Kw-logo-smaller

The ABCs on HIV/AIDS

Nov 30, 2010

It's pretty easy to think that HIV/AIDS is a disease for other people to worry about, but it's a big problem. In 2007, it's estimated that AIDS killed 2.1 million people worldwide, including 330,000 children. So get the facts to be able to protect yourself from HIV and AIDS.

What Is HIV/AIDS?

HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is a virus and AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome) is a disease. HIV wreaks havoc on the immune system by destroying the T lymphocyte, or T cell (a type of white blood cell that fights off germs and diseases). When your immune system has weakened and the T cells have been completely destroyed, HIV turns into AIDS.

How Does It Spread?

HIV isn't like a cold or flu virus. You can't get it by being sneezed or coughed on, or by holding someone's hand. The only way HIV is passed is through direct contact with an infected person's bodily fluids.

  • Having sex with a person who has HIV
  • Sharing needles or syringes with a person who has HIV
  • Being born to a mother who has HIV

What Are the Symptoms?

People can be infected with HIV without even knowing it because it can take up to a few years until they start to experience any symptoms! But, they will eventually begin to feel sick. Symptoms range from diarrhea and weight loss to infections in the mouth and fevers that come and go. Since the immune system is so weak, other infections and diseases can develop, like skin cancer and pneumonia, which causes coughing and breathing problems.

How Is It Treated?

Unfortunately, there's no cure for HIV or AIDS, but special medications can slow down the disease and help people live longer lives. The good news is that scientists and doctors are currently researching vaccines that may be able to prevent HIV infections in the future.

Did You Know?

  • It's estimated that there are 40,000 new infections in the United States each year. At least half of these infections are among people under 25.
  • Approximately 2,000 children worldwide are infected with HIV each day.
  • More than 95% of people with HIV live in third-world countries.
  • Since the first cases were identified in 1981, more than 25 million people worldwide have died from AIDS.
  • October is World AIDS Awareness Month.
  • World AIDS Day is celebrated on December 1st.
  • People wear red ribbons to support the fight against AIDS.

Head to www.aids.org for more info on HIV and AIDS.

Related Stories

 

10 Comments

latest videos

F1133303959140

When Is World AIDS Day?

  • February 18th.
  • April 22nd.
  • September 11th.
  • December 1st.

related stories

Micro_aids hiv_micro
AIDS foundations work to raise awareness through education. With their help, the fight against AI...
Micro_world-aids-day-micro
Don't be surprised if you see a lot of peeps sporting red ribbons December 1st. It's World AIDS D...
Micro_joe average_micro
Joe Average is an artist and AIDS activist from Vancouver whose colorful paintings can light up a...

Dear Dish-It in the forums

BeautifulBelle
I am so sorry for all the frustration and anger you're feeling, love. Have you tried talking to your mom? I can say I know a little of what you're feeling. Have you tried writing in a journal or talking to a friend? Just be there for your cousin if you can. That is not okay, just abandoning your family without a reason. Hang in there.
reply about 1 hour
american_brit
I'll say it again, it's not weird. I know plenty of guys who can't do those things and plenty of girls who can.  She's your sister. Your YOUNGER SISTER. Therefore, she must be inferior to you when it comes to this kind of thing, right? Nope. That's far from the truth. And you're not the only guy who experiences this kind of thing.
reply about 7 hours
Heyyyyy_
Heyyyyy_ posted in Family Issues:
its not weird, she juss wants to look good.  if u think tht its weird or ur envious of ur sisters look, then u should give it a try.
reply about 7 hours
sweettoothfan
"9bella" wrote:its not weird my yo more yunger sister can run far more pacers than me my younger sis can beat me in arm wrestling and can do push ups and chin ups while i can't. you gotta admit that makes it weird. i want to think its fine but its not. 
reply about 7 hours
momika45
momika45 posted in Family Issues:
I feel so unwanted.. My father is gone so I only have my mom and other family members.. Plus her stupid boyfriend. My mom has compleat lay disconnected from my family bc they all think her bf is bad for her. They were just looking out for her! So now I only have my siblings, friends, mother, and her STUPID BOYFRIEND!! And to top it all off, my uncle decided he no longer wanted a family, so he just packed up, and left. Just like that. He left my 7 yr old cousin, HIS DAUGHTER, at the age of SEVEN! For no absolute reason! What do I do now..?
reply about 8 hours

play online games