How can you become infected with HIV?

HIV, the human immunodeficiency virus, is the cause of the lethal immunodeficiency syndrome AIDS. In this country, the infection is usually in unprotected sexual intercourse. The virus is also transmitted when infected blood reaches mucous membranes or directly into the bloodstream, or when HIV infected mothers give birth and breastfeed a baby.

In the acute phase of infection (2-6 weeks after contact with the HIV virus), flu-like symptoms such as fever, fatigue, malaise and headache usually occur. In the second phase of the infection, the so-called latency phase, one does not feel physical symptoms. In this latency phase, the virus multiplies and infects the cells of the immune system. On average, this phase lasts for 9-11 years. However, the duration of the latency phase varies greatly from patient to patient. In the third phase, the symptoms of “AIDS-related complex” appear, similar to those in the acute phase. However, these flu-like symptoms do not differ, in contrast to the acute phase.

 

What are the most important protective measures against the HIV virus?

Although AIDS is a good medical treatment, it can be used to live for many years, but it can not be cured until today. That is what you always need to think about during sexual intercourse. Almost 80% of HIV infections in this country are based on unprotected sexual intercourse! HIV can be transmitted during vaginal and anal intercourse and in oral sex when sperm or menstrual blood enters the mouth. The only protection against this are condoms or the femidom (“condom for women”). Incidentally, these protect not only against HIV, but also against many extremely unpleasant or dangerous venereal diseases such as herpes, genital warts, chlamydia, syphilis or gonorrhea. Even with unprotected intercourse and the so-called coitus interruptus (“look out” or “retreat before the peak”) there is a risk of infection. Even if there was no ejaculation during sex, the HIV virus can be transmitted! There is no danger of kissing, kissing, caressing and stroking. Shared use of toilets, cutlery, indoor swimming pools, saunas, etc. is also safe.

The three safe sex rules:

  • Sleep together – always with a condom (or femidom).
  • No semen, no menstrual blood in the mouth, no semen or blood swallowing.
  • If itching, burning or discharge to the doctor.

 

HIV and drug addicts

AIDS is still today as a disease of drug addicts. This is because there is a high risk of infection if non-sterile syringes are used or even used together, because then possibly infected blood residues can end up directly in the bloodstream of the next user.

 

Blood transfusions

At the doctor or in the hospital, the hygiene standards in this country are so high that there is no risk of infection. B. with tattoo or piercing. Blood donations are screened for HIV, so the chance of a blood transfusion infection is negligible – again based on the situation in the developed world.

 

HIV-infected women who have a baby.

If they are unaware of their infection or have no way to treat the virus (as is usually the case in developing countries), the risk of infection for the baby during pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding is high. If, however, appropriate medical measures are taken (treatment with medication, abstinence, etc.), chances are that the HIV virus will not be transferred from the mother to the child.

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