Hiv Aids


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Hiv Aids

  1. 1. The story of a pregnant mother Read with Readrunner Read it with SpeakIt! The story of a pregnant mother My name is Nosi. I found out that I was HIV positive in 2001. I was pregnant and had to do the test so that I can take safety measures for my baby. I knew that I could be HIV positive because earlier on that same year, an ex-boyfriend of mine had come to tell me that he is HIV positive and has been for a while and would like me to go for a test as well. We have had sex without using any protection. 2002 I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy. He is now four years old and is the reason I am alive today. I went through depression and thought I was going to die, but I did not. I lived because I was carrying him, I talked to him while he was in my stomach, I apologized for bringing him to the world with such a risk at hand. Fortunately when I tested him in this year, he tested negative. I thank God for him because I do not think I would have been able to live with myself if he had tested positive. It’s been a year and a few months now since I broke up with my son’s father and although I miss him but I know that we have a relationship that was not functioning properly. My son loves him so much and I would love us to be a family but I don’t think it’s going to happen. The good news though is that I met a man whom I told immediately that I am positive and he was okay with it, he is still around. He makes me so happy. He has brought so much joy in my life and I know that when I look back at my life I can smile because he loves me and has loved me and nothing else matters because he loves me. I would love to get married to him but sometimes feel that it will be unfair to him to do that because we cannot have kids, although he has a child and I have one. My dream is to marry him and become his wife. He is a gentle soul and loves me so. Read it with SpeakIt! Pablo’s story Pablo is eighteen years old.He left his high school in Pueba, a city in Mexico. Pablo often got into trouble at school.He used drugsand rarely went to class.His parents ?nally made him leave their house andPablo moved into a friend’s home.His friend had recently stopped usingdrugs and he encouraged Pablo to go to a drug treatment program for help.Pablo went to the program and stopped using drugs.Later he attendedclasses at night and ?nished high school. Pablo went to get an HIV test because he was worried that he might havebeen infected when he shared needles two years before.A week later helearned that he had HIV.He went back to his friends from the drug treatmentprogram and they helped him deal with the bad news. After a while, Pablodecided that he wanted to help teach other young people about HIV so thatthey would not get the virus like he did. He comes to you for advice: “Can youhelp me teach the students at my old high school about HIV and drugs? Howcan I reach teenagers who do not go to school? How can I get on the radio ortelevision to tell people about HIV?” 1
  2. 2. Read it with SpeakIt! Have you been exposed to HIV? Do you know young ones in your community how are infected with AIDS? Is there anybody around you whose parents have died after suffering of AIDS? Have you ever met someone with AIDS? Can you consider yourself living with a partner who has AIDS? Have you ever visited a clinic, which is helping people sick of AIDS? If the answer to any of these questions – one can always put lost of other questions in the same family – is “Yes”, you should have faced a touching situation. In that case, What did you? How did you react? Read it with SpeakIt! Where people move, HIV moves More than 300 million people cross international boundaries each year. Transportation has made it easier for HIV to spread. The virus can travel from London, England to a small village in Asia in a day. If he has unsafe sex with another person who has HIV, he takes the virus and caries it away across the world and gives it to another one. This is how the virus moves. It spreads from person to person, from village to city, and from city to village. For a virus like HIV there are no borders. Where people move, HIV moves. Read it with SpeakIt! 2
  3. 3. HIV in the world Over 39 million people with HIV around 22 million men around 17 million women Of the 39 million around 80% got HIV during sex;ofthese,80% got HIV during sexbetween men and women around 10% got HIV duringinjection drug use around 5% are children infectedby mothers who have HIV around 5% got HIV through blood Numbers of people with HIV indifferent parts of the world around 26 million in Africa around 1 million in North America around 2 million in Latin America around 8 million in Asia(700 thousands in China) around 2 million in Europe andCentral Asia Because HIV is spreading so quickly,we cannot know exactly how manypeople have it.The HIV epidemic is like a ?re that is spreading through a forest - by the time you have put out part ofit,you ?nd it has moved to a newarea ofthe woods. People with HIV in the world: Year 1980 around 100,000 Year 2004 around 39,000,000 Read it with SpeakIt! The spread of HIV can be prevented! There are ways to avoid, reduce contact with the bodily fluids that spread HIV (blood, sexual fluids, and breast milk). This info sheet will explain how. How HIV spreads? There is still misunderstanding about how HIV is transmitted from one person to another. Knowing the basics helps you avoid getting the virus if you are HIV-. You can also avoid passing it on if you are HIV+. HIV is spread through the following body fluids: Blood (including menstrual blood) Semen and other male sexual fluids ("pre-cum") Vaginal fluids Breast milk HIV cannot spread through: Sweat Tears Saliva (spit) 3
