Safely?
HIV Basics

What is it?
How is it spread?
How does it affect the body?

AIDS Basics
Stages of HIV
STI/STD Basics
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Who?
   

HIV

What is it?

HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is the virus that causes AIDS.

H – Human (It only happens to human beings)
I – Immunodeficiency (It weakens your immune system)
V – Virus (A microscopic particle that infects the cells of an organism)

How is it spread?

HIV is spread by sexual contact with an infected person, by sharing needles and/or syringes (primarily for drug injection) with someone who is infected. It can also be transmitted from infected mothers to children during birth or from breastfeeding and through contaminated blood products (rare).

HIV can be transmitted via the following bodily fluids:

  • Blood
  • Semen (Cum)
  • Vaginal fluid
  • Breast milk

HIV is not transmitted through the following:

  • Sweat
  • Tears
  • Spit

How does it affect the body?

HIV uses your body’s own defense system to do its dirty work.

Your body produces a type of defense system called CD4 cells (white blood cells) to help the immune system function normally and fight off certain kinds of infections. They act as messengers to your immune system, telling it to become active and produce antibodies to fight against invading bacteria and germs.

HIV attaches itself to the white blood cells, and uses them as a place to multiply. As your white blood cells naturally divide the attached HIV is divided too, making copies of itself and destroying the white blood cell’s ability to do their job in the immune system. Because of this, your body can no longer fight off infections.

Think about it like this. Your having a big family barbeque at Downsview Park and so you’ve hired a bunch of security (white blood cells) to keep uninvited people out.  Despite all this, some smart ass person (HIV virus) has convinced security that he’s your cousin, and even has your own security showing him around the place. By the time that everybody at the barbeque has caught on that there’s an extra and unrelated “cousin” about the place, he, and now some of his friends are causing a stink, and can’t nobody get them out! HIV has the same effect as party crashers at your bbq, but on your body.

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