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Girls & Guys
Something to make you think (AIDS) (karma: 15)
By HannahMariemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 1466, member since Sat Oct 16, 2004
On Thu Dec 01, 2005 08:36 PM
Moved to Girls Only PG-13 by Theresa (28613) on 2005-12-01 22:30:21 moved to PG-13
Moved to Girls & Guys by hylndlas (107168) on 2005-12-02 16:58:02 Moved so that all can see this.....
Made sticky by Theresa (28613) on 2005-12-02 21:33:01

I have a couple of stories about AIDS (acquired immuno-deficiency syndrome) that hit very close to home. I wanted to share my stories with everyone not only as a vent, but to grab everyone's attention about AIDS, and that it can happen if not careful. With out further due, my stories.

First, my aunt had unprotected sex at the age of sixteen. Neither her or her partner had been tested. Turns out he had AIDS to begin with, but now not only he had AIDS, but so did my aunt. She battled her disease without much of a problem for so many years. However, when she started getting seriously ill from this disease she left her family (My uncle, and two cousins), and was nowhere to be seen. Until the day we got the phone call that she had passed away from AIDS. She was only 35, with so much life left to live.

Second, my uncle has AIDS. his bones are seriously deteriorating from this disease, and he can't come visit where I live because it's too cold and he could not survive if he got pneumonia. At this point in time he is doing fine, and living life as much as possible.

Since I feel very stongly about AIDS prevention I have some information here about AIDS and how to protect yourself.
________________________________________________________

What is AIDS? What causes AIDS?

AIDS stands for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome.

An HIV-positive person receives an AIDS diagnosis after developing one of the CDC-defined AIDS indicator illnesses. An HIV-positive person can also receive an AIDS diagnosis on the basis of certain blood tests (CD4 counts) and may not have experienced any serious illnesses. A positive HIV test does not mean that a person has AIDS. A diagnosis of AIDS is made by a physician according to the CDC AIDS Case Definition.

Over time, infection with HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) can weaken the immune system to the point that the system has difficulty fighting off certain infections. These types of infections are known as opportunistic infections. Many of the infections that cause problems or that can be life-threatening for people with AIDS are usually controlled by a healthy immune system. The immune system of a person with AIDS has weakened to the point that medical intervention may be necessary to prevent or treat serious illness.

What's the connection between HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases?

Having a sexually transmitted disease (STD) can increase a person's risk of becoming infected with HIV, whether or not that STD causes lesions or breaks in the skin. If the STD infection causes irritation of the skin, breaks or sores may make it easier for HIV to enter the body during sexual contact. Even an STD that causes no breaks or sores can stimulate an immune response in the genital area that can make HIV transmission more likely.

How can I tell if I'm infected with HIV?

The only way to determine whether you are infected is to be tested for HIV infection. You can't rely on symptoms to know whether or not you are infected with HIV. Many people who are infected with HIV don't have any symptoms at all for many years.

Similarly, you can't rely on symptoms to establish that a person has AIDS. The symptoms associated with AIDS are similar to the symptoms of many other diseases. AIDS is a diagnosis made by a doctor based on specific criteria established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

How is HIV Transmitted?

HIV can be transmitted from an infected person to another through:

* Blood (including menstrual blood)
* Semen
* Vaginal secretions
* Breast milk

Blood contains the highest concentration of the virus, followed by semen, followed by vaginal fluids, followed by breast milk.

* Activities That Allow HIV Transmission

* Unprotected sexual contact
* Direct blood contact, including injection drug needles, blood transfusions, accidents in health care settings or certain blood products
* Mother to baby (before or during birth, or through breast milk)

Sexual intercourse (vaginal and anal): In the genitals and the rectum, HIV may infect the mucous membranes directly or enter through cuts and sores caused during intercourse (many of which would be unnoticed). Vaginal and anal intercourse is a high-risk practice.

Oral sex: There are documented cases where HIV was transmitted orally, so we can't say that getting HIV-infected semen, vaginal fluid or blood in the mouth is without risk. However, oral sex is considered a low risk practice.

Sharing injection needles: An injection needle can pass blood directly from one person's bloodstream to another. It is a very efficient way to transmit a blood-borne virus. Sharing needles is considered a high-risk practice.

Mother to Child: It is possible for an HIV-infected mother to pass the virus directly before or during birth, or through breast milk. Breast milk contains HIV, and while small amounts of breast milk do not pose significant threat of infection to adults, it is a viable means of transmission to infants.

