The Human Immunodeficiency Virus was discovered in the 1970s. Since then, more and more people have fallen victims to this very common sexually-transmitted disease.
Over the past several years, more than 10 million people have died while battling HIV. Moreover, around 300 million are reported to have been infected with HIV since its discovery. Because of these alarming data, it has become an important thing to get tested for HIV and observe proper practices when it comes to sex so as to avoid contracting and/or spreading the infection.
How is HIV transmitted?
The number one method of transmission of HIV is through the exchange of infected body fluids. This means that having sex with an HIV-infected person can infect you with HIV. So be careful when receiving bodily fluids such as semen, blood, vaginal secretions, or breast milk from HIV-positive people because these can surely get you infected with HIV in the blink of an eye.
Using infected or contaminated syringes or needles will also give you HIV so never use used syringes or needles or share them with other people.
Receiving blood from other people should be done carefully so as to avoid getting HIV-infected blood. Only receive blood from blood banks that are licensed and legitimate and have strict regulations when it comes to their blood donors.
Pregnant women can also pass the virus on to their child during childbirth and/or while breastfeeding so warn mothers about this so as not to put their babies at risk of HIV.
What should you do if you have HIV?
First, you should go see a doctor and get an HIV test so that you will know if you really have HIV. It is actually all right to get tested for HIV a few times just to be sure. You can also visit a health center or medical clinic that conducts HIV tests.
HIV diagnosis is extremely important so that you and your doctor will know how to deal with your situation. It will also serve as a reminder for you to not sleep around anymore or do something that might put other people around you at risk.
How is HIV treated?
Antiretroviral drugs are used for the treatment of HIV. Studies and research are being conducted to find more and better drugs to fight the infection.