||[Mar. 10th, 2006|06:15 pm]
Indiana Youth Counsel
Signs and Symptoms|
The first thing that happens after infection is that many people develop a flu-like illness. This may be severe enough to look like glandular fever with swollen glands in the neck and armpits, tiredness, fever and night sweats. Some of those white cells are dying, virus is being released, and for the first time the body is working hard to make correct antibodies. At this stage the blood test will usually become positive as it picks up the tell-tale antibodies. This process of converting the blood from negative to positive is called `sero-conversion'. Most people do not realise what is happening, although when they later develop AIDS they look back and remember it clearly. Most people have produced antibodies in about twelve weeks.
Ways To Contract
All mouth to genital, or genital to genital activities involve some risk. Oral sex with a man, taking semen into one’s mouth or swallowing it, oral sex on a woman during menstruation, or anal intercourse with a condom, are considered low risk activities for contracting HIV. Unprotected anal or vaginal intercourse and sharing needles is considered a high risk situation for contracting HIV. Mutual masturbation, dry kissing, body rubbing, or rimming with a barrier are all considered no risk situations.
(from AIDS and HIV Questions)
In 2004, the estimated number of diagnoses of AIDS in the United States was 42,514. Adult and adolescent AIDS cases totaled 42,466 with 31,024 cases in males and 11,442 cases in females. Also in 2004, there were 48 AIDS cases estimated in children under age 13. The cumulative estimated number of diagnoses of AIDS through 2004 in the United States is 944,305. Adult and adolescent AIDS cases total 934,862 with 756,399 cases in males and 178,463 cases in females. Through the same time period, 9,443 AIDS cases were estimated in children under age 13.
(from CDC HIV/AIDS)
* See your doctor if you think you have HIV.
* Have safer sex. If you do choose to have a sexual relationship, make sure to practice safer sex. Having safer sex means using a male or female latex condom correctly and consistently, for every sexual act. No exceptions. This will also prevent you from getting other STDs. Click here for more information about other STDs. If you have questions about how to have safer sex, talk with a doctor.
* Use condoms. Be aware that condoms don't provide complete protection against HIV-the only sure protection is abstinence (not having sex of any kind). But using latex condoms the right way, all the time, can help protect you from HIV. The use of latex condoms and dental dams (thin piece of latex for oral sex) can help protect you from getting HIV.
* Use only water-based lubricants. If needed, use only water-based lubricants (like K-Y® jelly) with male condoms. Don't use oil-based lubricants, such as Vaseline. It may cause the condom to rip. But you can use oil-based lubricants with female condoms. Remember, protecting yourself from body fluids is the best way to decrease your chances of getting HIV!
* Don’t use nonoxynol-9. Some contraceptives, like condoms, have nonoxynol-9 (N-9). This may help prevent pregnancy, but will not help protect you from HIV. In fact, research has found that it can actually make it easier for a virus to get into your body.
* Know that not all types birth control will protect you from HIV. Other methods of birth control, like birth control pills, shots, implants, or diaphragms, will not protect you from HIV. If you use one of these methods, be sure to also use a latex condom or dental dam (used for oral sex) correctly every time you have sexual contact.
* Limit your number of sexual partners. Your risk of getting HIV goes up with the number of partners you have.
* Don't share needles. Don't share needles or drug injection equipment for illegal drugs like heroin and cocaine and legal drugs like steroids and vitamins. If you get a tattoo or body piercing, make sure the needles are sterile (clean).
* Talk with your partner. Learn how to talk with your sexual partner about HIV and using condoms. It's up to you to make sure you are protected. Remember, it's YOUR body! If you are living with HIV, be sure to tell your partner. To learn how to talk to your partner, go to www.women-alive.org/healthy_loving/involving.htm or www.plannedparenthood.org/bc/condom.htm.
* If you are pregnant, get tested for HIV. Get screened as soon as you think you may be pregnant. The longer you wait, the more harm you may do to your baby.
* Talk to your doctor about taking medicine if you're HIV+ and pregnant. If you are HIV positive and pregnant, you can lower the chances of giving HIV to your baby by taking a drug like AZT during pregnancy, labor, and delivery and having your baby take AZT for the first six weeks of life.
* See your doctor if you think you have HIV. Seek medical help right away.
* Don't douche. Douching removes some of the normal bacteria in the vagina that protects you from infection. This can increase your risk of getting HIV.
advert.org is an excellent source on information on the treatment of HIV.