HIV is the abbreviation for the disease Human Immunodeficiency Virus. It is an infection that attacks the immune system of a human being. A person who contracts HIB suffers from various symptoms, and becomes at very high risk of acquiring other diseases and infections. If left undiagnosed, HIV may even lead to death.
The history of HIV dates back to the early 1980s when a group of homosexual men where found inflicted with the virus. Back then, the virus was referred to as Gay-Related Immune Deficiency or GRID because everybody thought the disease only affected the gays or homosexuals. This belief was soon debunked when HIV cases in straight males and females were also documented.
To better understand what HIV really is, it is important to know how it is transmitted from one person to another. Here are some of the answers to the question, “How can I get HIV?”
HIV belongs to the family of sexually-transmitted diseases. This means that it is a disease that can be transmitted through sexual contact. So when a person who is infected with the virus has vaginal, anal, or oral sex with another person, the former may pass the virus on to the latter. This is the most common way of spreading the HIV.
HIV can also spread through the transmission of infected blood. Before undergoing any kind of blood transfusion, make sure that the blood that is going to be entering your body is clear from HIV or other diseases. It is important that you go to a reputable hospital or medical clinic if you are going to need blood. Furthermore, avoid using used syringes and needles because these may have HIV or other viruses and bacteria in them. Because of all these, drug addicts who inject drugs into their bodies are more likely to get infected with HIV.
HIV can also be transmitted from a pregnant mother to her child, either while the child is still in the womb or during birth or breast-feeding. It is advised that HIV-positive pregnant mothers take medication in order to minimize the chances of passing the virus on their babies.
HIV is prevalent in our society today, and it has already affected millions of people around the world. It is necessary that people are aware of how this infection is transmitted so that they can do something to not acquire it. HIV tests are also important in order to know whether a person has HIV or not. Testing for HIV helps a potential HIV patient in terms of getting treatment as soon as he or she has been diagnosed positive.