What is AIDS？
AIDS stands for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, resulting from a viral infection known as Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). AIDS is a serious condition that weakens a body’s immune system, leaving it unable to fight off such an illness; without treatment, it could incur fatal consequence in approximately 2-10 years.
How HIV is passed on？
HIV is found in blood, semen, vaginal secretions, breast milk and other body fluids of HIV carriers. The following are the most common ways that people become infected with HIV:
- Sexual intercourse
HIV is often transmitted through oral, anal, and vaginal sex; the best way to prevent the risk of sexual intercourse is to use condoms.
- Blood transfusion
HIV can be transmitted through blood transfusion, sharing syringes and needles with drug addicts who are HIV positive, and receiving organ transplant from HIV carriers.
- Mother and child transmission
An infected pregnant woman can pass HIV on to her unborn baby during pregnancy, labour, and delivery. HIV can also be transmitted through breastfeeding.
You cannot get AIDS/HIV from…
HIV does not transmit via uninjured skin, kissing, insect bites, touching, sharing items like toilets, swimming pools, and routine contacts at restaurants and workplaces and schools.
What is a window period and incubation period for HIV?
Window period for HIV often last 6 to 12 weeks, infected patients are tested HIV-negative because this is the period for body to produce HIV antibodies. As to incubation period, it spans from patients being infected to the emergence of clinical symptoms, immunity deficiency; and it often takes approximately more or less than 5 to 10 years to develop. Do keep this in mind: both window period and incubation period are contagious.
What should you do if you suspect yourself of being HIV positive?
If you encounter some kind of risky conducts that might have yourself infected with AIDS, you should go to the hospital or any Department of Health for HIP tests. Common dangerous conducts include one-night stand, prostitution, anal intercourse, unstable and multiple sexual partners, or sharing needles. Despite the result, HIV positive or negative, cease all potentially contagious dangerous conducts.
Who can help you once you are infected with HIV？
Do not panic if you are infected with HIV, call Department of Health if you have any questions concerning the disease; and the toll free number is 0800-888995. Moreover, you can obtain relevant information from all hospitals; China Medical University Hospital also provides service to HIV patients, just contact clinic of infectious disease.