  4. 4. Blood products Read with Readrunner Read it with SpeakIt! Blood products In the past, HIV was spread in blood products. Many people were infected this way. The blood supply is now much more strictly tested and controlled. The chances of being infected from receiving blood in lots of countries are extremely low. Read it with SpeakIt! Unclean needles AVOID them! Drug users Many HIV infections happen when people share needles to inject heroin, methamphetamine, or other drugs. Using fresh needles each time can eliminate the risk. Many cities now offer free needle exchange programs. Drug injectors can give HIV not only to other drug users,but also to theirsexual partners and through them to the poor babies. 1
  5. 5. Tattooists When getting a tattoo or body piercing, always go to a licensed professional and make sure the equipment is sterilized not just with alcohol but rather through using of heat, chemicals, high pressure or filtration. Read it with SpeakIt! Not protected sex Every sexual act that involves sexual fluids of some kind has at least some risk. Barriers, such as condoms (male and female), rubber gloves and even plastic food wrap, help reduce risk to a large extent. Unsafe sex (without condoms or barriers) puts you and your partner at risk for HIV or other sexually transmitted diseases. Safer sex (using condoms or other barriers correctly and consistently) protects you and your partner. Assault Sexual assault can result in infection if the assailant is HIV+. The risk increases when rape involves anal penetration, force, and/or multiple assailants. Some forced sexual acts involving wounds can place a victim at very high risk. 2
  6. 6. Read it with SpeakIt! Talking about sex Many people have sex but do not talk about it.Because of HIV and AIDS. We need to talk about sex.Sexual partners have to talk about what they are doing.Talkingabout HIV before having sex is much better than talking about it afterward(or during!). Often people have thought about HIV but feel uncomfortabletalking about it with their sexual partners.Those who ?nally talk about HIVusually feel pleased.This is especially true in places where anxiety aboutinfection is common. Read it with SpeakIt! How to say NO Here are some ways some people have said “NO”when they did notwant to have sex.You can use these or think of other ways. Get the other person’s attention: Use his ?rst name Look into his eyes Say “Listen to me” Say “no” Use the words “I said no” Use a ?rm voice Hold your body in a way that says no If pressured to have sex anyway: Say no again Suggest doing something else Leave Other ways to say no: Use humor 3
  7. 7. Ask him why he cares so much about having sex; this puts the pressureon him Keep repeating what you want Tell your partner you need to think about it more Read it with SpeakIt! How to avoid spreading HIV through sex There are some general ways to make sex safer.These are: 1. Choose carefully and limit the number ofsexual partners. 2. Get tested and treated for sexually transmitted diseases,and ask partners toget tested and treated too. 3. Have safer types ofsex. 4. Use condoms or other barriers during sex. Read it with SpeakIt! Mother-to-child transmission Mothers with HIV virus can pass the virus to their babies while pregnant, during birth, or by breastfeeding. New medical techniques have almost eliminated the risk of a baby getting HIV from its mother when safety measures are taken. Infected mothers should not breastfeed their babies. 4
  8. 8. Reduce the risk of transmission Read with Readrunner Read it with SpeakIt! Reduce the risk of transmission by: Avoiding contact with sexual fluids by always practicing safer sex Don’t have sex unless you and your partner are both HIV- and in a long-term, relationship only with each other Not using injection drugs, or if you do, always using new or clean needles Do the HIV test if you are planning to get pregnant and working with a knowledgeable doctor and obstetrician if you are HIV+ If you protect yourself in these ways, you do not need to be afraid of getting or passing HIV by casual contact. Read it with SpeakIt! HIV is NOT moved by: Hugs Dancing Sharing food or drinks Using a shower, bath, or bed used by an HIV+ person Kissing (between people with no major dental problems) Sharing exercise equipment Read it with SpeakIt! 1
