HIV and AIDS Today
This section is offered to alert you and definitely not to alarm you.
It was noticed that in many pamphlets and site discussions about contraceptives, alot was said about how you can get STDs from using contraceptives, but most did not say enough about the HIV virus or AIDS. In most places, it is mentioned briefly, as just another STD, despite the fact that it can be a killer. For example, only a few sites warn you that if you contract an STD, you are at a higher risk to get the HIV virus and then to get full blown AIDs (because your immune system would be weakened by the STD). Those with AIDs already know this, but many of you who are just beginnng to experience your sexuality or are not friendly with anyone who has AIDs might not realize this. Another key fact is that the #1 way of getting AIDs, other than through needles, continues to be sexual intercourse or other forms of sex. "About two-thirds of the people with AIDS in the United States got the disease during sex with an infected partner" according the the FDA, and of the people in this country living with HIV (70% are gay or bi, confirming that other forms of sex are equally vulnerable to the HIV virus).
So, with there being such a lack of key details, we thought it wise to give you some information just to put you on alert about this sexually transmitted danger.
This section then is still under construction, being added suddenly to put the right information before you as quickly as possible..
Did you know:
More than 65 million Americans have an incurable STD (1 in 5 Americans) . These diseases such as herpes, Syphilis, Gonorrhea, hepatitis, and Human Papillomavirus (HPV) weaken the immune system to make you more susceptible to being effectively attacked by the HIV virus and then more likely to develop the fatal AIDS disease. The stark truth is that you CAN get an STD and the HIV virus while using condoms and other contraceptives, even if you use the right kind of condoms (latex rubber and cover the entire penis) and use them correctly. See the Birth Control Section.[2 ]
Note: Condoms that are not labeled for disease prevention may provide less protection than the expensive ones.
The National Institue of Health states, in an Oct - 2007 article, www.nih.gov/factsheets/hivinf.htm shares that one-quarter of those who have AIDS are unaware of their infection.
This, in part, explains why 40% of college men and 20% of college women will lie about their sexual histories in order to have sex. That includes whether they have an STD, HIV, have intimate with a person of the same sex, and how many partners they have had.
HIV is a virus -- like other viruses
They are small organisms. Because they have no inherent metabolism, they are incapable of reproducing by themselves. To multiply, they must attack the living cells of the body and take over their reproductive machinery -- their metabolism. For example, the influenza virus occupies cells in the nose, throat and lungs; the mumps attaches itself to the salivary glands near the ears; while the Polio virus plays on the intestinal tract, blood and salivary glands. In all these instances, our immune system attacks and eliminates the invading virus.
The difference and concern
HIV virus is hard to fight because it attacks the immune system itself--the very thing that would normally get rid of a virus. They selectively attack the CD4+T lymphocytes, which are critical white blood corpuscles that help the immune system fight infections. They force the cells to abandon normal operations, and to perform functions of the virus, including massive reproduction. Slowly but surely, the number of healthy CD4+T lymphocytes in the blood fall, while HIV relentlessly takes over the body’s ability to defend itself from infection.
For additional information on how the HIV virus multiplies and takes over the immune system, go to the San Francisco AIDS Foundation site http://www.sfaf.org/aids101/virology.html, They offer the best explanation we have found so far. If you find others, let us know or if you find any other pertinent information let us know that too.
Condoms Do Not Prevent HIV Virus
Dr. CM Rowland, Ph.D., editor of the journal Rubber Chemistry and Technology, on why condoms are not a protection against acquiring the HIV virus. He shares "that electron micrographs (pictures taken with a very powerful microscope) reveal voids (holes) in the condom that are up to 50 times bigger than the HIV particle.The analogy would be that of throwing a marble at a tennis court fence and expecting it to stop the marble from going through."
Spermicidal Products Do Not Prevent HIV Virus
Spermicidal products do not give any protection. In a Dec 19, 2007 release, by Fox News, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said "it will require manufacturers of over-the-counter vaginal contraceptive and spermicidal products to include a warning that they do not provide protection against HIV infection or other sexually transmitted diseases (including gels, foams, films or inserts containing the chemical ingredient nonoxynol 9. See www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,317413,00.html
Other Products that Do Not Protect Against HIV
The above release mirrors a similar one published by the FDA in 1993 regarding oral contraceptives, subdermal implants, injectables, and IUDs. In the release, the FDA said that these products were intended to "prevent pregnancy.. and not to protect against HIV infection (AIDS) and other sexually transmitted diseases."
Risk Factors for AIDS*
The Duke University site http://www.dukeunv.org/aids101 and
"Nutritional Healing", Third Edition (by Phyllis A. Balch, CNC) share that the degree of risk varies for each person. The more factors, the higher the risk. Risk factors include:
- Overuse of certain pharmaceutical drugs, especially antibiotics and steroids.
- Substance abuse, including the use of alchohol,
cigarettes, cocaine, amyl nitrate, marijuana, and other
recreational drugs, especially intravenous drug use.
- Preexisting herpes infection, hepatitis, and/or mononucleosis.
- Sexual activity
- Having sex with someone exposed to HIV or STDs (condoms do not protect against HIV).
