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Transcript of HIV 101
Separating Fact From Fiction
What is HIV/AIDS?
You are considered to have progressed to AIDS if you have one or more specific OIs (opportunistic infections), certain cancers, or a very low number of CD4 cells.
Most persons infected with HIV develop detectable antibodies against the virus within three months after the infection.
A person can be infected with HIV for many years before any symptoms occur, and during this time, an infected person can unknowingly pass the infection on to others.
The length of time following infection for an individual to develop detectable antibodies to HIV.
The length of the window period varies depending on the types of diagnostic test used and the method it employs to detect the virus.
How is HIV transmitted?
Not Transmitted by...
sitting next to someone
giving a hug
dry (social) kiss
being bitten by an insect
How is HIV transmitted?
3 things required for HIV transmission to take place
1) Body Fluids that can pass HIV:
blood, semen, precum, rectal fluids, vaginal fluids, breast milk
2) An activity that moves the body fluid into the opening to the bloodstream:
unprotected sex, sharing needles, HIV+ mom giving birth, HIV+ mom breastfeeding
3) A direct opening into the blood stream:
vagina, anus, urethra in the penis, open cuts, sores, points of needle injection
Not Sharing Needles/Sex Toys
Talking to your partner
Using a condom consistently and correctly
Choosing less risky sexual behaviors
If partner is HIV+, encourage him/her to get and stay on treatment
Using HIV medication in order to reduce risk (PrEP)
Getting tested and treated for other STDs
Educate yourself on HIV risks and how you can reduce them
The immune system begins to weaken.
Viral load may increase and CD4 cell count may decrease to 200/mm3 or less. When that happens, HIV infection can lead to AIDS, the final stage of HIV infection.
Most symptoms can be treated. If a person goes on anti-HIV drugs they may not experience symptoms.
Learn about HIV testing:
Why should I get tested?
For those who have HIV, testing is the gateway to treatment and care.
Highly effective treatments make it possible to live a long, healthy life with HIV.
Testing also helps reduce the spread of HIV. Early diagnosis allows those infected to take steps to protect their partners from infection, and early treatment can lower viral load, and reduce the risk of transmitting HIV to others by 96%.
For those who do not have HIV, testing is just as critical because knowing your status can help them with prevention services so they can remain HIV-free.
Testing can help keep you and your partner safe.
Is there a cure?
Even though there is no cure for HIV, there have been many scientific advances that can help prevent the disease.
2014 USVI Stats
When ranked by rate, the Virgin Islands is number 3 with the reported total of persons diagnosed with HIV. Washington, D.C. is ranked number 1.
As of 2014, 324 persons were diagnosed with HIV infection and 737 were diagnosed with AIDS in the USVI.
The highest percentage of cumulative HIV/AIDS cases by transmission is not reported.
Blacks represent 58% of HIV and 65% of AIDS cases reported. Hispanics represent 32% of HIV and 27% of AIDS cases reported. These two groups account for 90% and 92% of the HIV and AIDS population, respectively.
reported with a risk factor, 44% of females were infected through heterosexual contact while 28% of males infected were MSM.
reported with a risk factor, 56% of females report exposure through heterosexual contact and 31% of males were MSM.
VI Department of Health STD/HIV/TB Program
(340) 774-9000/ (340) 718-1311
Private Health Care Providers
VI Care Inc.
Frederiksted Health Clinic, Inc.
UVI Health Services
(340) 693-1124/ (340) 692-4214
UVI SA & HIV/AIDS Prevention Program
This is the second stage of the infection. There are often no symptoms.
The CD4 cells in the body decreases but there are enough cells left to still be considered healthy. The viral load remains low.
This stage can last for years if one practices good self care including nutrition and reduced use of alcohol and drugs.
Until there is a cure, Prevention is the Key!!!
HIV is the virus that causes AIDS. It is not spread through casual contact.
With proper treatment, people with HIV can live longer and fuller lives.
Good relationships can include SAFER SEX! Protecting yourself and your partner does not have to get in the way of trust and intimacy.
African Americans are the racial/ethnic group most affected by HIV.
As of 2014, a total of 324 persons were diagnosed with HIV infection and 737 were diagnosed with AIDS in the USVI.
Most HIV infections among black women are attributed to heterosexual sex.
The Virgin Islands is number 3 with the reported total of persons diagnosed with HIV when measured by rate.
HIV is the retrovirus that causes AIDS by infecting the T-helper cells.
Over time, HIV can infect and destroy so many of a persons T-helper cells that the body is no longer able to fight off infections and diseases.
