HIV is a human immunodeficiency virus that weakens the human immune system and it becomes vulnerable to any infection that a healthy body would fight without a problem. HIV infection develops continuously and without symptoms. The final stages of HIV infection are called AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome).
The disease is transmitted from person to person. The virus is found in most of the body fluids of an infected person, but only in the blood, sperm, vaginal discharge and breast milk there is enough virus to make the infection. HIV infection can occur through direct contact with one of these fluids of a person carrying the virus. The main routes of transmission of infection are three: sexual, blood and vertical (from mother to her child).
Anyone wishing to check their HIV status can do so in the Offices for anonymous and free consultation at Regional Health Inspection.
A few tips to prevent HIV
- Use condoms: Always use condoms when having sex because it can protect against HIV transmission.
- Get tested for HIV: Regular HIV tests can help you know your status and get treatment if needed.
- Do not share needles either: Never share needles for medical purposes with other people.
- Protect your baby: If you are pregnant and have HIV, follow medical advice to prevent the virus from being transmitted to the baby.
- Use clean needles for tattoos and piercings: If you want to get a tattoo or piercing, make sure that clean and sterile instruments are used.
- Do not share personal items: Do not share toothbrushes, shaving knives or other objects that may touch blood with others.
- Education and information: HIV education is important. Understanding how to transmit and how to protect yourself is key.
- Avoid risky sexual behavior: Sexual relations with casual partners and without the use of condoms can increase the risk of HIV.
- Support people with HIV: Be understanding and support people living with HIV without stigmatizing them.