What is AIDS?
A disease caused by a virus called HIV-Human immuno-deficiency virus. It destroys body’s immune system, leaving victims unable to defend themselves against infections.
How is HIV transmitted?
Sexual Intercourse- HIV is found in semen and vaginal fluids, sexual transmission can occur.
Blood and blood products-Transfusion of HIV contaminated blood can infect the recipient.
Shared Needles-Users of drugs are a major risk group because many of them share needles and syringes without proper cleaning. Any unsterilised skin-piercing instrument can spread the disease from person to another
Mother to child- An infected mother can spread the disease to her child during pregnancy, during birth or shortly after birth. The virus may transmit through breast feeding.
How is HIV not transmitted?
Not spread through casual contact in school, on the job or at the market. Not spread by toilet seats, hugs, casual kissing, handshakes, eating from the same dish or drinking from the same glass. Not spread by mosquitoes or other insects.
How can you protect yourself?
Avoid multiple sexual partners
Use condoms during intercourse
Do not share items that could become contaminated with blood: razors, toothbrushes or any skin piercing instrument.
If you suspect you are infected….
Seek medical evaluation
Inform your partner and always use condoms during sexual intercourse
Do not donate blood, sperm or body organs
Women of child bearing age consult your doctor before pregnancy because it can be dangerous for the infected mother and there is a fifty-fifty chance that her baby will be born infected.