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HIV

Symptoms

Many people who have HIV don’t even know it because symptoms may not appear for 10 years or longer. Others may experience:

- Vaginal yeast infections (severe or recurring)- Unexplained weight loss
- Persistent night sweats or fevers- Flu-like symptoms
- Diarrhea, fatigue- Headaches, mental disorders

 

What it is: The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), the cause of AIDS.

How many get it
An estimated 40,000 Americans are infected with HIV each year, most of whom were infected sexually, and an estimated 800,000 - 900,000 people in the U.S. are living with HIV/AIDS.

How it's spread
Through body fluids such as blood, semen, vaginal fluids and breast milk —in other words, during vaginal, oral or anal intercourse; by sharing contaminated needles; or via pregnancy or breast-feeding. During vaginal intercourse, the risks of becoming infected are higher for women than for men, because HIV is more easily transmitted from man to woman.

Treatment
There is no cure and AIDS is considered fatal. Several new antiviral medications can slow progression of the infection and delay the onset of AIDS symptoms. Early treatment can make a big difference.

Possible consequences
It is the deadliest STD of all and can weaken the body’s ability to fight disease, making someone with HIV vulnerable to certain cancers and infections such as pneumonia. Babies born to HIV-positive mothers may become infected with HIV if the mother is not receiving treatment, but treatment can reduce that rate significantly.

Getting Tested

To find a test center near your, call the CDC National HIV/AIDs Hotline:1-800-342-AIDS.

Kits for anonymous test from home are also available:
  HIV Home Standard Test - Result within 7 Days
  HIV Home Express Test - Result within 1-3 Days

Related Links

American Social Health Association
HIV - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 

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