What is HIV? It's the virus that causes AIDS. This virus is not like other viruses because it attacks the immune system. Our immune system gives us the ability to fight off infections. HIV destroys a certain type of white blood cell (the CD4 cell) that is vital in our ability to fight disease.
Acquired Immunodeficiency syndrome is what AIDS stand for. This is considered the final stage of the HIV infection. At this point, the immune system is weakened and the body has difficulty fighting off infections. It may take several years for someone who's infected with HIV to reach this stage, even without treatment. In order for a person to have AIDS, they must be clinically diagnosed by a physician.
HIV is found (primarily) in blood, breast milk, semen, and vaginal fluid of someone who's been infected. So HIV is spread mainly through:
Since HIV is a fragile virus, it doesn't live outside the body for long. It cannot be spread through daily activities such as kissing, shaking hands, using toilet seats, drinking glasses, or mosquito bites to name a few.
There are several steps you can take to prevent the spread of HIV. Those steps are:
If you are positive with HIV, use condoms with your partner to prevent spread of HIV or other STD's. If you are both positive it’s important to use condoms to prevent infection of a different HIV strain and other STD's.
We provide free, anonymous HIV testing to students as well as anyone else in the community. The OraSure test is an oral HIV test that gives accurate results in about 2 weeks.
Call for your anonymous appointment today (904) 620-1570.
For other local testing sites for Duval County please visit the Florida Department of Health Web site
Not in the area? Don't worry; you can go to www.hivtest.org for more testing sites.
Umm... this isn't enough? Cool! You can go to www.cdc.gov/hiv for more information!
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