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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.

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When Is World AIDS Day?

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

Dear Dish-It In The Forums

drowning
"SatanslilDemon" wrote: Ok so I have a dilemma. I really, and I mean really like this guy. He's considerate of my mental wellbeing and health, plus he's really funny and sweet. He's respectful, loyal, and his hugs are the best ever(he's like a foot and 4 inches taller than me). the dilemma is, he'stwentyandI'mfifteenturningsixteensoon.... I'm not gonna even ask about dating him until i'm sixteen but I've called him in total anxiety attack crying my eyes out and he calmed me down and made me laugh, and I invited him to come see a choir performance so he spent the day with me... My mom ships us... but I'm a little worried because of the age difference  and experience difference and just, I don't want to miss the chance of being with him because of it. ​  any advice??? It's really nice that your mother supports it, that always helps!! I'm glad that your family enjoys his company as well. Being 16 while he's 20 is alright. It's a slight odd age gap. But, I think as long as you both are ready, it's alright. Make sure you're mature and safe with your choices though. Personally, I think you should wait until you're closer to at least, 17. But, as long as you two are smart about what you're doing, it should be alright when it come around to it.
reply 1 day
fitta
"Shygirl15" wrote:I really like this boy in my second period class but i dont know how to tell him because he knows that im transgender do whatever makes you feel comfortable or just wing it and tell him and if he tells you something because you're trans forget about him! He doesn't deserve you. But it's totally okay if you want to play it safe and not go up to him. You do you. :3 
reply 1 day
fitta
"SatanslilDemon" wrote: Ok so I have a dilemma. I really, and I mean really like this guy. He's considerate of my mental wellbeing and health, plus he's really funny and sweet. He's respectful, loyal, and his hugs are the best ever(he's like a foot and 4 inches taller than me). the dilemma is, he'stwentyandI'mfifteenturningsixteensoon.... I'm not gonna even ask about dating him until i'm sixteen but I've called him in total anxiety attack crying my eyes out and he calmed me down and made me laugh, and I invited him to come see a choir performance so he spent the day with me... My mom ships us... but I'm a little worried because of the age difference  and experience difference and just, I don't want to miss the chance of being with him because of it. ​  any advice??? i suggest you wait i mean you are going to be 16 that's way too young to be dating someone who is 4/5 years older than you,no? You can still talk to him when it comes to your anxiety attacks and all of that because I have those too every night so I know how it feels, but maybe you should wait. But at the end of the day it's your decision I'm just here to give advice 
reply 1 day
SatanslilDemon
Ok so I have a dilemma. I really, and I mean really like this guy. He's considerate of my mental wellbeing and health, plus he's really funny and sweet. He's respectful, loyal, and his hugs are the best ever(he's like a foot and 4 inches taller than me). the dilemma is, he'stwentyandI'mfifteenturningsixteensoon.... I'm not gonna even ask about dating him until i'm sixteen but I've called him in total anxiety attack crying my eyes out and he calmed me down and made me laugh, and I invited him to come see a choir performance so he spent the day with me... My mom ships us... but I'm a little worried because of the age difference  and experience difference and just, I don't want to miss the chance of being with him because of it. ​  any advice???
reply 1 day
SmartSunnyShadow
I feel like that too. My best friend will always hang out with her 'new friends' that I have a really bad opinion about. My friend will treat me rudely all the time and sometimes make fun of me with her friends. But, when I needed her the most in my life, she was there for me, and I told her how I felt. She says that she just wants to hang out with more people and apologized, people can be a little teasy at times.  Also, after seeing each other for a long time, people make new friends and start hanging out with them more, it doesn't mean that she doesn't like you.  This may be different for you, but just tell her about it, she will have to know you feelings at one point.  Hope I helped you. 
reply 1 day