Some HIV prevention messages for World AIDS Day to be displayed in your clinic

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AIDS is caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which damages the body’s defence system.
AIDS is the late stage (stage 4) of HIV infection.
AIDS virus destroys certain kind of cells that normally help the body to fight disease. With the destruction of these cells, the body cannot defend itself against infections.
People who have AIDS grow weaker because their bodies lose the ability to fight off illnesses and became ill.
Progression from HIV infection to AIDS, if untreated, may take 8-10 years. In young children, it usually develops much faster.
People with silent HIV–positive state may live for years without any signs of the disease but they can still pass on the virus to others.
AIDS is a chronic manageable disease, but it is better to prevent it. One can live a near normal life.
HIV is not caused by witchcraft and it cannot be cured by having sex with a virgin.
HIV spreads through unprotected sex with an HIV–positive person.
HIV spreads through transfusions of unscreened (HIV–positive) blood.
HIV can spread from an infected woman to her child during pregnancy and childbirth.
HIV infection can be passed from a mother to her child through breastfeeding.
HIV spreads by unsterilized infected needles or syringes, especially those used for injecting drugs.
Used infected razor blades, knives or tools that cut or pierce the skin also carry some risk of spreading HIV.
It is not possible to get HIV/AIDS from touching those who are infected.
Hugging, shaking hands, coughing and sneezing will not spread the disease.
HIV/AIDS cannot be transmitted through toilet seats, telephones, plates, glasses, eating utensils, towels, bed linen, swimming pools or public baths.
HIV does not spread by mosquitoes or other insects.
The risk of getting HIV through sex can be reduced if people reduce the number of sex partners, if uninfected partners have sex only with each other, or if people practice safe sex – sex without penetration or while using a condom.
Correct and consistent use of condoms can save lives by preventing the spread of HIV.
All pregnant mothers should get HIV test done
Blood banks now test all donated blood and discard all units that test positive.
All people, including children, are at risk for HIV/AIDS.
People who have a sexually transmitted infection (STI) are at greater risk of getting HIV and of spreading HIV to others.
People with STIs should seek prompt treatment and avoid sexual intercourse or practice safe sex (non–penetrative sex or sex using a condom.
The more sex partners people have, the greater the risk that one of them will have HIV/AIDS and pass it on.
Internal secretions, which can harbor HIV virus, are blood (including menstrual blood, semen, vaginal secretions, breast milk, peritoneal fluid, brain fluid, pleural lung fluid, pericardial heart fluid etc. These secretions, when mixed with secretions of another person infected with HIV transmit HIV.
External secretions, which do not harbor the HIV virus are saliva, tear, sweat, urine and feces. The mixing of these secretions with secretions of an HIV +ve person does not transmit HIV.
High–risk behaviors are: Anal intercourse without condom, vaginal intercourse without condom, sexual activity that causes bleeding or injury and oral sex on a man without condom.
No risk or low risk sexual behaviors are: Hugging and rubbing bodies together; wet kissing with your open lips; masturbating yourself; using sex toys or talking sex no risk; vaginal intercourse using condom; anal intercourse using condom.
A blood test is the most accurate way to tell if someone is infected with HIV.
Most tests for HIV/AIDS check for the presence of antibodies to the virus.
If the result of an HIV/AIDS test is negative, this means the person tested is not infected or it is too early to detect the virus.
The HIV blood test may not detect infection up to the first few weeks to few months.
Even if the first test is negative, the test should be repeated 6 months after any possible exposure to HIV infection to confirm the status.
The time period when an infected person does not come as HIV positive in the blood test is referred to as window period.
Since an infected person can transmit the virus at any time, it is important to use a condom during sex or to avoid penetration.
HIV counseling and testing can help in the early detection of HIV infection, to get the support services for those who are infected.
Counseling helps to manage other infectious diseases they might have, and learn about living with HIV/AIDS and how to avoid infecting others.
Counseling and testing can also help those not infected to remain uninfected through education about safer sex.
A condom should always be used during all penetrative sex, unless it is absolutely certain that both partners are free of HIV infection.
A person can become infected through even one occasion of unprotected penetrative sex (sex without a condom).
Condoms with lubrication (slippery liquid or gel) already on them are less likely to tear during handling or use.
If the condom is not lubricated enough, a ‘water-based’ lubricant, such as silicone or glycerin, should be added.
If such lubricants are not available, saliva can be used.
Drinking alcohol or taking drugs interferes with judgment. Even those who understand the risks of AIDS and the importance of safer sex may become careless after drinking or using drugs.
Young people need to be informed that there is no vaccination and no cure for HIV/AIDS.
Prevention is the only protection against HIV/AIDS.
Persons suffering from sexually transmitted infection have a 5–10 times higher risk of becoming infected with HIV if they have unprotected sexual intercourse with an HIV–infected person.
If both partners are not treated for a sexually transmitted infection, they will continue infecting each other with the sexually transmitted infection.
Most sexually transmitted infections are curable.
Be faithful to your partner for safe sex.
Do not have sex without condom whether it is a one–time sex or long–time relationship.
ABC for safe sex: Abstain, Be faithful to your partner and if you cannot, use Condoms.
Girls and women have the right to refuse unwanted and unprotected sex.