These T-helper cells or CD4 cells
are what protects the body from illnesses.
These body fluids must come into contact with a mucous membrane or damaged tissue or be directly injected into your bloodstream (by a needle or syringe) for transmission to possibly occur. Mucous membranes are the soft, moist areas just inside the openings to your body.
Having multiple sex partners
Having another sexually transmitted disease
Having unprotected vaginal, anal, or oral sex with someone who is infected with HIV or whose HIV status you do not know
Sharing needles, syringes, or equipment used to prepare or inject drugs with someone who is HIV infected
Having sex after drinking alcohol or taking drugs
"So, tell me more about safer sex."
1. Have you had sex with someone who is HIV positive or whose status you didn’t know since your last HIV test?
2. Have you injected drugs (including steroids, hormones, or silicone) and shared equipment (such as needles and syringes) with others?
3. Have you exchanged sex for drugs or money?
4. Have you been diagnosed with or sought treatment for a sexually transmitted disease, like syphilis?
5. Have you been diagnosed with or sought treatment for hepatitis or tuberculosis (TB)?
6. Have you had sex with someone who could answer yes to any of the above questions or someone whose history you don’t know?
If you can answer yes to any of the following questions, then you should definitely get tested?
What are the different types of testing and how do they work?
(It offers results in twenty minutes. It usually detects HIV 1 and HIV 2.)
Clearview Complete HIV 1/2 and Clearview HIV 1/2 Stat-Pak
(These two tests help to detect HIV1 and HIV 2 antibodies in serum, blood, and plasma samples. The results of these tests are provided within fifteen minutes.)
(An alternative to rapid testing, if negative, the person is considered HIV-. If reactive, the person will be tested once again. If positive again, the person is required to take a Western Blot Test.)
(A confirmatory test after two positive ELISA tests. If reactive, the person is considered positive for HIV, if nonreactive the test is considered indeterminate, meaning that the person is not necessarily negative but may be converting.)
INSTI HIV-1 Antibody Rapid Test
(Rapid, accurate, and simple, test that can detect antibodies to HIV in as little as 60 seconds.)
There are two different types of HIV:
Globally, the vast majority of infections are of HIV-1, but HIV-2 is prevalent in West Africa and is rarely found elsewhere.
Transmission modes for both strains are the same, and infection with either strain can lead to the development of AIDS.
Around one in ten people with new HIV infections have resistant virus. HIV can become resistant to the drug used to treat it; this is because HIV changes, or mutates, slightly every time it reproduces itself.
“PrEP” stands for Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis. The word “prophylaxis” means “to prevent or control the spread of an infection or disease.” PrEP is a way for people who don’t have HIV to prevent HIV infection by taking a pill every day.
Based on the 2014 USVI data 52% of HIV and 67% of AIDS reported cases are males.
Some reasons why males are more at risk?
Sexual risk behaviors. Unprotected anal intercourse carries a higher risk of sexual HIV transmission than unprotected vaginal intercourse.
The large percentage of gay and bisexual men living with HIV means that, as a group, gay and bisexual men have an increased chance of being exposed to HIV.
Many gay and bisexual men with HIV are unaware they have it.
Having more sex partners compared to other men means gay and bisexual men have more opportunities to have sex with someone who can transmit HIV or another STD.
Homophobia, stigma, and discrimination may place gay men at risk for multiple physical and mental health problems and affect whether they seek and are able to obtain high-quality health services.
UVI Substance Abuse & HIV/AIDS Prevention Program
Student Peer Educators
Course of the Virus
"PEP" stands for Post-Exposure Prophylaxis. This involves taking anti-HIV medications as soon as possible after you may have been exposed to HIV to try to reduce the chance of becoming HIV positive. These medications keep HIV from making copies of itself and spreading through your body.
2 Types of PEP:
Occupational PEP is often used by person in the healthcare field
Non-Occupational PEP is used by persons who may be exposed outside of the workplace
HIV is a highly variable virus which mutates very readily. This means there are many different strains of HIV, even within the body of a single infected person.
HIV-1 and HIV-2
M-F 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
East End Family Health Clinic
M-F 8:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m.
Department of Health Communicable Diseases Division
M-F 8:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m.
M-F 8:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m.
(340) 718-1311 ext. 3061
M-F 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
M-F 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Ryan White HIV/AIDS Services
Frederiksted Health Care, Inc.
(340) 772-0260 ext. 3242
M-F 8:00 a.m. -5:00 p.m
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