The Infamous “AIDS”! Whats HIV Treatments?
You probably have heard of a certain singer turning gay and dying of AIDS, which is caused by the HIV virus. Yes we are talking about Freddie Mercury. But just what is AIDS and how does it kill people?
HIV and AIDS
AIDS, the abbreviated form of Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome, is one of the many sexually transmitted diseases, or STDs for short, that strike fear into people’s hearts, especially teenagers who have just started having sex. This disease is caused by the HIV virus. The common misconception is that HIV and AIDS are the same thing. AIDS, is the most advanced stage of an HIV infection. To keep it reader friendly we are gonna omit the scientific terminology and just say that this nasty virus destroys a type of your lymphocytes, which are very important cells for your immune system. This results in your body being completely vulnerable to a lot of infections and cancers. As you have probably guessed by now, this is very, very bad. There are a plethora of STDs that are out to get you, HIV probably being the most well known and notorious one.
How to NOT get HIV
So, since we have learned a bit about HIV, let’s get to the topic of avoiding it. AVOID SEX? Yes, that can be a safe yet extreme measure but you should know that some STDs don’t necessarily restrict themselves to be transmitted only by sexual intercourse. Not having sex at all would drastically reduce your chance of getting HIV, like to 0% basically, unless you work in a hospital or are just very VERY unlucky, but you don’t necessarily have to deprive yourself of one of the grandest pleasures of the world to avoid HIV.
You might be saying to yourself “Oh yeah, I’ll just avoid vaginal sex and I am golden.”, but that isn’t how it really works. This tricky virus can be transmitted by blood, semen, rectal fluids, vaginal fluids and even breast milk. Yep, the most innocent of all the bodily fluids even, can transmit the virus. It is not transmitted through saliva, but any open wounds in the mouth might be prime candidate for blood to ooze out. Since complete isolation from all human contact is mostly improbable there must be another way right? Luckily yes. Firstly, other types of transmissions besides sexual intercourse are very rare, thanks to education and advancements in medicine. Your odds of getting infected by HIV is astronomically low without having sex. That is unless you enjoy sharing needles with sketchy drug addicts. Let’s get down to the most common way it gets around. Sexual intercourse.
Since it is transmitted through vaginal, rectal and seminal fluids, you can protect yourself by wearing a condom. In developed countries for example sex workers are required to take frequent blood tests in order to confirm they are free of any such STDs, which reduces the rate of infections even more. Condoms are a lot more efficient than you might think at preventing infections. Despite not being transmitted through saliva, as mentioned above, it is transmitted through vaginal, seminal and rectal fluids. So sticking just to oral sex or anal sex is also not a preventative measure, albeit your chances of getting it via oral sex or anal sex are a lot lower.
As with all thing, knowledge is paramount. There are many variables which affects your chances of avoiding the disease. Knowing your partner is usually a great help but that might not always be the case. Your best bet is to stick to condoms to protect yourself. But as always, no measure of perfect. Condoms can break or come off. And your luck in getting laid might be your undoing. Or will it?
Thanks to advancements in modern medicine, HIV no longer is a death sentence. Disregarding the medical terminology, with successful treatment both the risks and more transmissions are greatly reduced. So if you are under risk your best bet would be to seek medical help immediately. A blood test improves your chance of survival dramatically. You should get one frequently anyways. All in all, prevention is always better than treatment. Staying safe that one time just might save you in the long run.