HIV stands for Human Immuno-deficiency Virus. The Virus gradually damages the immune system, i.e. the ability to fight infections/diseases.
AIDS stands for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. It is the later stage of HIV infection and is sometimes referred to as ‘late-stage HIV’ or ‘advanced HIV disease. This condition is reached when a group of symptoms appear as the immune system becomes very weak.
ART drugs are available that help you to lead a healthy life and prevents reaching AIDS stage.
No, however with effective treatment the virus can be kept in check and its effect on the body can be slowed down.
Anti-Retroviral Treatment (ART) drugs are available which can prolong the life of an HIV positive person, thus enhancing the quality of life as well. Patients have to take lifelong treatment once initiated on ART. It is available free at all Government ART centres across India.
A. Unprotected sex with an HIV infected person-
You can get HIV if you have anal sex or vaginal sex with someone who has HIV without using protection (like condoms or medicine to treat or prevent HIV).
B. Transfusion of HIV infected blood or blood products
C. Sharing of needles contaminated with HIV infected blood
D. and from HIV infected mother to her baby – during pregnancy, during birth or after delivery through breast milk.
HIV is transmitted through semen, vaginal fluid, blood, and anal mucus. Unprotected sex is any kind of sex without a condom. Wearing a condom helps prevent passing bodily fluids to one another, thus reducing the risk of transmitting the infection (HIV and also STI infection.
Contact our Counsellor for further advice. Or connect with the nearest Government ICTC centre or ART centre. ART medicines slow down the effects of HIV in your body, which keeps you healthy and also lowers the chances of transmitting the virus to your partner. Taking ART medicines early and continuing with the treatment is important to protect the immune system. Treatment also involves taking care of your nutrition, emotional and mental health. All and ICTC and ART centre services include Counselling services which is a must for integrated HIV care and support.
STD stands for sexually transmitted disease, whereas STI means sexually transmitted infection. Essentially, the difference is between a disease and an infection.Sexually transmitted disease first begins as a sexually transmitted infection. Infection occurs when the sexually transmitted bacteria or virus first enters the body and begins multiplying. Once the sexually transmitted bacteria or viruses have entered the body, the infection may progress into a disease. Disease occurs when this foreign presence officially disrupts the body’s normal functions and processes.
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) caused by bacteria are generally easier to treat. Viral infections can be managed but not always cured. Treatment varies and may include medication (antibiotics) and practicing safe sex to avoid spreading the infection to others.
HIV is found only in body fluids. One cannot get HIV by shaking someone’s hand, kissing or giving them a hug (or by using the same toilet or towel). While HIV is found in saliva, sharing cups or utensils has never been shown to transmit HIV. Insect bites also do not help in transmitting HIV. HIV does not replicate or survive well in insects. HIV is a fragile virus that does not live outside the human body.
By getting tested. You can get HIV from unprotected sex, or using a dirty needle to inject drugs. If that is the case, there’s a chance exposure has taken place. Exposure doesn’t automatically mean infection, there are ways to lower chances of getting HIV. Getting tested is the first step towards safety.
Yes, staying healthy with HIV is possible. HIV can be managed by starting antiretroviral treatment (ART) and staying with the course of medications, testing and regular visits to your doctor as a routine. Supplementing this with a healthy diet, exercise, management of one's mental wellbeing with the help of a counsellor.
Viral load refers to the amount of HIV virus that is detected in the body. The HIV virus spreads in the body through replication (increase by creating copies of the virus).
Opportunistic infections (OIs) are easy to contract when the immune system is weak, which is the case with HIV when left untreated. The body is easily attacked by OIs caused by Bacteria, fungi and parasites.
Keeping the Viral loads suppressed is the aim of HIV treatment procedures. Viral load can be detected by blood tests which indicate the rate at which the virus is developing. CD4 count can also be tested which shows the rate at which the infection is being combated.
PrEP* and PEP* are medicines that help prevent HIV. Each type is used in a different situation:
PrEP stands for ‘Pre-exposure prophylaxis’. It is for people who don't already have HIV but are at a very high risk of getting it. PrEP is daily medicine that can reduce this risk. With PrEP, if you do get exposed to HIV, the medicine can stop HIV from taking hold and spreading throughout your body.
PEP stands for post-exposure prophylaxis. PEP is for people who have possibly been exposed to HIV. It is only for emergency situations. PEP must be started within 72 hours after a possible exposure to HIV.
PEP stands for post-exposure prophylaxis. PEP is available for occupational exposure by health care professionals and exposed persons in case of sexual assault.
NACO website: Occupational exposure
Occupational exposure refers to exposure to potential blood-borne infections (HIV, HBV and HCV) that may occur in healthcare settings during performance of job duties. Post exposure prophylaxis (PEP) refers to comprehensive medical management to minimise the risk of infection among Health Care Personnel (HCP) following potential exposure to blood-borne pathogens (HIV, HBV, HCV). This includes counselling, risk assessment, relevant laboratory investigations based on informed consent of the source and exposed person, first aid and depending on the risk assessment, the provision of short term (four weeks) of antiretroviral drugs, with follow up and support.
These medications are only available at Government ART centres, link ART centres (LAC), ICTC and Private clinics e.g. The Humsafar Trust (LAC)
These medications are only available at Government ICTC, Private clinics and Community led clinics e.g The Humsafar Trust.
Yes, the COVID-19 vaccine is absolutely safe and effective. The vaccine's purpose is to keep the COVID-19 virus in check. The vaccine does not interfere with ART medicines nor create any complications for people living with HIV.
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