  9. 9. Myths and Misunderstandings WHY ARE THERE SO MANY AIDS MYTHS? When AIDS first became known, it was a very mysterious disease. It caused the death of many people. There are still many unanswered questions about the disease. Many people reacted with fear and came up with stories to back up their fear. Most of these had to do with how easy it was to become infected with HIV. Most of these are not true. TRANSMISSION MYTHS Many people believed that HIV and AIDS could be transmitted by a mosquito bite, by sharing a drinking glass with someone with AIDS, by being around someone with AIDS who was coughing, by hugging or kissing someone with AIDS, and so on. Transmission can only occur if someone is exposed to blood, semen, vaginal fluid or mother’s milk from an infected person. There is no documentation of transmission from the tears or saliva of an infected person. • Myth: A woman with HIV infection can’t have children without infecting them. • Reality: Without any treatment, HIV-infected mothers pass HIV to their newborns about 25% of the time. However, with modern treatments, this rate has dropped to only about 2%. See Fact Sheet 611 for more information about HIV and pregnancy. • Myth: Needles left in theater seats or vending machine coin returns are spreading HIV. • Reality: There is no documented case of this type of transmission. MYTHS ABOUT A CURE It can be very scary to have HIV infection or AIDS. The course of the disease is not very predictable. Some people get very sick in just a few months. Others live healthy lives for 20 years or more. The treatments can be difficult to take, with serious side effects. Not everyone can afford the medications. It’s not surprising that scam artists have come up with several “cures” for AIDS that involve a variety of substances. Unfortunately, none of these “cures” work. A very unfortunate myth in some parts of the world is that having sex with a virgin will cure AIDS. As a result, many young girls have been exposed to HIV and have developed AIDS. There is no evidence to support this belief. • Myth: Current medications can cure AIDS. It’s no big deal if you get infected. • Reality: today’s medications have cut the death rate from AIDS by about 80%. They are also easier to take than they used to be. However, they still have side effects, are very expensive, and have to be taken every day for the rest of your life. If you miss too many doses, HIV can develop resistance to the drugs you are taking and they’ll stop working. THE GOVERNMENT DEVELOPED AIDS TO REDUCE MINORITY POPULATIONS The world’s best researchers in government and in private pharmaceutical companies are working hard to try to stop AIDS. The government doesn’t have the capability to create a virus. Many minorities do not trust the government, especially regarding health care. A recent study in Texas found that as many as 30% of Latinos and African Americans believed that HIV is a government conspiracy to kill minorities. However, it seems that minorities receive a lower level of health care due to the same factors as anyone else: low income, inconvenient health care offices, and so on. Attitudes about health care and health care providers were much less important. MYTHS ABOUT MEDICATIONS It has been very challenging for doctors to choose the best anti-HIV medications (ARVs) for their patients. When the first drugs were developed, they had to be taken as many as three times a day. Some drugs had complicated requirements about storage, or what kind of food they had to be taken with (or how long you 2
  10. 10. had to wait after eating before taking a dose.) The reality of ARVs has changed dramatically. However, there are still some myths: • Myth: You have to take your doses exactly 12 (or 8, or 24) hours apart. • Reality: Medications today are fairly forgiving. Although you will have the most consistent blood levels of your drugs if they are taken at even intervals through the day, they won’t stop working if you’re off by an hour or two. • Myth: You have to take 100% of your doses on time or else they’ll stop working. • Reality: It’s very important to take AIDS medications correctly. In fact, if you miss more than about 5% of your doses, HIV has an easier time developing resistance and possibly being able to multiply even when you’re taking ARVs. However, 100% observance is not realistic for just about anyone. Do the best you can and be sure to let your health care provider what’s going on. • Myth: Current drugs are so strong that you can stop taking them (take a drug holiday) with no problem. • Reality: Ever since the first AIDS drugs were developed, patients have wanted to stop taking them due to side effects or just being reminded that they had AIDS. There have been many studies of “treatment interruptions” and all of them have shown that stopping your ARVs is very likely to cause problems. You could give the virus a chance to multiply or your count of CD4 cells could drop, a sign of immune damage. • Myth: AIDS drugs are poison and are more dangerous than the HIV virus. • Reality: When the first AIDS drugs became available, they weren’t as good as current medications. People still died of AIDS-related conditions. It’s true that some people get serious side effects from AIDS medications, but the death rate in the US has dropped by about 80%. Researchers are working hard to make HIV treatments easier and safer to use. 3
