encourage you to get regular testing, communicate with your partners about when they were last tested or had a potential exposure, limit sexual activities to oral sex if you’re unsure about someone’s status, don’t share syringes for injection drug use, and use a medication called PrEP

What Role Do CD4 T-Cells Play in HIV Infection?

HIV destroys CD4 T-cells, which are white blood cells that help the body fight off infection. The more CD4 T-cells the virus kills, the weaker an HIV-positive person’s immune system grows. Medical providers make an AIDS diagnosis when the number of CD4 T-cells in an individual’s blood (also known as…

What Are CD4 T-Cells?

CD4 T-cells are white blood cells that fight off infections. HIV thrives off of attacking these cells. However, HIV treatments might help maintain the body’s T-cell count and keep a person healthy. How CD4 T-Cells Work CD4 T-cells (also known as CD4 T lymphocytes) help keep you healthy by attacking…

Can HIV Be Transmitted to Newborns?

It is possible, though very rare in the United States, for a mother to transmit HIV to her child during pregnancy, childbirth, or breastfeeding. But luckily, there are ways pregnant women with HIV can protect their babies from the virus. As long as they take a few…

Can I Get HIV From Kissing?

No, it is not possible to get HIV from kissing. HIV is only spread when the following bodily fluids come into direct contact with your bloodstream or mucous membranes: Breast milk. Vaginal fluids. Rectal fluids. Pre-seminal fluids. Semen. Blood. In the past, people thought it was possible to…

What Are the Benefits of Detecting HIV Early?

The main advantage of early detection of HIV is stopping the progression of the disease. If you find out you have HIV, you can start on anti-retroviral therapy (ART) right away and with early treatment, you can stay healthy and live a long and quality life. While ART is not…

What Are the Early Signs of an HIV Infection?

The early signs of an HIV infection can mimic the symptoms of the flu. These symptoms occur during a stage known as acute HIV. It’s difficult to accurately diagnose HIV during this stage. If you’re experiencing concerning symptoms or you believe you may have been exposed to HIV, it’s important…

What Happens If You Are Infected With HIV?

When a person acquires the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), they do not immediately develop signs and symptoms of an infection. When you are infected with HIV, your body will typically go through three stages. The First Stage (Acute HIV Infection) Most people at this stage do not have any idea…

What Is a Retrovirus?

A retrovirus belongs to a group of RNA viruses that insert a DNA copy of their genome into a host cell and replicates. Different Types of Retroviruses Human Retroviruses These are the types that affect humans most commonly. There are six human retroviruses that have been identified so far. These…

How Long Can HIV Live Outside of the Body?

HIV Outside the Body The HIV virus dies instantly if it comes into contact with oxygen. Some people think that they can get infected with the HIV virus if they come in contact with an object or surface that may have had the HIV-infected blood or semen on it, but…

Why Do Gay Men Have Higher Rates of HIV?

Data from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reveals that nearly 70% of new cases of HIV occur in gay men, or men who have sex with men. Within this segment, HIV is most common among African Americans and bisexual men, followed by Hispanic and Caucasian men. Some of the…

Does PrEP Protect Against All Strains of HIV?

PrEP and HIV Strains PrEP has been found to protect against HIV-1 and is effective in patients who are HIV-negative before they start treatment. PrEP can reduce the risk of getting HIV-1 but is not effective against the HIV-2 strain. PrEP should be taken every day and be accompanied by safer sex practices.

Does Everyone With HIV Develop AIDS?

Having HIV does not mean you will go on to develop AIDS. That being said, without treatment, HIV typically progresses to AIDS about 10 years after you first contract the disease (though this can be different for everyone). To stop this from happening, you will need to receive anti-retroviral therapy…

What Is the Difference Between HIV and AIDS?

What Is HIV? Many people confuse HIV and AIDS. While they go together, it is important to know that HIV stands for the Human Immunodeficiency Virus which is known to cause AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome). When a person develops AIDS, it is classified as Stage 3 HIV. HIV is known…

What Is the Risk of Getting HIV From Oral Sex?

Though it’s theoretically possible, there are currently no known cases of HIV transmission by oral sex. Some factors that could potentially cause an infection through oral sex is direct contact of seminal fluid (from a person living with HIV) and open sores in your mouth or actively bleeding gums. Other…

What Are the Symptoms of HIV In Women?

Although the symptoms of HIV differ between men and women, many people experience few to no symptoms when they first become infected with the virus. In those who do experience symptoms, women often have flu-like symptoms, such as exhaustion, muscle aches, fevers, and enlarged lymph nodes. More serious symptoms may…

How Is HIV Transmitted?

HIV is transmitted through certain bodily fluids, including blood, breast milk, semen, and vaginal/rectal fluids. HIV is actually a fairly difficult virus to transmit, as it dies when it comes in contact with oxygen. HIV requires direct fluid-to-fluid transmission, like through condomless anal sex or by sharing syringes with someone…

What Does an HIV Rash Look Like?

Usually HIV infection leads to a brief period of symptoms shortly after infection occurs. Not everybody notices these symptoms, and they’re easy to mistake for a cold or the flu. One of the symptoms may be a rash. The most common HIV rash occurs shortly after infection.

What Is the Treatment for HIV?

The treatment for HIV involves taking medications that provide antiretroviral therapy, thus slowing down the progression of the virus. No matter how long a person has been living with HIV, the proper treatment can reduce the amount of virus found in the body, called the viral load, and reduce the…

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