How effective are latex condoms in preventing HIV?

Several studies have demonstrated that latex condoms are highly effective in preventing HIV transmission when used correctly and consistently. These studies looked at uninfected people considered to be at very high risk of infection because they were involved in sexual relationships with HIV-infected persons. The studies found that even with repeated sexual contact, 98-100% of those people who used latex condoms consistently and correctly remained uninfected.

Where can I get tested for HIV infection?

Many places provide testing for HIV infection. It is important to seek testing at a location that also provides counseling about HIV and AIDS. Common locations include local health departments, private physicians, hospitals, and test sites specifically set up for HIV testing.

In addition to traditional testing procedures, there are other options. For those who prefer not to have blood drawn, many sites now offer oral fluids testing, which involves testing of a sample of fluid taken from inside the mouth with a cotton swab. The OraSure Test is currently only available through a health care provider or clinic. Some clinics may also offer urine testing as an alternative to blood tests.

There is also testing which can be performed anonymously in the privacy of your own home. There are many home tests advertised through the internet, but only the Home Access Test has been approved by the FDA. The Home Access test kit can be found at most local pharmacies. The testing procedure involves pricking your finger with a special device, placing a drop of blood on a specially treated card, then mailing the card in for testing. You are given an identification number to use when you phone in for the test results-- 3 days or 2 weeks later, depending on the test kit purchased.

If I test positive, does that mean that I will die?

Testing positive for HIV means that you now carry the virus that causes AIDS. It does not mean that you have AIDS, nor does it mean that you will die. Although there is no cure for AIDS, many opportunistic infections that make people sick can be controlled, prevented or eliminated. This has substantially increased the longevity and quality of life for people living with AIDS.


I'm done now. :D
The above information was provided by: www.aids.org
This website has many more facts about AIDS that are very informative, check it out!

27 Replies to Something to make you think (AIDS)

re: Something to make you think (AIDS)
By pokomember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 9026, member since Sun Oct 31, 2004
On Thu Dec 01, 2005 10:04 PM
Thanks for this.

Its a big misconception that Aids are only passed through Men, or homosexuals.

Remember, aids can hit any person, any age at any time. Aids doesn't discriminate. It'll got for anyone.

This is great reminder to frequently get checked for all STD's, including HIV/AIDS, and use protection during sex.
re: Something to make you think (AIDS)
By Angelinamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 10300, member since Mon May 06, 2002
On Fri Dec 02, 2005 07:57 AM
Great post.

Thanks for sharing your stories, it hits home when someone close to you experiences something as seroius as AIDS.

Always use a condom!
re: Something to make you think (AIDS) (karma: 1)
By JoyNoellePremium member Comments: 3864, member since Fri Feb 04, 2005
On Fri Dec 02, 2005 10:12 AM
No glove, no love!
re: Something to make you think (AIDS)
By Angelinamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 10300, member since Mon May 06, 2002
On Fri Dec 02, 2005 12:25 PM
^ Heh, I like it!
re: Something to make you think (AIDS)
By LoopyLoismember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 240, member since Thu Nov 10, 2005
On Fri Dec 02, 2005 04:25 PM
That is such a fantastic post. It deserves to be made a sticky.
re: Something to make you think (AIDS)
By Rosiemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 4094, member since Wed Jun 30, 2004
On Fri Dec 02, 2005 05:05 PM
Awesome post. Thanks so much for sharing this information with us. You're so much better at presenting this information than my health teacher is, lol. :D
re: Something to make you think (AIDS)
By Shnaynaymember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 9967, member since Sat Aug 03, 2002
On Fri Dec 02, 2005 06:59 PM
Thank you so much for sharing this with us.

I was watching a special on MTV yesterday (World AIDS Day), and there was a kid who was filmed, telling his close girl friend that he was HIV positive. Both he and the friend looked at life much differently after recieving such a shock - neither take life for granted anymore, and although that's a great way to be, it's sad that such a young kid had to be infected with a terrible disease to realize that life is special, and should be cherished.

Also, at the end of the episode, it said that <b>NINE PEOPLE WILL BE INFECTED WITH HIV EVERY MINUTE IN 2006</b>, but that they're hoping to have a vaccine for HIV/AIDS by the year 2015.


Also, it mentioned that although HIV/AIDS does not discriminate, homosexual men are still more likely to contract the disease than heterosexuals. Why is that? Is it because anal sex is an easier way to transmit STDs than vaginal intercourse?

