HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus.  HIV can be contracted by several different ways, having unprotected sex with someone with the virus, sharing needles with someone with the virus, or from a mother at birth.  Blood transfusions or organ transplantation are rarely a risk due to the improved extensive testing done now to prevent that from happening. When HIV enters the body it attacks the blood cells in the body weakening them and doesn’t allow the body to fight off infection.  If this occurs and pneumonia sets in, it is a sign that possible AIDS may be progressing.
HIV infections have many progressing symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, fatigue, headache, weight loss, sore throat and skin rash.  If not treated this infection could turn more serious on a daily basis.  The infection will keep reproducing in your body until it weakens your immune system and then more symptoms will surface.  Such symptoms are repeated cold sores, or genital herpes, tingling and numbness in the limbs, swollen lymph nodes, usually in the neck, dry cough, nail changes, and night sweats.  So it is very important that if you are experiencing any of these symptoms you be seen by your doctor to perform and HIV test.   Getting tested for the virus is very easy.  Simply talk to your doctor or go to a clinic if you are embarrassed, don’t be it could save your life.  They will perform a test usually blood and send it off and you will know something in a short time.  If you are diagnosed with the HIV infection please let your past partners know so they can be tested as well.  And you should let your future partners know of the HIV infection so you don’t pass it along to them.
If you have HIV it is not necessarily the end of your life it is controllable on medications.  You control the virus.  There are many anti-HIV drugs and they are very powerful and they do have many side effects.  The side effects vary on the person.  The drugs are prescribed by your physician and proper direction on how to live with HIV should be taken very seriously.  It is important you educate yourself and your loved ones on how to live with the infection.  Just because you have HIV doesn’t mean you have been given a death sentence you have HIV infection and you have to live life differently.

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