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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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Dear Dish-It In The Forums

bffeaea
bffeaea posted in Friends:
I don't know you and I'm not exactly sure how you act, but being friendly is definitely the way to go. Don't change yourself for ANYBODY. Especially someone who you don't need to impress. Speaking of impressing, don't try, do. If you are telling a story and that happens to impress them than that's great! But don't go out of your way to try to make yourself look awesome because I'm sure you already are. Be yourself. But the most important thug now you can do is not try to make a million friends. Because personally I would rather have one AWESOME friend than a million ok friends. I hope this helped. :)
reply about 10 hours
HoneyHamstern
HoneyHamstern posted in Friends:
Be yourself and most important of all, be kind. You will get great friends by doing so. Being popular doesn't always mean being nice; sometimes people tend to be rude and bossy to be "popular" and that isn't good. But if you participate or even start a group at school, at the library or somewhere important in the community (community service like the Rotary Club is a good way to start for kids and teens) can be a great way to meet friends and share your happiness.
reply about 11 hours
esthery27
"f3rr3tgal" wrote:dear dish-it,        I absolutely love my family but... my dad has these headaches  where if they are really bad i can not say anything right he will get really mad. i don't know what to do i really hate being yelled at by my  dad and i love him soo much !!!! what do i do?  [s:sm3/1jvp]                                                       thanks,                                                            f3rr3tgal Tell him that you love him and you understand he's suffering but you really don't like it when he yells at you. You can write a note or a card to him. I'm sure he'll understand. And of course if needed see a doctor so that he'll know what to do to deal with those headaches.
reply about 11 hours
esthery27
esthery27 posted in Friends:
You won't want to be, it's exhausting. Just be happy the way you are and don't care about what others think or say about you.
reply about 12 hours
GiddyUpGecko
GiddyUpGecko posted in Friends:
What if you just aren't populr, and you want to be???  :(
reply 1 day