World Aids Day

Despite the amount of awareness that has increased surrounding HIV/AIDS, there are still a lot of misconceptions. Olivia writes about the importance of getting screened and staying informed.

Olivia Duffy
December 20, 2019

HIV is short for Human Immunodeficiency Virus, a virus that attacks the white blood cells that fight of diseases/ infections and weakens the immune system. As of 2018, there are 37.9 million people in the world living with HIV.

AIDS is the Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome.  AIDS is a stage in HIV where the immune system is at its lowest and makes an individual susceptible to deathly illnesses. A person living with HIV can get AIDS but a person who is HIV negative cannot.

There are only a few ways a person can get HIV:

  • blood
  • Rectal fluids
  • vaginal fluids
  • breast milk
  • pre-seminal fluids

You cannot get HIV through saliva. If you believe you are at continual risk for getting HIV, consider taking Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis, better known as PrEP. PrEP is a medication taken in the form of a pill to prevent HIV from entering your body. If you believe you have been exposed to HIV recently, consider taking PEP (Post-Exposure Prophylaxis); this will help prevent HIV if you were exposed through any of the way HIV can get through. Make sure to stay safe: wear condoms and get tested.

It’s important for you to get tested; not only for yourself but for others too.