Overview on HIV/AIDS
HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus. It is a sexually-transmitted disease that has preyed on millions of people in several countries of the world. Every year, the number of HIV cases continues to rise, and it seems like the statistics will follow the same trend in the coming years unless people learn how to protect themselves from the virus.
AIDS stands for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. It is a fatal disease that has taken the lives of millions of people on earth. It is actually the final phase of HIV, and up to now, no cure has been discovered to treat AIDS.
Origin of HIV/AIDS
Scientists believe that the HIV came from a certain kind of chimpanzee that lived in West Africa. The animal is said to carry the chimpanzee version of HIV. When human beings hunted chimpanzees and came into close contact with the chimpanzees’ infected blood, the people acquired it and the virus slowly spread across Africa until it reaches the rest of the world.
HIV/AIDS can be transmitted through the exchange of infected bodily fluids. Semen, blood, pre-seminal fluid, vaginal fluids, rectal mucus, and breast milk are the usual carriers of HIV/AIDS.
Other bodily fluids such as saliva, tears, nasal fluid, vomit, or urine do not carry enough HIV to infect other people and spread unless they come into direct contact with your blood or bloodstream.
You may have come across several HIV and AIDS awareness programs the past years, and they all say that you have to practice safe sex in order to protect yourself from contracting the disease. Most cases of HIV and AIDS are results of engaging in unprotected sex, whether it is anal, vaginal, or oral.
When we say unprotected, it means that no condom or other protection was used. Condoms, etc are effective in blocking the transfer of infected bodily fluids from one person to another.
Regular HIV testing is important so that you are aware of how your sexual and reproductive health is. People who have an active sex life are advised to get tested for HIV/AIDS, along with their sex partners so that they can find the right treatment as soon as possible.
Also, it is important to avoid sharing needles and other paraphernalia with other people because you do not know if they have HIV/AIDS. Always be careful at whatever activities you decide to do in order to protect yourself from HIV/AIDS.