A - Acquired. This condition is acquired, meaning that a person becomes infected with it.
I - Immuno. HIV affects a person's immune system, the part of the body that fights off germs such as bacteria or viruses.
D - Deficiency. The immune system becomes deficient and does not work properly.
S - Syndrome. A person with AIDS may experience other diseases and infections because of a weakened immune system.
What is AIDS?
- AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) is the most severe stage of HIV (Stage 3).
- People with AIDS have badly damaged immune systems. They get an increasing number of severe illnesses, called opportunistic infections (OIs).
- People receive an AIDS diagnosis when
- they develop certain OIs, or
- their CD4 cell count drops below 200 cells per millilitre of blood.
HIV can be transmitted through
- Sexual transmission
- It can happen when there is contact with infected sexual secretions.
- This can happen while having unprotected sex
- Perinatal transmission
- The mother can pass the infection on tho her child during childbirth, pregnancy and also through breastfeeding
- Blood transmission
- Among drug users, sharing and reusing syringes contaminated with HIV-infected blood is extremely hazardous
How can I prevent opportunistic infections?
- Don’t inject drugs
- But if you do, use only sterile drug injection equipment and wter and never share your equipment with others.
- Limit your number of sexual partners
- The more partners you have, the more likely you are to have a partner with HIV whose HIV is not well controlled
- Get tested and treated for STDs
- Insist that your partners get tested and treated too.
- Use Condoms
- Use a condom correctly every time you have vaginal, anal or oral sex.