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Women and HIV

Womens Health > Women and HIV

You cannot tell if someone is HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) positive by looking at him or her. HIV is the virus that causes AIDS (acquired

Women are contracting HIV in ever greater numbers. To combat these numbers, health activists have launched a broad campaign to dispel the myth that HIV/AIDS is only a concern for drug users and homosexuals. As a growing number of HIV infected, non-drug using heterosexuals can attest, that is simply not true.

Anyone can become infected with HIV. That is why everyone should learn about what causes infection and how to reduce their risks. Let’s begin with the most obvious facts. You cannot get HIV or AIDS by sitting on a toilet seat or shaking hands with an infected person.

HIV is transmitted through unprotected sex (this includes all sexual contact involving any body cavity) with an infected partner. The virus is also transmitted through transfusions of blood that is infected; “dirty” needles and piercing instruments. There have also been cases of transmission from mother to fetus. Recent medical advances have made it possible for mothers with HIV to deliver babies without transmitting the virus.

You are not helpless against HIV infection. You can increase your chances of remaining HIV negative by following a few rules:

Get tested – even if you are in a monogamous relationship consider that infidelity has become increasingly common

Use condoms for safer sex

Ask questions. It is okay to ask sexual partners about HIV testing and status

These rules (excluding number one) are important even if you are HIV positive. The strains of the virus vary, and you can compromise your health by exposing yourself to someone that is also HIV positive.

If you are living with HIV, you probably understand that although your life will change it’s not going to end tomorrow. Magic Johnson offers a prominent example of the benefits of proper treatment and management of HIV. There is a host of treatment options that can help you manage the infection and maintain a high quality of life.

Womens Health > Women and HIV