Thursday, December 1, 2011

Take the Test

Today is World Aids Day.  

My general focus is on non communicable chronic diseases, which AIDS is not. However, as a public health educator, I have had opportunity to promote safer sex practices and screening for sexually transmitted infections.
The infection that can lead to AIDS is human immunodeficiency virus or HIV.  HIV weakens the body and can lead to the diagnosis of a group of infections and other symptoms that are considered AIDS or Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome.

The most common way that HIV is transmitted is through unprotected sex.  The highest risk is having UAS or unprotected anal sex, followed by UVS or unprotected vaginal sex, however, oral sex can lead to HIV as well.  Other transmission sources are blood and body fluids.  A mother can transmit the virus to her child in child birth (this is preventable).

Anyone can get HIV. Man, woman, gay or straight, ANY age.
I have two links to share with you today.  The first is a Vital Signs report from the CDC and the other is a link to a page about testing.  The second website is sponsored by the CDC.  HIV tests come in several forms, including blood draw, saliva and urine.  The website can answer your questions and you can search for a testing center in your area.

I am not going to say more because it is not my area of expertise and the linked pages are quite informative.

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