The United States has the 10th largest HIV population. The other nine countries with higher populations are in sub-Saharan Africa.
- AIDS Update 2007, Gerald Stine
HIV/AIDS Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Is there a difference between HIV and AIDS
A. Yes. HIV (human immunodeficieny virus) is the virus that causes AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome). AIDS is a condition that results from HIV infection. By the time people with HIV develop AIDS, their virus has usually damaged their immune system making it difficult to fight off infections that most HIV negative persons can.
Q. When was the first case of AIDS in the United States? A. In 1981 the first AIDS cases in the US were reported, but the illness was not referred to as AIDS until 1982. Scientists have found evidence that the disease has been in the United States much longer, although unrecognized.
Q. Is there a cure for HIV/AIDS? A. No. To date, viral infections of all types have no cures including HIV (the virus that causes AIDS). Although there is no cure for HIV/AIDS, medication treatment options may make it possible to live a full, productive life after diagnosis.
Q.How do you become infected with HIV/AIDS? A. There are three principal ways to become infected with HIV (the virus that causes AIDS). 1. Through having sex (vaginal, oral, anal) with someone who has the virus. 2. Through sharing needles or syringes with someone who has the virus. 3. Less commonly, through a baby's exposure to its infected mother during pregnancy or delivery or through breast feeding.
Q. Can I become infected with HIV through casual contact with someone who has the virus? A. No. You can not get HIV/AIDS from: hugging, touching, massaging, using toilets after someone who is HIV positive, sharing silverware or dishes, sweat, tears, urine, vomit, or saliva (unless their is blood).
Q. Can I tell if someone has HIV/AIDS? A. No. People with HIV/AIDS often show no outward signs of infection. Many people with HIV do not know themselves that they are positive for the virus.
Q. How can I find out if I am HIV positive? A. To find out whether you have HIV, you must be tested by a licensed testing site. HIV tests evaluate a persons blood or salvia to determine whether you have antibodies to HIV (antibodies may take as long as 6 months to develop once infection has taken place). If you have HIV antibodies, it is assumed that you have HIV infection.
Q. I've heard that you can get HIV from a blood transfusion. Is that true? A. Since 1985, in the United States, all donated blood has been tested for evidence of HIV infection and all tainted blood is discarded. Therefore, there is only a very small chance of infection with HIV through a blood transfusion. Also, it is true that you can notget HIV by donating blood. Standards call for all donation needles to be sterile, used once and then destroyed.
Q. Does condom use during sexual activity prevent the spread of HIV? A. Yes. Studies have shown that latex(not natural) condoms, when used consistently and correctly are highly effective (98-99%) in preventing HIV transmission.
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