10 Facts about HIV

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HIV/AIDS is the number one health problem in the world. Sadly, while it is very contagious, it has no cure at all. There are many people around the world who are affected by HIV and you cannot even tell just by looking at their physical appearance. Here are the top 10 facts that you want to know about HIV.

Fact #1: HIV can be prevented although it cannot be cured. People who are HIV-positive can also resort to some medical treatment that can alleviate its symptoms and live longer such as Antiretroviral therapy (ART). In 2013, there were more than 11 million people in middle-income countries who receive ART.

Fact #2: HIV can be spread when a person engages in sexual intercourse with an HIV-positive person. It can also be contracted by sharing injection drug equipment, blood transfusion, semen infusion, rectal fluids, vaginal fluids, and breast milk. HIV cannot be transmitted just by sharing glasses, saliva, tears, sweat, drinking fountains, or casual contact.

Fact #3: There are about 1, 155, 792 Americans who are affected by HIV, 636, 000 of the people diagnosed have died in the disease. Just in 2011, 49, 273 were diagnosed to be HIV-positive. HIV knows no age and an offspring can carry the disease just by drinking breast milk from an HIV-positive mother. The sad fact is that 180, 000 American teenagers do not even know they are positive HIV.

Fact #4: Gay or bisexuals are very prone to HIV, consisting 50,000 of the HIV-positive population. Males are the next in line with over 18, 000 recorded HIV-positive individuals (both married and single). There are only 10, 000 who are positive with HIV.

Fact #5: The government spends over $4 billion every year to support programs that raises HIV awareness and support HIV victims.

Fact #6: Sub-Saharan Africa is the leading country with the most number of HIV victims with a total number of 24.7 million people in 2013. It accounts 70% of the total population in the world who are affected by HIV. Other countries with HIV prevalence are Swaziland, Botswana, and Lesotho.

Fact #7: The discovery of HIV can be attributed to two prominent doctors in history. Dr. Luc Montagnier of the Pasteur Institute in Paris discovered the LAV (Lymphadenopathy Associated Virus) which caused many people to suffer from unexplainable health condition. However, in Dr. Anthony Gallo at the National Cancer Institute in Washington later on called it HTLV-1 and HTLV-2 (Human T-cell Leukemia Virus) after doing further studies with the LAV.

Fact #8: The 14 of the biggest celebrities in Hollywood who died in HIV. These are Rock Hudson, Freddie Mercury, Keith Haring, Eazy-E, Elizabeth Glazer, Isaac Asimov, Arthur Ashe, Liberace, Anthony Perkins, Robert Reed, Greg Louganis, Alven Ailey, Gia Carangi,and Pedro Zamora.

Fact #9: While HIV and AIDS often go together, they are not the same. HIV comes first with more or less 10 symptoms while AIDS develops at a later stage. AIDS means Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, which is a disease caused by the virus HIV. HIV attacks the T-cells in the body which subsequently weakens the immune system, making a person more susceptible to infections and diseases. When this progresses, it develops to a human condition known as AIDS.

Fact #10: While HIV can be transmitted through sexual intercourse, using female condoms and latex offer a promising solution to prevent HIV transmission. According to study, though condoms are not 100% effective, they provide 80% to 85% protection against HIV and other sexually transmitted disease such as STD. That means for every 100 cases of sexual intercourse with the use of condoms, there are approximately 70% can be saved from infection.

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