To top that off, more than 50% of the people infected with HIV/AIDS are black. Is that just a coincidance?

peace out
sh'naynay
re: Something to make you think (AIDS) (karma: 1)
By Meganmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 12956, member since Wed Mar 17, 2004
On Sat Dec 03, 2005 11:39 AM
It says in one of my textbooks that 80% of AIDS deaths occur in Africa, and that's one of the most tragic statistics of all.
re: Something to make you think (AIDS)
By pokomember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 9026, member since Sun Oct 31, 2004
On Sat Dec 03, 2005 03:01 PM
Shnay: Generally its because of the way African American's immune system is. As an example, when the Europeans first arrived in Australia, they had never been introduced to ANY for of virus etc so when one of them was infected with say a cold, they would get it really bad.

Even today, the Aboriginal Australian age of death is around 50-60, while European Australians is ranged from 75-90. I *think* (don't take my word for it, I'm just assuming from what I have learny in my Aboriginal Studies classes) its because of their past, and the immune system.

The reason why it is so high in Africa is because there is no protection, and rape happens a fair bit in smaller countries.
re: Something to make you think (AIDS)
By Shnaynaymember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 9967, member since Sat Aug 03, 2002
On Mon Dec 05, 2005 10:07 AM
50-60 death age? That's insane!!

But, thanks for clearing things up.

peace out
sh'naynay
re: Something to make you think (AIDS)
By selkiemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 735, member since Thu Dec 18, 2003
On Sat Dec 17, 2005 01:16 AM
My dear Liss, there are some other factors apart from disease introduced my foreigners when it comes to the Aboriginal and TSI people which is perhaps even sadder than AIDS. Mainly alcohol, drug and physical abuse affect the health levels of the Indiginous people of Australia and the Strait. Alcohol abuse being a huge part and, I'm not solid on this, but many Aboriginal women refuse to go to the doctor for various illnesses for many reasons ranging from fears of racism to anything else. Some just want nothing to do with the system.


Similar problems exist in Africa. One of my Zim friends wants to be a doctor, she lives in the capital of Zim and she says the attitudes and education when it comes to health are just dismal. Some people flat out refuse to listen and when they get AIDS, rather than seeking modern medicine for advice they go to the tribal doctors who just don't have thr right remedies.


Another note I wanted to make about AIDS, it's not actually the AIDS that kills you, it's the infections you get that do you in. AIDS itself just destroys your ability to defend your body against infections. Literally according to the latest theories on how it attacks lymphocytes (white blood cells).
re: Something to make you think (AIDS)
By lee_britt Comments: 2071, member since Mon Aug 29, 2005
On Sun Jan 01, 2006 01:30 PM
The reason for AIDS being more commonly spread amongst homosexual men: I'm going to put this as delicately as possibly. man-on-man intercourse has less lubrication and can often end up with open wounds resulting from it. AIDS is very easily spread from blood to an open wound, much more easily than from any other bodily fluid.
re: Something to make you think (AIDS)
By hnygurl423 Comments: 45, member since Sat Jan 14, 2006
On Sat Jan 14, 2006 11:57 AM
I really am glad someone said something on this subject. I once was worried I had contracted aids, and promptly got tested and did not have it. THankfully. A few of my family members have died from it already, so i am glad you made others aware of the dangers.
re: Something to make you think (AIDS)
By BuTt_Er_FlYdAnCe Comments: 32, member since Tue Jan 17, 2006
On Thu Jan 26, 2006 11:16 PM
the reason that the rate in Africa is so high is because the men their want to have many children so it is spreading very Quickly to women and when their children are born some of them are born with the HIV virus that is what i have learned from teachers and the discovery channel very late at night

