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HIV is a virus most commonly caught by having unprotected sex or by
sharing infected needles and other injecting equipment to inject drugs.
· HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus. The virus attacks the immune
system, and weakens your ability to fight infections and disease.
· AIDS is the final stage of HIV infection, when your body can no longer fight
life-threatening infections.…read more

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Most people who are infected with HIV experience a short, flu-like illness that
occurs two to six weeks after infection. After this, HIV often causes no
symptoms for several years.
· It's estimated that up to 80% of people who are infected with HIV experience
this illness.
The most common symptoms are:
· Fever (raised temperature)
· Body rash
· Sore throat
However, there are other symptoms such as joint pain, muscle pain, swollen glands
and tiredness.
These symptoms usually last for about four weeks and show that your immune
system is fighting against a virus and can show the sign of another virus, other
than HIV.…read more

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If HIV is not treated, HIV weakens your immune system so that you become
vulnerable to severe illnesses. At this point, the infection is called AIDS.
Typical symptoms of AIDS include:
· Dry cough
· Weight loss
· Blurred vision
· Night sweats
· Swollen glands for over 3 months
· White spots on the tongue/mouth.
From this point onwards, you are at increasingly risk of dangerous illnesses such as
pneumonia, tuberculosis and certain cancers.…read more

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AIDS can be transmitted in several ways. The risk factors for HIV transmission vary
according to the method of transmission.
· Sexual contact. According to the Health Protection Agency, 95% of people diagnosed
with HIV in the UK in 2010 acquired HIV through sexual contact. The main routes of
transmission are unprotected vaginal and anal sex. although it is also possible to catch
HIV through unprotected oral sex with a person who has HIV, but the risk is much lower
than that for vaginal and anal sex. If a person performing oral sex has HIV, transmission
of the virus can occur if blood from their mouth passes into the body of the other
person. If the person receiving oral sex has HIV, transmission can occur if their semen,
vaginal fluid or blood gets into the mouth of the other person. People at greatest risk
are those who do not practice safer sex by always using a condom, those who have
multiple sexual partners, those who participate in anal intercourse, and those who
have sex with a partner who has HIV infection and/or other sexually transmitted
diseases (STDs).
· Transmission in pregnancy. High-risk mothers include women sexually active with
bisexual men, intravenous drug users, and women living in areas with a high rate of HIV
infection among heterosexuals. The chances of transmitting the disease to the child
are higher in women in advanced stages of the disease. Breast feeding increases the
risk of HIV transmission as HIV passes into breast milk.…read more

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· Exposure to contaminated blood. Risk of HIV transmission among intravenous
drug users increases with the frequency and duration of intravenous use,
frequency of needle sharing, number of people sharing a needle, and the rate of
HIV infection in the local population. In 2006, about 19% of men with AIDS and
25% of women with AIDS contracted the disease through sharing needles during
intravenous drug injection. With the introduction of new blood product screening
in the mid-1980s, HIV transmission through blood transfusions became rare in the
developed world. However, contaminated blood is still a significant source of
infection in the developing world.
· Needle sticks or body fluid splashes among health care professionals.
Transmission through theses sources accounts for fewer than 0.3% of all HIV
infections in the United States. This rate reflects the emphasis on universal safety
precautions (e.g., use of gloves, face shields, proper disposal of needles) among
health care professionals and first responders.…read more

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