AIDS occur as a result of infection by Human Immunodeficiency Virus resulting in chronic life threatening condition. It interferes with the bodily functions causing illness. It is not curable but yes! There are medications to keep it in control. If a person knows how it is transmitted, the disease is preventable. HIV can be transmitted through Blood, Semen, Vaginal secretions, Breast milk, Lining of the anus as well as Menstrual blood. It is not transmitted through Air, Water, and Mouth to mouth resuscitation, Swimming pools, Toilets, Towels, Spitting, Cutlery, Healthy unbroken skin, bath, Hugging or hand contact and Insect bites.
SEX: Oral, vaginal or anal sex is a source of transmission of the virus because of contact with blood, semen or vaginal secretions. Smalls tears in the rectum or vagina or sores in the mouth are the sources of entry for the virus. A person doing oral sex can get the virus if the blood or semen contacts mouth.
NEEDLES: HIV infected blood-contaminated needles and syringes, when comes in contact with the individual, transfers the virus. Sharing drugs and needles also predispose an individual to this disease
MOTHER TO CHILD: A mother may pass this disease to her child if she is infected with the virus during pregnancy, while delivery or during breastfeeding. It is prevented by treating the disease during pregnancy only.
TRANSFUSIONS: Blood transfusions have high chances of transmitting HIV. To reduce the risk, blood should always be scanned before transfusion.
DIRECTLY THROUGH BODILY FLUIDS: The main pathways for HIV transmission are through the lining of vagina, anus, eyes or mouth. Saliva, urine, and sweat contain a virus, but the amount is too low for the disease to establish.
RISK FACTORS: Initially when the disease was discovered, it was common among homosexual men but now it’s seen in heterosexuals as well. You have more risk towards the disease if You have other sexually transmitted disease and sores in your genital area.
- Habit of sharing needles and syringes, contaminating yourself with other person’s blood
- You did not undergo the process of circumcision
- You did sex without condoms. The risk increases if you have anal sex or multiple partners.
PREVENTION: The disease is not curable but it is definitely preventable. Proper education, information, and behaviors to avoid contact with the infected fluids can help you to prevent this disease. Following are some measures you can take to reduce the risk:
If you are HIV positive, you should inform your previous, current or future partner. Your past partners should get a checkup done to ensure if they are affected by the virus, as they may transfer it to others as well without knowing.
Always use a condom whether for vaginal or anal sex. Women should use it too. Avoid oil based lubricants.
Always use a clean sterile needle.
Males should always undergo circumcision.
Use of Truvada reduces the risk of transmission of HIV.