How is HIV spread?
HIV can spread only in certain body fluids from a person infected with HIV:
• Pre-seminal fluids
• Rectal fluids
• Vaginal fluids
• Breast milk
How can I reduce my risk of getting HIV?
• Get tested and know your partner’s HIV status.
• Use a condom correctly every time you have vaginal, anal, or oral sex.
• Limit your number of sexual partners.
• Get tested and treated for STDs. Insist that your partners get tested and treated too.
• Talk to your WAAF about pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). PrEP is an HIV prevention option for people who do not have HIV but who are at high risk of becoming infected with HIV due to a particular incident.
• Do not inject drugs. But if you do, use only sterile drug injection equipment and water and never share your equipment with others.
I am HIV positive but my partner is HIV negative. How can I protect my partner from HIV?
• Take HIV medicines daily. Treatment with HIV medicines (called antiretroviral therapy or ART for short) helps people with HIV live longer, healthier lives.
• Protect your partner, use condoms correctly every time you have sex. Even someone who is taking HIV medicines and has an undetectable viral load can still potentially transmit HIV to a partner. So even if you are taking HIV medicines, it’s still important to use condoms.
• If you inject drugs, don’t share your needles, syringes, or other drug equipment with your partner.
Are HIV medicines used in other situations to prevent HIV infection?
Yes, HIV medicines are also used for post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) and to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV.
• Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP)
PEP is the use of HIV medicines to reduce the risk of HIV infection soon after a possible exposure to HIV. PEP may be used, for example, after a person has sex without a condom with a person who is infected with HIV or after a health care worker is accidentally exposed to HIV in the workplace. To be effective, PEP must be started within 3 days after the possible exposure to HIV. PEP involves taking HIV medicines each day for 28 days.
• Prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV
Pregnant HIV-infected women take HIV medicines during pregnancy and childbirth to reduce the risk of passing HIV to their babies. Their newborn babies also receive HIV medicine for 6 weeks after birth. The HIV medicine reduces the risk of infection from any HIV that may have entered a baby’s body during childbirth.
How can I learn more about preventing HIV?
• Practice safe sex. This is paramount on the list. Understand how the virus is transmitted to reduce the risk of infecting others. Use condoms not only to avoid the spread of HIV, but also to protect both you and your partner against other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and other types of infections.
•Get tested for other sexually transmitted infections (STIs). If you have another STI, you may be more likely to transmit both HIV and your other STI to someone else. STDs can also worsen HIV and make the disease progress more rapidly.
•Prevent infections and illnesses. Since HIV makes your immune system less effective, you become more susceptible to every virus, bacteria, and germ you are exposed to. Wash your hands frequently, and stay away from sick people to stay as healthy as possible. Also stay up-to-date on all of your vaccinations to reduce your risk of preventable illnesses.
•Follow doctor's orders about your prescriptions. Take your HIV medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Be sure to take prescriptions at the same time every day, and always have your medication with you so that if you are away from home, you will not have to miss a dose.
•Manage physical and emotional health problems. Depression is common among people with HIV, and the stress associated with having HIV can worsen depression symptoms. Keeping stress, depression, and pain under control can help improve your physical and emotional health, making life with HIV easier. See a mental health professional if you feel you’re experiencing depression, and be sure to mention that you’re taking medication for HIV to avoid potential drug interactions between depression and HIV medicines.
•The keys to staying healthy with HIV are within your control. Live a healthy lifestyle. Fuel your body with a healthy, nutritious, and balanced diet, and allow it to recharge each
Do I have HIV?
The only way for you to know this is to take an HIV test.
What is my risk for having caught HIV?
HIV is mainly transmitted sexually and by sharing drug-using equipment. HIV is infectious in blood, semen, vaginal fluid or breastmilk. However, these fluids do not remain infectious for very long outside the body. Most studies suggests that after a few minutes in contact with air, HIV is no longer infectious in these fluids.
It is not transmitted by everyday contact or from contact with objects that an HIV-positive person has touched. HIV is not transmitted by saliva, sweat, spit, urine or faeces.
Tears may contain HIV but this is unlikely to be a practical route of infection.
HIV is not transmitted by deep-kissing, or from body rubbing or contact with infectious fluid on skin. HIV is not spread by air or by insects.
Will I be positive if I slept with an HIV positive person without a condom?
HIV is a difficult virus to catch sexually.
Even if your partner is HIV positive and you did not use a condom, the risk is usually less than 1 in 100 (less than 1%).
However, it only takes one exposure to catch HIV. This means that luck and other factors are involved.
So out of thousands of people who have a risk of catching HIV, some will become positive. For some people this might be from their first risky exposure.
HIV is therefore generally a low risk event, but with potentially serious outcomes. Taking an HIV testing to know your HIV status is a good idea.
What is the risk if the HIV positive person is on treatment?
HIV treatment dramatically reduces the risk of HIV transmission.
If the HIV positive person has an undetectable viral load on treatment this becomes close to zero.
When viral load is undetectable, the risk is likely to be less than 1 in 10,000 (less than 0.01%) and might be zero.
Do I need to take an HIV test?
The only way you can know your HIV status by taking an HIV test. Even if your exposure risk was low, you can only know whether you are HIV positive or HIV negative by taking a test.
An HIV test should be a routine part of looking after your sexual health. Repeating the test every 6-12 months is important in case you are exposed to HIV in the future. Some people are advised to test more frequently.
Do I need to take a test if my partner just tested negative?
You cannot use your partners test results to interpret your HIV status.
You can only know if you have HIV by taking your own test.
You could be HIV-positive and your partner has just been lucky so far. You need to know your status to protect your partner in the future.
If your partner has just tested HIV positive, you could still be HIV negative, even if you have had unprotected sex. You need your own test results.
Can I ask another person to test?
No. This is about your sexual health. It is your responsibility to test.
You have no right to impose your worries about your health on another person.
Only your status is important now. This involves taking responsibility for your own health.
When can I take a test?
How soon after exposure you test depends on your risk of exposure and which tests you can use. A negative result should be confirmed with a second test three months later to pick up the 5% of people who take longer to generate an immune response.
In high risk exposures (i.e. needle stick injury by a health care worker with known HIV-positive person), especially if symptoms occur, then viral load testing is sometimes used after one week.
What is the cause of tuberculosis?
Tuberculosis is not a hereditary disease. It is an infectious disease. Any person can get afflicted with TB. Whenever, a patient having active tuberculosis coughs or sneezes in an open manner, bacteria causing TB come out in the aerosol. This aerosol can infect any person who happens to inhale it.
What are the symptoms of this disease?
Characteristic symptoms of TB are persistent cough of more than three weeks duration, cough with expectoration of sputum, fever, weight loss or loss of appetite etc. If any of these symptoms persist beyond three weeks, the person concerned should visit the nearest DOTS TB Center or Health Center and get his sputum examined.
Is the disease of TB curable?
Yes, this disease is fully curable if the treatment is taken on a regular and continuous basis for adequate duration.
What is the diet to be given to a TB patient?
As per one's liking, TB patient can eat any type of food. There are no special diets necessary for a TB patient. One should avoid any foodstuff which causes any problem in that particular individual.
What are the things to be avoided by a TB patient?
A patient of TB should avoid consumption of bidi, cigarette, hookah, tobacco, alcohol or any other intoxicating drug.
How TB & HIV are related?
Anyone can become infected with TB, but people with HIV and TB infection are at greater risk of getting sick with TB disease.