  11. 11. Immune system Read with Readrunner Read it with SpeakIt! Immune system Immune means safe and protected. The body’s immune system works to keep out invaders such as viruses (like the one that causes polio), bacteria (like the one that causes tuberculosis), parasites (like the one that causes malaria), and fungi (like the one that causes yeast infections). These organisms can infect people and cause disease and death. The immune system is made of different types of cells. Cells are tiny parts of a person’s body that are too small to see without a microscope. The body is made up of billions of cells. Each type of cell plays a different role; some cells make up bone, others muscle, others the immune system. Read it with SpeakIt! HIV HIV is:Human Immunodeficiency Virus. It is a virus, such as the other viruses that causes the flu or cold. HIV is a virus that takes over certain immune system cells to make many copies of itself. Some people think the virus makes a billion copies of itself every day.HIV causes slow but constant damage to the immune system. Normally, the human immune system is the body’s protection against bacteria, viruses, etc. It is like a cover of shield for the body. When HIV enters the body, it starts making holes in the shield. In the end, the shield becomes very weak and unable to protect the body. Once the armor is very weak or is gone, the person is said to have AIDS. If people do not get any treatment for HIV disease, it takes an average of 8-10 years to advance from HIV to AIDS. Read it with SpeakIt! The four stages of HIV infection 1. The ?rst few weeks after infection,when many people have symptoms likethe ?u. 2. The quiet period,when there are few signs of HIV disease. 3. Early HIV disease. 4. Advanced HIV disease (AIDS),when a person is very ill. Over time,one stage leads to the next. Read it with SpeakIt! AIDS AIDS is Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. It is the disease caused by HIV. This virus, as stated earlier, attacks the immune system, the body's "security force" that fights against infections. 1
  12. 12. Acquired – means that the disease is not hereditary but develops after birth from contact with a disease-causing agent (in this case, HIV). Immunodeficiency – means that the disease is described by a weakening of the immune system. Syndrome – refers to a group of warning signs that together show or a disease. In the case of AIDS this can include the development of certain infections and/or cancers, as well as a decrease in the number of certain cells in a person’s immune system. A damaged immune system is not only more open to to HIV, but also to the attacks of other infections. It won't always have the strength to fight off things that wouldn't have bothered it before. As time goes by, a person who has been infected with HIV is likely to become ill more and more often until, usually several years after infection, they become ill with one of a number of particularly severe illnesses. It is at this point in the stages of HIV infection that they are said to have AIDS. AIDS is an extremely serious condition, and at this stage the body has very little defense against any sort of infection. Read it with SpeakIt! HIV types, worldwide There are two types of this virus:HIV-1 and HIV-2. Like sister and brother,they have similarities and differences.HIV-1 is found in all parts ofthe world.HIV-2 is found mostly in West Africa. The spread ofboth viruses can be prevented in the same ways. 2
  13. 13. Are you infected? Read with Readrunner Read it with SpeakIt! How does a person know that he or she has HIV? Most people can’t tell that they have been exposed or infected. It can take up to 12 weeks for an HIV test to come back positive. However most people respond much faster. Within two to four weeks of exposure to HIV, one might have flu-like symptoms such as fever, swollen glands, muscle aches, or rash. Take a test The only way to know for sure if a person is infected is taking an HIV test. If there is a possibility that you have been exposed to HIV, then a test is always the best option. Why should I be tested? - The benefits of knowing Immune system monitoring and early treatment can greatly improve your long-term health. Knowing you are positive may help you change behaviors that would put yourself and others at risk. You will know whether or not you can infect others. Women and their partners considering pregnancy can take advantage of treatments that potentially prevent transmission of HIV to the baby. If you test negative, you may feel less anxious after testing. Test results in two weeks The most common test for HIV is the antibody test (called ELISA). It can be done on blood, saliva, or urine, which is more than 99% accurate. Results are generally available within two weeks. If you are waiting to take an HIV test, it is most important that you do not put yourself at risk through further contacts to HIV during this time period. This means you should practice safe sex and not share needles. A positive result means your body has developed antibodies for HIV, so you are infected with the virus. To be completely certain, positive results are confirmed with a more sensitive test. A negative result means your body is probably not infected. To get truly accurate results, wait three to six months after your last possible exposure to the virus before being tested. That is because the immune system can take three to twelve weeks to show antibodies. Antibodies are the body's response to an infection. So if a person has specific antibodies against HIV in their blood, it means they have been infected with HIV. To get medication If you test HIV+ there are effective medications to help you stay well. But you cannot get the health care and treatment you need if you do not know your HIV status. Being unaware of your status also makes it more likely to unknowingly pass HIV to others. 1
