HIV is common knowledge among people of different races, cultures and groups.
In this blog, I’d answer 16 questions you might have about HIV. You are a encouraged to drop any other questions you might have in the comment box, It will be attended to.
- Q: How bad is HIV compared to the other STI’s I’ve published in this series? It’s the last but not the least deadly in our series of ‘Friendly deadly STI’s’. It’s the worst of them all, as it has recorded over 40 million deaths world wide.
- Q:Are there any cure yet for HIV? It’s a viral and lifelong Illnesses. There is no cure.
- Q: How is HIV transmitted? It’s transmitted through contact of bodily fluids (Blood, plasma, semen,vaginal secretions and Breast milk. Saliva and Sweat is not included) with an infected’s .
- Q: Do other STI’s increase the chances that I’d get infected with HIV? Yes,all the other Friendly deadly STI’s increases the risk of getting infected with HIV. So if you have one of those treat it as soon as possible.
- Q: Is there anyway to completely stay safe from HIV? No, abstinence doesn’t cut it with HIV. You have to be careful with exchange of bodily fluids or while using equipments that have touched another persons blood.
- Is the Sterilization of Clippers with flame enough to prevent transmission of HIV from the blades? Yes, if the flame is ignited with a fuel and allowed to heat till red hot, then the Virus is all gone.
- Q: Are Condoms 100% enough to protect me from HIV during sex? Condom when used consistently and correctly is 90-95% likely to protect you from HIV.
- Q: Is it possible that I’m immune from HIV? HIV is as real as you and me; nobody is immune to it. Everyone from a virgin to a Prostitute all face the risk of getting infected, though the risk is higher for the later.
- Q:What is PEP? Post exposure prophylaxis is a therapy used to treat HIV infection within 72hours of exposure. After 72 hours, the chances of it being effective drops.
- What are the first signs of HIV? Fever, sore throat, headache, diarrhea for 3-6weeks after unsafe sex – TEST FOR HIV
- Q: Is it possible to test positive for HIV while I’m positive? A test for HIV will not test positive until 1-3 months after you were infected. But know this, you are still infective during this period so you can pass the virus on to others.
- Q: Can I ever have unprotected Sex as I have HIV? Yes you can, if you have been on HIV pills for at least 6 months, you can have unprotected sex with your partner without infecting him because the virus is now Undetectable and Untransmittable.
- Q: Can I get reinfected with HIV even as I’m taking my pills? Yes, you can. HIV is a complicated virus and mutates in the presence of medication. So it’s possible the person you had contact with has a different strain of the virus(results in Superinfection) or the person’s blood viral load is not completely undetectable(results in Reinfection). Reinfection and Superinfection has serious health implications because you’d most likely not know that it occurred and will go on to reduce the effectiveness of your pills and cause AIDS.
- Q: What’s the world record number of people living with HIV? In 2018,there were 38 million people with HIV.Though a good number of infected persons do not know their Status.1 out of every 5 people in the US with HIV do not know their status. This number is very high in developing countries like Nigeria.
- Q:How long does it take for HIV to develop to AIDs? Untreated HIV develops to AIDS within 10years.
- Q: How long can one live with AIDs? Life expectancy for AIDs patients is 3 years max, opportunistic illnesses can kill you earlier.
Stigmatization and discrimination of HIV patients have greatly reduced over the years, but is still very high in some places especially in developing countries. Some even believe that one with HIV is being punished by God because of their many venereal sins, which is not true.
Managing HIV has greatly improved over the years. Highly Active AntiRetroviral therapy has made it possible that a person with HIV can live as long as every other person, have sex without fear of infecting their partners, deliver without infecting their child; and yes ,the battle is not won yet but we’ve come so far.
This is the last and final article in the series “Your Five friendly deadly STI’s”. I hope you learnt a few new things from them. So please, share the different links to your friends so they can read and learn as well. Thank you.
Courtsey: Iloabuchi Francis C.