Subtitle underneath the picture:
Knowledge is Power!
Share what you learn with your family and friends.
Everyday more people learn that they have been infected with HIV or Human Immunodeficiency Virus. Most people never thought they would be at risk of this infection. If you believe that HIV has nothing to do with you or you simply want to clarify some doubts, then this message is for you.
This is a good time for you to start thinking about you and your sexual health. By reading this information, you will be taking the first step in taking care of your sexual health. Talking about HIV and methods of prevention should not be taboo. Get Real. Learn about HIV/AIDS.
HIV is a serious problem in the United States. Latinas and African-American women are at a high risk of becoming infected with HIV.
Let’s start by understanding the definitions of HIV and AIDS.
V = Virus
There are many types of viruses that cause illnesses such as the flu.
I = Immunodeficiency
IMMUNO is the system that protects your body from illness. DEFICIENCY means that the system does not function well enough.
H = Human
There are many types of viruses, but HIV only affects humans. It can only be transmitted from one human to another.
HIV is the virus that destroys our immune system.
AIDS is the last stage of infection caused by HIV.
S = Syndrome
Group of symptoms or health problems typical of an illness.
I = Immune
The system that defends our body from illness.
D = Deficiency
Means that the system does not function well enough.
A = Acquired
Means to contract or to get. Someone or something has to infect you in order to pass it on.
Now that you know more about the topic, you should also know that HIV can be transmitted through the blood, the semen, by vaginal fluids or breast milk.
You can be at risk of infection if:
HIV is not transmitted by a simple kiss or a hug.
HIV and AIDS are not the same thing.
AIDS is the most serious phase of the HIV infection. A person suffers from AIDS when her body does not protect her from the infections caused by HIV. With good medical care, a person can live with HIV for a long time and may delay developing AIDS.
Talk about HIV with each partner before having sexual relations.
When you take an HIV test, your results will be confidential. Nobody has to know until you are ready to share that information. If your results are negative, talk to your doctor to know when you should have another test done.
HIV can also be passed from the mother to the baby during pregnancy, labor, or by breastfeeding. It is important that you get tested at the beginning of your pregnancy.
North Carolina law requires that:
If the test shows you have HIV, there is medicine to help you stay healthy and keep your baby healthy. So you should take the test the first time it is offered to you.
Talking among friends…
Assume your responsibility.
Decide how you want to protect yourself before having sexual relations and be firm about it. Only abstinence or the correct use of a condom can protect you.
Do not have sexual relations without protection.
Be sure that your partner uses the condom correctly.
Maintain a faithful sexual relation with a partner who is not infected.
Do not use needles or syringes that are not sterilized.
Do not loose control – you are more likely to make bad decisions if you use alcohol and drugs.
Avoid contact with another person’s blood.
Abstinence is the only way to be 100% safe
There are 3 main tests for HIV:
HIV does not discriminate.
If you have had sexual relations, get tested!
Do it for yourself, for your family and for your future.
For more information, call the NC Health Resource Line at 1-800-367-2229.