  14. 14. Someone you are close to has HIV Read with Readrunner Read it with SpeakIt! Someone close to you has HIV The following list describes some emotions families or friends may feel whensomeone they care about tells them that he has HIV.Health workers can talkabout some of these possible reactions with people who have a positive test.Itwill help them prepare for difficult situations. If the health worker has HIV herself,talking about some of her personal experiences can be especially helpful. Shock Family members may be shocked and ask,“Why us?”They may be surprised to ?nd out about the situation that put their loved one at risk;forexample,a husband or wife may not have known that the other was havingsex outside the marriage. Anger Families and sexual partners may be angry with a person who has HIV.They may feel betrayed if the person had sex outside the relationship,or theymay feel abandoned because the person they love will become ill.The angermay get worse as the person with HIV becomes ill and health workers do nothave much medical help to offer.The family or partner may become frustrated.Try to help them understand some of the reasons they might be angry,and let them know that it is natural to be frustrated in the face of these issues. Fear of infection Family members and sexual partners may think that theygave HIV to their loved one,or they may worry that their loved one will infectthem in the future.It is important to talk with family members about how thevirus is and is not spread.HIV is not spread by casual contact,so they do nothave to worry about living with someone with HIV or being friends with him,but they should think about changing their sexual behavior to lower thechance that the virus will spread.Sexual partners should think about beingtested for HIV themselves. Fear of being alone Families and friends may worry about being left alone orisolated from the rest of the community.A serious illness often causes thecommunity to withdraw.Health workers can offer support and let families andfriends know that they are not alone.If there are support groups in the community for families and friends of people with HIV,tell people about them. Guilt People who are close to others with HIV but don’t have the virus themselves may feel guilty about the fact that they do not have the virus.Somepeople react to this by taking more risks because they care less about theirown lives.Other people may think that they or someone in their family didbad things in the past,and that their gods or spirits are now punishing themby giving them HIV. Shame Some families or friends may feel ashamed that a person has HIV.They may think that HIV brings dishonor to the family.Families may have lesscontact with the community because they fear rejection.Explain that no oneshould feel ashamed to have someone with HIV in the family. Helplessness Family and friends may feel helpless in the face of disease.Learning more about HIV and volunteering for an HIV organization can givethem a sense that they can help other people and help slow the spread of 1
  15. 15. HIVand AIDS. Read it with SpeakIt! Keeping the spirits high No one - neither modern medicine nor traditional healers - has a cure for AIDS. Most people with HIV can be healthy for many years, especially with the right care and treatment. During this time it can help to: make the best of every moment of your life. spend time with friends and family. try to keep active by doing your daily work. be sexual if you want to. Enjoying sexual touch can help you stay healthier longer. Support groups Try joining or starting a group of people with HIV and AIDS. Some people with HIV and AIDS work together to educate the community, to provide home care to those who are sick with AIDS, and to support the rights of people with HIV and AIDS. Mental health Good mental health is very important for staying healthy and avoiding illness. AIDS places a heavy stress on the mind and the emotions. It is very common for people living with AIDS to feel very afraid and tense (fear), or to feel sadness or have no feelings at all (hopelessness). Fear and hopelessness can weaken the body and make a person more likely to get sick. It is important to try to tell the difference between signs of illness that are caused by physical problems, and signs that are caused by fear or hopelessness. Knowing the cause of a problem may make it easier to treat. It is also important to try and overcome these feelings so that they do not make a person with AIDS become sicker. See a counselor or join a support group to get help. Read it with SpeakIt! A good example Rosa has AIDS When Rosa was in bed because of AIDS difficulties, her mother kept a cheerful attitude. Every day she bathed her daughter, dressed her with nice clothes, and put a little flower next to her bed. Rosa was not hungry but her mother arranged the food in a way that could make her want to eat. The family would talk to Rosa about daily life, and their work and community. With their good humor and positive comments, Rosa felt that she was not cast aside. Close to the family Even though Rosa was often tired or didn’t feel well, the family arranged for her friends to visit her in the moments she felt better. Music, conversation, and good spirit kept the house full of life. Rosa felt that she was loved and needed, and that AIDS could not ruin her closeness and her time with her family. 
