Photo credit: www.msh.orgOne of the most dreaded sexually transmitted diseases is the Human Immunodeficiency Virus, or more popularly known as HIV. HIV has infected millions of people around the world, and the number of victims continuously increases every year.

 

HIV is not the same as AIDS, or the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. AIDS is a condition that stems from untreated HIV. This is one of the biggest things that many people are confused of.

 

Transmission of HIV

 

The virus is primarily transferred from one person to another through sexual contact. People who engage in unprotected sex with an HIV positive individual, even just once, are very susceptible in acquiring HIV. The fluids involved during sexual intercourse are the perfect mediums of transmission for this disease.

 

Another way to transmit HIV is through blood. If you get a blood transfusion and the blood used is HIV positive, the virus will automatically find its way to your internal systems. The use of needles and other tools already utilized by a patient will also lead to the transmission of the virus to you.

 

Furthermore, even the unborn and infants can get the disease through their mothers. A pregnant woman who is suffering from HIV can pass the virus to the baby in her womb through the placenta during the exchange of food and minerals. A mother infected with the virus will also transmit the virus once she breastfeeds her newborn.

 

Dealing With HIV

Once you suspect that you have acquired HIV, you should start asking yourself where to get tested. The infection has several symptoms that you should watch out for in order for you to determine whether it is time to go see a doctor. Medical professionals can help test HIV in patients, and they are there to educate and inform.

 

There are many HIV clinics in all parts of the globe today so that people can have easy access to them. An HIV test employs the HIV antibody detection method to find evidences of HIV antibodies in the bloodstream. You see, once the immune system notices a foreign organism that threatens to cause harm inside the body, it reacts by sending out antibodies to fight these strangers.

 

A sufficient number of HIV antibodies is what the test needs for it to know if a patient is HIV positive or not. It may take several days to a few weeks for the results to become available. Whatever the result may be, one should abstain from having sex and practice discipline until he or she is completely cleared of the virus.

 

The complications that arise from being infected with HIV are plenty, so we should learn to practice safe sex all the time. Getting an HIV exam regularly will also help in determining where our health stands. Be aware of its harmful effects and help spread the word about how to prevent it and stop its spread.