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Over the years, HIV and AIDS has been a growing epidemic. More and more people are being diagnosed with these life-threatening viruses. HIV, which stands for human immunodeficiency virus, is a virus that attacks the body’s immune system. In other words, it interferes with the body's ability to fight the organisms that cause disease (“HIV/AIDS,” 2014). AIDS, which stands for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, is the last stage of HIV infection. Like in the name, AIDS is acquired; meaning it is not inherited, but is something obtained. People with HIV usually get AIDS in the last stage of the infection (2014). Many people with both of these viruses cannot live a healthy life due to their weak immune system, thus leading to death. This is…show more content…
Obviously, both of those myths are false because in order to transmit the disease, there has to be an exchange of body fluids. The body fluids that can spread HIV are blood, semen, pre-seminal fluid, rectal fluids, vaginal fluids, and possibly breast milk (2014). In order to get infected, the fluids must come in “contact with a mucous membrane or damaged tissue or be directly injected into the bloodstream” (2015). These types of body fluid exchange can be in the form of unprotected sex or the sharing of needles and syringes. Once a person is transmitted, there are a lot of changes within the body that takes place. At the beginning, some symptoms will be visible; such as fever, swollen glands, rash, sore throat, and muscle pains. This stage of HIV is called the “early stage” (2013). The second stage is called the “clinical latency stage”. The clinical latency stage is when the virus is developing, but shows no signs or symptoms (2013). People who are in this stage and know they are positive for HIV can undergo treatment. This treatment is called antiretroviral therapy, or ART for short. This type of therapy uses a combination of different medications to keep the virus from multiplying and growing. ART does not eliminate or kill the virus, it just suppresses it to help you live longer and lower the risk of illnesses and transmissions (2013). If an individual does not take the medications, the virus will continue to weaken
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