What you should know about HIV and AIDS
The first thing you need to know
- HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is a virus that is transmitted through unprotected sex (through the vagina, mouth or anus); through punctures where infected blood is present (tattooing and/or piercing with unsterilized needles, or drug addicts exchanging unsterilized needles); or through the passage of the virus from mother to baby (during pregnancy, childbirth or breastfeeding). AIDS (Acquired Syndrome - AIDS) is the stage of HIV infection, which occurs several years after the person has been infected (it is a lentivirus), and in which our immune system (defenses of our body) has weakened and the number of copies of the virus has multiplied in our body, this stage becomes the gateway to our body of multiple opportunistic diseases, such as pneumonia, TB and toxoplasmosis among many others.
- The virus is not transmitted by daily contact with an infected person (hugs, kisses, sharing dishes or kitchen utensils, showers, toilets, sweat, tears, saliva) or by mosquito bites. If a person wants to know if he or she is infected, he or she can ask a professional for advice on taking the voluntary "Elisa" HIV test through the health system that treats you...
- You should consider and consider the possible benefits or negative consequences of a positive HIV test result in your own life.
- An infected person may look and feel fine for many years before symptoms of the disease begin to show, as we mentioned earlier, HIV is a lentivirus. Therefore, beyond reliance and the love we have for our partner, it is important to talk with him or her about our sexual past, and also about what signiﬁcan concepts such as stability and loyalty, because both aspects go hand in hand but definitely are NOT the same and therefore we should use the condom until we know the HIV diagnosis of our partner or each person with whom we have an occasional sexual relationship.
1. How can you pass HIV as a mother to your baby?
A. During pregnancy through the placenta, as long as the mother has not taken care of herself and is not taking antiretroviral drugs for HIV during pregnancy.
B. At birth, when the baby comes into contact with the mother's blood and other body parts ﬂuids. This is a high-risk time.
C. Through breast milk.
2. How easy is it for you to pass HIV to your baby?
If the mother is not diagnosed early with HIV infection and is not treated with antiretroviral drugs during pregnancy, the chances of mother-to-child transmission are very high, at 24-30%.
Factors such as the level of defences (the mother's immune system), the number of virus copies in the mother's blood or the nutritional status inﬂuence to a large extent.
3. How serious are the risks of your baby being infected with HIV?
If a baby is born with the infection and does not receive timely medical care, he or she is at high risk of becoming seriously ill and dying. This depends on factors such as the level of the virus in their blood, their nutritional status, and whether or not they receive antiretroviral treatment in due course.