AIDS is a continuing and potential life-threatening condition caused by the Human Immunodeficiency Virus or HIV. By damaging your immune system, HIV interferes with your body’s ability to fight the organisms that cause disease.
HIV is asexually transmitted disease. It can also be spread by contact with infected blood, or from mother to child during pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding. It can take years before HIV weakens your immune system to the point that you have AIDS.
Source: Mayo Clinic
To become infective with HIV, infected blood, semen or vaginal secretions must enter your body. You can’t become infected through ordinary contact such as hugging, kissing, dancing or shaking hands with someone who has HIV or AIDS. HIV can’t be transmitting through the air, water or via insect bites. You can become infected in several ways, including:
- During Sex.
You may become infected if you have vaginal, anal or oral sex with an infected partner whose blood, semen or vaginal secretions enter your body. The virus can enter your body through mouth sores or small tears that sometimes develop in the rectum or vagina during sexual activity
- Blood Transfusion
In some cases, the virus may be transmitted through blood transfusions. Hospital and blood banks now screen the blood supply for HIV antibodies, so the risk is very small.
- Sharing Needles
HIV can be transmitted through needles and syringes contaminated with infected blood. Sharing prohibited or illegal drug paraphernalia puts you at high risk of HIV and other infectious disease.
- From Mother to Child
Infected mothers can infect their babies during pregnancy or delivery, or through breastfeeding. But if women received treatment for HIV infection during pregnancy, the risk to their babies is significantly reduced.
Anyone of any age, race, sex or sexual orientation can be infected, but you’re at greatest risk of HIV/AIDS if you:
- Have unprotected Sex
Unprotected sex means having sex without using a new latex or polyurethane condom every time. Anal Sex is more risky than is vaginal sex. The risk increases if you have multiple sexual partners.
- Have another STD
Many Sexual Transmitted Diseases (STDs) produce open sores on your genitals. These sores acts as doorways for HIV to enter your body.
- Use of Prohibited Drugs
People who use illegal drugs often share needles and syringes. This exposes them to droplets of others peoples blood
HIV infection weakens your immune system, making you highly vulnerable to all sorts of infections. For this reason, those infections are the cause of death, not the AIDS or HIV itself. Keep in mind that there is no cure for HIV/AIDS, thus remember the most popular heath quote of all time and that is “Prevention is better than Cure”.