HIV is scary. It doesn't discriminate and it loves a new host to infect. There is no cure for HIV. Protection is your only weapon against the disease.
HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus. It is the virus that can lead to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, or AIDS, if not treated. Unlike some other viruses, the human body can’t get rid of HIV completely, even with treatment.
HIV is a virus spread through certain body fluids that attacks the body’s immune system, specifically the CD4 cells, often called T cells. Over time, HIV can destroy so many of these cells that the body can’t fight off infections and disease. This damage to the immune system makes it harder and harder for the body to fight off infections and some other diseases. Opportunistic infections or cancers take advantage of a very weak immune system and signal that the person has AIDS.
Once you get HIV, you have it for life. Prevention is the only cure.
No effective cure currently exists, but with proper medical care, HIV can be controlled. The medicine used to treat HIV is called antiretroviral therapy or ART. If taken the right way, every day, this medicine can dramatically prolong the lives of many people infected with HIV, keep them healthy, and greatly lower their chance of infecting others. Before the introduction of ART in the mid-1990s, people with HIV could progress to AIDS in just a few years. Today, someone diagnosed with HIV and treated before the disease is far advanced can live nearly as long as someone who does not have HIV.
Without treatment, HIV advances in stages, overwhelming your immune system and getting worse over time. The three stages of HIV infection are: (1) acute HIV infection, (2) clinical latency, and (3) AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome).
However, there’s good news: by using antiretroviral therapy or ART consistently, you can prevent HIV from progressing to AIDS. ART helps control the virus so that you can live a longer, healthier life and greatly reduces the risk of transmitting HIV to others.
Be kind to yourself and others, use protection and test often.
Own your sexual health,
Did you know that many STI's don't have symptoms? If left untreated they can seriously damage your fertility, health and life.
If you’re unsure what to do or if you’re worried about an STI, we’re here to help with safe and easy tests you can do at home.
Don’t risk your health!
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