 Read it with SpeakIt! Teaching the others Education changes how people see themselves.It also affects a person’s health.Often,the more educated a 2
  16. 16. mother is,the healthier she is because she knowshow to take care ofherself.The healthier a mother is,the healthier her childwill be. The level ofa person’s education can help or hurt your efforts to advisesomeone.For example,a person who is able to read may have read newspapers and billboards about AIDS.He may already know something aboutHIV.You could teach him using written materials.The ability to read andwrite may mean that a person feels comfortable learning in a school setting. A person who does not read or write relies on other sources of information,such as radio,television,and friends.She often thinks more in terms ofreal-life situations.In this case,telling stories about other people with AIDSmay teach more than listing facts about the number ofpeople in the countrywith HIV. Using visual aids such as posters,drawings, and videos can be especially helpful.People who cannot read often learn better from their own experience than from information given in a student-and-teacher setting.Whenadvising such a person,it is also better to ask more concrete (exact) questions;for example,ask, “When you last had sex,did you use a condom?”ratherthan “Should condoms always be used for sex?”Written materials such as pamphlets can help with your counseling. People may have questions afteryou have spoken with them,andthe written information can helpanswer these.It can also remindpeople offacts they have forgotten.They can share the pamphlet withothers.People who have difficultyreading can still be given writtenmaterials;their friends or familycan read the materials to them. Read it with SpeakIt! East Palo Alto AIDS Project Some years ago,a few people in East Palo Alto decided that they wanted tostop the spread of HIV.They did not have much money but they had a lot ofpride.They decided to teach drug users about how HIV was spread and howthey could protect themselves.They knew that they needed to bring the message to where people were:on the streets. Martin The best person to do this was aman named Martin.Martin had used drugs but then stopped;at the time theproject started,he had not used drugs for over a year.He felt strong enough tobe around people using drugs and not start using them again himself.Martinwas known in the community and had many friends.He had a strong desire tohelp his community and he knew the ways of the streets.Most important,heknew how to talk with people on the streets about HIV. “Bleach Kits” Martin set up an office in a trailer parked near a place where people useddrugs.He got pamphlets about HIV from the state government,had condomsdonated by a local clinic, and made “Bleach kits”for cleaning needles.On eachof the pocket-sized bottles ?lled with bleach,he and his partner Atieno pastedinstructions on how to clean needles and a telephone number people couldcall for more information on HIV.They explained the project to the police inadvance so that the police would not think they were selling drugs. Teaching on the streets Martin put the materials in a backpack and went out onto the streets.Hestarted talking to people about HIV and how it is spread.He gave bleach kitsto anyone who would take one. Soon he became known as “the bleach Man”and people would look for him on the street and call out his name.Beforelong most of the drug users in the community knew about cleaning needlesand about using condoms during sex. Cookies - Condoms Men and women who traded sex formoney also learned from Martin.Soon Martin had so much work that 3
  17. 17. heneeded help.He went to a local medical school and asked students to helphim teach people on the street.They set up a table in a parking lot and passedout condoms,pamphlets,and bleach kits to people passing by.They also triedto give out cookies and bananas so that people would feel comfortable coming by the table - sometimes it is easier to ask for a free cookie than it is to askfor information on HIV. Martin and the students set up a regular schedule and people began torely on them for AIDS information and supplies of condoms and bleach.Atieno answered phones at the office and coordinated the project.She talkedwith church leaders and got donations of supplies. With the help of a localclinic,Martin and Atieno set up a pre- and post-test counseling service forpeople who wanted to be tested for HIV.The project grew and Martin andAtieno were able to get small salaries from the government for their work. They found it was surprisingly easy to get support for the project once theyproved it worked. 4