Saturday, August 11, 2012

End: Helpful Facts About HIV/AIDS

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Facts about the manageability of caring for those with HIV:
  • HIV is now considered a chronic illness, rather than a terminal disease.
  • HIV+ individuals who are receiving treatment can live INDEFINITELY without developing AIDS.
  • HIV+ individuals who have access to treatment can live close to normal life expectancies.
  • HIV+ children can grow up, get married, have babies, etc. 
  • With prevention medication, HIV+ mothers do not have to pass the virus along to their biological children.  (However, one article said that they should not breastfeed. -- if this is no longer the case, please correct me!)
    • The HIV specialist we met with has actually testified in court that it was medical malpractice when an HIV+ mother in the U.S. did pass HIV along to her baby.  She did not know she was HIV+, but it is now U.S. law that all OBGYN's test all pregnant mothers' blood for HIV, because when HIV+ mothers are medicated, transmission to the baby should never happen.
  • With treatment, HIV levels can become so low that they are undetectable.
  • HIV will NOT be passed to family members, unless there is direct blood to blood contact, one of the other few ways HIV can be spread.
  • HIV can ONLY be spread through:
    • pregnancy,
    • birth,
    • breast milk,
    • sexual activity that mixes blood, semen, and/or vaginal fluid, and through
    • blood to blood contact.
  • HIV can NOT be spread through:
    • sharing food, drinks, utensils, or dishes,
    • changing diapers, or touching
      • urine
      • stool
      • mucous
      • tears
      • sweat
    • sharing a swimming pool or bath tub
    • mosquito bites
    • sharing classroom or office space
    • contact sports, fighting, playing
  • Treatment for HIV+ children usually requires pills twice a day.  It also requires 4 appointments with an infectious disease specialist each year.

Facts about how deadly HIV/AIDS is worldwide, where proper treatment is not usually available:
  • There is no vaccine and no cure for HIV/AIDS.
  • Without treatment, HIV becomes AIDS and leads to certain death.
  • 40.3 million live with HIV/AIDS worldwide. 
    • The overwhelming majority of these people live in resource-poor countries.
    • 1/3 of the are between the ages of 15-24
  • As of December 2002, over half a million people in the U.S. alone had died of AIDS. 
  • AIDS has killed more than 25 million people since 1981- more than four Jewish holocausts or 22 Rwandan genocides
  • In 2005, every MINUTE there were 10 newly infected people worldwide.
  • Africa has 12 million AIDS orphans
  • 43% of those infected with HIV are women.
Some links for you:

This concludes my series on HIV.  Now you know.  GO DO SOMETHING!

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