BuTt_Er_FlYdAnCe :)
re: Something to make you think (AIDS)
By HannahMariemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 1466, member since Sat Oct 16, 2004
On Sun Mar 12, 2006 03:48 PM
I want to add an interesting and very scary fact that I have recently discovered.
A highschool in my state was doing a blood drive, 50 kids participated in the blood drive. Turns out 12 of the kids were HIV positive. 12! And they didn't even know it.
Please, don't have sex with someone until they have been tested. And always practice safe sex!
re: Something to make you think (AIDS)
By Dancing_turtle Comments: 24, member since Sat Apr 01, 2006
On Sat Apr 01, 2006 10:00 PM
This is a great post and many peole need to be educated about this because well i am ashamed to say this but it was very recently i had an std scare and i even had protected sex but it was a bout a week after the "contact" with this person that rumors were started they had aids, well i immediately started to freak out and wonder omg do i have iot now from being with him even if it is protected it doesnt always mean you ARE protected condoms are only like 99.8% affective so i waited kept thining oh this will never happen to me i will never get aids so eventually the rumor got cleared up and turns out this guy didnt hae it but i still went to the cllinicn in my home town and got tested thankfully i was negitive but it was still scary and now i have begun to think through my decisions on sex and to all of you who have not had sex please i dont want to preach to you but becareful who you chosse to have intercourse with please for your own health
re: Something to make you think (AIDS)
By GyMnAsT_15 Comments: 42, member since Sun Mar 05, 2006
On Tue Apr 04, 2006 12:19 PM
Thanks this is really good post!
I am really sorry to hear about your family members but thanks for sharing your stories makes people aware the devasting effects AIDS can have!
Too many people think that AIDS only happens to other people and that they wont get it because they love and trust their boyfriend, there to young, its their first time etc.
But remember it can and it might happen to you so be careful it doesn't take long to get your boyfriend to put on a condom and if you don't use protection you may spend your entire life regretting it
Remember AIDS can affect anyone!!
Thanks for this post =)
Katie xox
re: Something to make you think (AIDS)
By Lizzi Comments: 75, member since Sun May 14, 2006
On Sun May 14, 2006 01:49 PM
Great Post!
I'm sure a lot of people learned about AIDS
I'm so sorry about your aunt and uncle!
Lizzi
re: Something to make you think (AIDS)
By DejaDerangemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 6188, member since Fri Mar 26, 2004
On Mon May 15, 2006 09:08 PM
Random AIDS fact:


It was used as a form of continuing genocide in Rwanda. (Infected men rape thousands and thousands of women, who don't know about it... many others killed, as well...) Horrible.



M
re: Something to make you think (AIDS)
By Lima22member has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 174, member since Sat Sep 30, 2006
On Fri Jul 06, 2007 01:28 PM
I know this is old, but since it's sticky anyways, why not reply?

Living in Washington DC, AIDS is a very real thing to me. One out of every 20 people here is HIV positive. That's 5%, people. ONe of my parents' good friends was ostracized because of his disease (A red x was painted on the door of his shop. Sickening, isn't it?) and he eventually died before I got the chance to meet him.

Anyways, people need to know that the rate of HIV infections in the homosexual community has gone way down. Yay, right? They're taking steps to protect themselves. What's up, though, is the rate of HIV infections in intravenous drug users.

So just DON'T DO DRUGS. And if you have to use needles for anything (diabetes, etc) please make sure they're sterile. I've seen too many lives distroyed by HIV/AIDS.
re: Something to make you think (AIDS)
By H0neybee77 Comments: 45, member since Tue Sep 04, 2007
On Fri Oct 12, 2007 11:58 AM
Very Cool of you to Share that. Thanks. *Mila*
re: Something to make you think (AIDS)
By st_88_keys Comments: 27, member since Sun Nov 25, 2007
On Sun Dec 02, 2007 05:44 PM
Thanks for posting this. It's something people need to know about. AIDS is very scary, and very real. One of my friends contracted AIDS, and even if it's a friend, it changes the way you look at life.
re: Something to make you think (AIDS)
By erinbooboo01member has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 169, member since Mon Dec 13, 2004
On Tue Dec 04, 2007 10:43 PM
I have done a lot of work with HIV/AIDS during the past year woking on my gold award for girl scouts. it's very good to see that there are other people out there that care about this issue and it is very important that everybody, especially young people since 50% of all new AIDS case rates occur to ppl between the ages of 17-24, arm themselves with the knowledge of this virus
re: Something to make you think (AIDS)
By Acrothiel Comments: 4568, member since Sun Jan 12, 2003
On Thu Dec 20, 2007 10:46 AM
I am in a prevetion gropd for HIV/AIDS and I have to add something to the point "If the test is positive": If you get a positive test, don't freak out. It doesn't mean that you have HIV or AIDS. Before you can be sure you have to do a second test. Test can be wrong and usually if the test is wrong it rather says positive than negative.

I also have to add something to Oral Sex: Oral is safe as long as no blood (from menstruation or so) and no sperma will come into your mouth. Receiving Oral Sex is without risk, giving...well, there is some risk left. If you want to be 100% sure you can use a condom (or another thing...I forgot how it is called. It's like a condom you can lay over the vagina before giving oral)
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