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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Tell 2 TODAY!

World AIDS day is today. In an effort so raise awareness and combat the sigma associated with HIV/AIDS I'm participating in the Tell 2 Campaign. The goal is for every person to share the facts about HIV/AIDS with just two people. Together we can make an impact and increase awareness about a virus which is ravaging the globe. Together we can eradicate the stigma which burdens so many suffering with the disease.

Please join me by dedicating your status on Facebook today or a post on your blog to this topic. Then, tell at least two people about it. Ask them to do the same.

Here are some facts about HIV.

HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus, and it is the virus that if left untreated, can progress and develop into AIDS. AIDS stands for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, and occurs when HIV advances and weakens the immune system to the point that the body can no longer fight off illness and infections.

There is currently no cure for HIV or AIDS, however, the medications that are now available to treat HIV are highly effective. HIV is now considered a chronic yet manageable condition in the United States and in other countries where treatment is readily available. Children who receive the proper treatment and medications are expected to live well into adulthood and have close to normal or normal life expectancies. Many people are now living with HIV for indefinite periods of time without developing AIDS.

HIV is not spread through hugging, kissing, shaking hands, sharing toys, sneezing, coughing, sharing food, sharing drinks, changing diapers, bathing, swimming or any other causal way.

It has been proven that HIV and AIDS can only be spread through sexual contact, birth, breast milk and blood to blood contact (such as sharing needles). HIV is not transmitted through urine, stool, snot, tears or sweat.

The lower the amount of HIV virus in a persons body the lower their risk of transmitting their virus to another. Think in terms of HIV being like concentrated orange juice. If you mixed orange concentrate according to the directions into a pitcher of water you would have more parts orange concentrate to water as compared to mixing that same can of concentrate into a swimming pool. Your odds of running into an orange concentrate in the swimming pool are greatly decreased as compared to in the pitcher. People who are managing the virus effectively with medications arel ike the swimming pool while those who do not receive treatment continue to see the concentration of virus in their bodies rise.

Medications can reduce the amount of HIV in a person's system to the point that the HIV is considered "undetectable", meaning there is only a very tiny amount of virus in the person's system. This does not mean the person is cured, it simply means the virus has been managed effectively through medication so that the amount present in the body cannot be detected by tests.

It is always recommended and wise to use universal precautions when dealing with blood spills.

It is also helpful to know that the risk of transmitting HIV through a bloody nose or skinned knee or something of the sort is minimal. This is especially true for a person that is on HIV medications.


Heather said...

Thanks, Jen, for all of your help!