If you have knowledge, let others light their candles at it.
- Good Stuff, 2003
HIV can be spread from person to person by only a few means. The most common of these are: exchanging body fluids during sexual activity (semen, vaginal secretions, blood) and sharing used needles. Less commonly, HIV may be transmitted from mother to child during delivery or through breast-feeding. HIV has also been found in blood or blood products used in transfusions, although this type of transmission is now extremely rare due to sophisticated testing of all donated blood in the United States.
Just as important are the ways HIV is not transmitted. It is not transmitted by casual contact, hugging, using toilets after someone who is HIV positive, sharing silverware or dishes, sweat, tears, urine, vomit, or saliva (unless there is blood).
Since the introduction of Zidovudeine (AZT) in the late 1980s, there have been major advancements in the treatment of HIV/AIDS. Advancements not only include the discovery and development of new medications, but also a better understanding of how to use the medications. Using a combination of antiretroviral (ARV) agents with different targets against the virus have become the standard of treatment. Today, there are 22 FDA-approved ARV agents that belong to four classes: nucleoside/nucleotide reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs), non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs), protease inhibitors (PIs), and entry inhibitors (EIs).
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