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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.
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Dear Dish-It In The Forums

Kirsteeeeen
Kirsteeeeen posted in Friends:
I hope you don't mind that I moved this to friends, but I thought it'd be more fitting since your question seems mainly friendship based. :) Do you mind being younger than your classmates? Do you feel it inhibits your school experience? I think you should do what feels best to you, whether that be staying behind because friendship has a big impact, or continuing ahead if you prioritize academic growth. Only you know what's right for you. :p If it's any help, I left high school early and went to college. I was already used to being the youngest in my class so it wasn't a huge jump socially, and I found a lot of friends of all ages. :D With that being said, I do still miss being with people my age but it's too late to go back and I wouldn't trade my experience for the world.
reply about 5 hours
YassenGregorovich
I'm 13 and will be going on to 9th grade. I skipped kindergarted  :p and 5th grade. So I'm a lot younger then most of my classmates will be. I'm thinking of repeating 8th grade so I will be more of the same age as the other people in my class. But I'm not sure if I should because I got a B+ or A- average in 8th grade. I need some advice on this. Sorry if this is the wrong section for this I just thought general was the right place. Thanks!  :D
reply about 20 hours
aftershock
aftershock posted in Style:
Thanks all of you guys for your responses. It seems many of you don't share pics to get help from friends when you're choosing. Thats OK. If anyone does want to go on the VIP list to be the first to try the new app then feel free to complete the info form here: http://goo.gl/forms/FOiKWa4DoAQHxtOx1 
reply about 21 hours
CoolerThanMyself
I'm a 12 year old girl with really strict parents! I do chores( even handling BLEACH sometimes) , I take care of my little brother, I'm in top set for all my classes- even on the gifted and talented register and I've only ever had 1 detention- and that was their fault anyway bc I was late( they drive). But, I'm still NEVER allowed out with my friends! My friends are all in top sets as well, are well behaved and all we literally would do is window shopping. I mean, there are my age smoking shisha and doing #####- they should be lucky I'm not a delinquent! But my parents always say I can't hang out. Not because they're worried about my safety, they just dont want me to go out.! Even sleepovers, my parents always say no because they ' haven't met the parents" but they make NO effort to do so. I'm losing out on knowing my friends better and whilst they're all making best friends, at school I'm just the person in the background- the left out friend. It hurts and most of the time I wish I was fostered or something. How can I make them loosen up? ( don't say anything about sneaking out because I chose life)
reply 2 days
Corps
Corps posted in Style:
Thank You Mate :)
reply 2 days