AIDS and HIV Information

White Blood Cells And AIDS

In healthy individuals, white blood cells destroy and attack foreign organisms that attack your body
and cause disease.  This response is coordinated by the CD4 lymphocytes, which is the very cell the
HIV virus attacks and destroys.  Once the virus is inside your body, it begins reproducing itself and entering the bloodstream.  This cycle is repeated over and again until the body does not have
enough of the CD4 cells to fight infection. 

There are several ways a person can get infected with the HIV virus.  The main way is from sexual transmission.  You can be infected during vaginal, anal, or oral sex with an infected person.  They must transfer semen, blood, or vaginal secretions to their partner during intercourse.  You should know that HIV could be transferred to another person if they share sexual devices that are not washed, sanitized, or covered with a condom.  Small tears that can occur during intercourse allow the secretions to invade your body.  If you already have a sexually transferred disease, the risk for developing HIV is greater.  Contrary to what was previously thought, the spermicide nonoxynol-9 may make a woman more at risk because it irritates the lining of the vagina.

Before 1985 when hospitals and blood banks started testing blood supplies, there was a risk of
receiving the virus during a transfusion.  This could come from whole blood, fresh-frozen plasma and
platelets, or packed red cells.  Donor screening has improved so the risks of receiving the HIV virus
is reduced.

Did You Know? 

There are some ways you cannot get AIDS! Many of these myths persisted for years after scientists proved AIDS could not be transferred in these ways.

You cannot get AIDS from food or water. Again, it is only transferred by sexual contact or contact with body fluids of an individual who has HIV or AIDS. Yes, I know there was a myth flying around you could get AIDS by getting a mosquito bite, but again this is not true. Insects and animals cannot transfer the virus to a human. It is fine to adopt a pet from a person who has AIDS.

Giving blood cannot give you AIDS. The danger is in receiving tainted blood that has been donated by someone who has AIDS. Since 1985, this has been rare because all donated blood is run through tests to insure it is not infected with HIV. It is safe to give blood because all medical equipment used is sterilized and clean.

Last, you cannot get AIDS from having every-day contact with a person suffering from AIDS. Shaking hands, giving a hug, or being in the same room with an AIDS patient will not cause you to be infected.

Drug users are at high risk for being infected because they often share needles and other drug
paraphernalia.  Needles and syringes that have been contaminated with infected blood easily
transfer HIV.  If you already have hepatitis or engage in sexual related behavior that could put you
at higher risk you are more at risk.  You can try to reduce your risk of getting HIV by sterilizing
needles and syringes you are sharing with other drug users.  Household bleach is good for
decontaminating these items, or you may find a local program that will exchanged used needles for
sterile ones.

Accidental needle sticks is another way of getting the HIV virus.  If you are in the health care field,
you should take normal precautions when you are dealing with blood or other bodily fluids.  The
patient you are working with may not have symptoms or signs of HIV or AIDS, but we know they are
still infectious.  In other rare incidents, a person may receive the HIV virus during an organ or tissue
donor transplant.  Another risk is dental or surgical equipment that has not been properly sterilized.


AIDS Facts

Making sure your immune system is in top shape is the best way to prolong life with HIV and Aids.

A mother can infect her unborn child with the HIV virus during delivery or by breast-feeding the
baby.  The percentage of an HIV mother passing the virus to her unborn child is 40 percent higher in
poorer, underdeveloped countries.  If the mother has received treatment for HIV they reduce the
risk for transferring the disease to their unborn child.  When treatment for HIV is not available, a
doctor will sometimes deliver a baby by cesarean section to avoid passing the disease to the baby
through a vaginal delivery.



Better Your Health

HIV and AIDS Information and Resources
World Health Organization’s AIDS Staging
History of AIDS Looking Closer at the HIV Virus and AIDS
Living With HIV and AIDS
Know the Basics about AIDS
What are the Causes of AIDS
Homeopathic Ways of Treating the AIDS Patient
AIDS and the Nervous System
Options If You Are HIV Positive
The AIDS Patient and Opportunistic Infections
Advanced Signs of the HIV Virus
Tests For the HIV Virus
Other Health Concerns For The AIDS Patient
Prayer And Spirituality Used In The Treatment Of AIDS
How To Prepare For Your AIDS Medical Appointment
Aids and Viral Complications
Parasitic Infections Common to HIV Patients
AIDS Related Lymphoma
Treating AIDS Related Lymphoma
Serious Complications Associated With The HIV Virus
White Blood Cells And AIDS
Neurological Complications Associated with AIDS
What To Do If You Think You Might Have Aids
New Developments In AIDS Research
Coping With Your AIDS Diagnosis
The Symptoms of HIV Infection
Education Is The Key To Stopping the AIDS Epidemic
The Emphasis Must Be On Prevention for HIV and AIDS
AIDS Medical Terms
Take An Active Role In Your AIDS Medical Treatment
Reducing The HIV Risk Factors
Keeping A Positive Outlook For AIDS Patients
Acupuncture To Relieve The Side Effects Of AIDS Treatment
A Healthy Lifestyle Can Help You Treat AIDS
AIDS Patients Are In It For Life
Basic AIDS Information
Do You Need To Let Everyone Know That You Are HIV Positive
Important Vitamins and Minerals for a Person with HIV
Treatments Available for the Patient with HIV or AIDS
Ways You Cannot Get The HIV Virus
Treatments Available for the HIV Positive Woman
Understanding the Basics of HIV
The United States AIDS Policy
Treatment Guidelines for the AIDS Patient
Treating Serious Illnesses in The AIDS Patient
HIV Transmission
How The HIV Virus Progresses
The Fear the AIDS Stigma Brings
I Tested Positive For the HIV Virus: What Now
How To Tell Other People You Are HIV Positive
Facts And Myths Regarding HIV Transmission
Some Recent Advances In The Fight Against AIDS
Preventive Measures You Can Take Concerning HIV Infection
Dates In AIDS History
The Impact of AIDS On MSM, Men Who Have Sex With Men
Dealing With Malnutrition For The HIV Infected Person
Know Your Personal HIV Risk Factors
Keeping Yourself AIDS Free
Are Condoms Effective As Protection Against AIDS Transmission
Juicings Possible Benefits To The Person With HIV
What Are The Initial Signs and Symptoms of HIV Infections
Five Classes of Antiretroviral Drugs for Treating AIDS
Dietary Needs And The HIV Patient
Misconceptions About AIDS
Oh No I have AIDS
The Staggering AIDS Statistics
Exercise May Boost Your Imune System
Aids And The Toll On Families
Immunization Needs For Adult AIDS Patients
Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome: The Basic Facts
Is There A Silver Lining in The Cloud of AIDS
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