HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus. It is a virus that is responsible for AIDS. When HIV enters the body, it attacks the immune system and causes several kinds of complications.
There are a number of ways to contract HIV, but casual contact is not one of them. I remember some time ago when many people believed that HIV can be transmitted by hugging, kissing, or shaking the hand of an HIV-infected person. I am glad that that belief has been debunked and I hope more people will become more and better informed.
HIV is a life-threatening disease that is feared by everyone. It has been known to destroy a person’s health and take a lot of lives. If left undiagnosed and untreated, it will progress to AIDS, which is a disease that has no known cure up to now.
Modes of HIV transmission
The best way to prevent HIV is to know how it is transmitted so that you can stay away from these modes of transmissions of HIV. Here they are:
Sexual contact is the most common way to transmit HIV. Once an exchange of bodily fluids between an HIV-infected person and a non-HIV-infected person, the latter will contract the virus and get sick with HIV as well.
HIV can be passed on from one person to another via anal, oral, or vaginal sex. It can also get into another person’s body through sores, cuts, open wounds, or small tears exchanged during sexual intercourse.
So how can you not get HIV when having sex? Always use protection. Use condoms. Also, avoid having multiple sexual partners. It will also be great if you could abstain. You should get tested for HIV regularly, as well as your partner if you have an active sex life.
Sharing of needles and other paraphernalia used for injection is also a way to contract HIV. Never ever try to use these things already used by an HIV-infected person because the virus will definitely be able to enter your bloodstream and cause harm to your immune system and other body parts.
HIV can also be passed on from a pregnant mother who is infected with HIV to her child. Pregnant women are encouraged to undergo an HIV test so that if they test positive for HIV, they can start antiretroviral drug therapy right away and not pass the virus on to her unborn.