- Having a preexisting sexually transmitted disease, especially syphilis, which break down your resistence to enable the HIV virus to multiply and cause AIDS.
- Having a yeast infection (Candida albicans) and/or parasites.
- Being sexually active without regular tests for HIV and STDs -- all of which often carry subtle symptoms in the early years and can go undetected. it can take from 6 - 12 months for traceable HIV antibodies to appear, and usually takes 2-5 years before symptoms appear, and up to 10 years for a positive diagnosis*.
- A diet high in processed foods, refined sugars, and fat.
*Note: You also might want to get tested if you are in a committed, mutually monogamous relationship in which you and your partner want to safely engage in unprotected sex.
Body fluids that carry the HIV virus
According to the San Francisco Aids Foundation, HIV can be transmitted from an infected person to another through the below:
- Blood (including menstrual blood)
- Vaginal secretions
- Pre-seminal fluid (pre-cum)
- Breast milk
"Blood contains the highest concentration of the virus, followed closely by semen, followed by vaginal fluids. Pre-seminal fluid can contain small amounts of HIV, and so there is a potential risk".
Ways that HIV is transmitted
- vaginal sex
- anal sex
- oral sex (very low risk, see below)
- sharing any types of needles (injection, drug users, tattoo,
- needle sticks (health care workers)
- exposure to blood or fluids with blood in them of an infected person
- mother to child
Body fluids are not normally infectious
These fluids have concentrations of HIV that are too low, unless they have blood in them for any reason.
- Saliva (but beware -- it can if the saliva contains blood from dental work or gum disease or there are cuts in the mucous membranes that line the mouth).
- Sweat (sweat contains no HIV, however, new research suggests it may contain hepatitis and possibly HIV)
- Feces (beware - it can if there is blood in the stools for any reason)
- Urine (unless there is an infection and blood in urine)
"Normally", HIV is not transmitted tlrough insite bites, salvia, tears, sweat, feces or urine. Transmisstion can only occur when a sufficient amount of HIV enters the bloodstream through cuts or mucous membranes, and not through casual daily contact.
If someone you love has AIDS, go to the sources used which offer a great deal of insightful information.
Top Gay Organization Admits AIDS is a Gay & Lesbian Disease, by Concerned Women for America, http://www.cwfa.org/articles/14779/FIELD/nation/index.htm
Top “Gay” Organization Comes Clean: “HIV is a gay disease.” 2/14/2008
Washington, D.C. — In a public statement last Friday, Matt Foreman, outgoing Executive Director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, rattled the homosexual activist community by joining the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), pro-family organizations and a growing number of homosexual activists willing to admit that homosexual behavior is both extremely high-risk and primarily responsible for the spread of HIV/AIDS in the U.S.
Addressing the topic of AIDS, Foreman drastically deviated from the “gay” lobby’s party line by admitting, “Internally, when these numbers come out, the ‘established’ gay community seems to have a collective shrug as if this isn’t our problem. Folks, with 70 percent of the people in this country living with HIV being gay or bi, we cannot deny that HIV is a gay disease. We have to own that and face up to that.”
A little over a year ago, Lorri Jean, CEO of the Los Angeles-based Gay and Lesbian Center, similarly shocked the “gay” community by stating that, “HIV is a Gay Disease. Own it. End it.” ....
“It’s extremely encouraging to see Matt Foreman, a homosexual activist who has for so long been in denial about the dangers of the lifestyle he has promoted, publicly coming to terms with the undeniable perils of that lifestyle.
“I only hope he will now stop promoting homosexual conduct and push for other liberal elites, especially those running our public schools, to do the same. Educators must truthfully address the ‘gay’ lifestyle’s potentially deadly consequences.
‘Gayness’ is not about ‘who you are,’ it’s about ‘what you do.’
The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force has now, in effect, acknowledged that reality. Their honesty is refreshing..”
The Duke site also lists typical symptoms. The difficulty in diagnosing from symtoms (which you should not do) is that many of the symptoms are common to other things like colds, flu, arthritus, etc. and it is too easy to overlook them. If you or a loved one has any kind of prolonged systems of a sluggish immune system, see a doctor. Do not fool around with this -- get tested by a doctor.
For greater detail on symptoms, later symptom and diagnosis, see www.nih.gov/factsheets/hivinf.htm
HIV antibody testing
Of home test kits which authors advise against it for alot of reasons. For the best overview of testing methods, with advise, go to the The Duke University site. Also, a positive HIV test result does not mean that a person has AIDS. A diagnosis of AIDS should be made by a physician using proper clinical resources. Lastly, an inability to diagnose AIDS does not mean that it will not develop -- Duke Unv. says "The full effects of HIV infection (AIDS) may appear 10-15 years after the original infection with the virus....
As advances are made in the treatments of HIV-associated illness and immune disorders it becomes increasingly beneficial for people infected with HIV to know early whether or not they have the disease. Early detection will allow your health care provider to advise you about health practices that may prolong your life".
CDC with Questions
Centers for Disease Control at 1.800.232.4636 (Nationwide).
AIDS INFORMATION SOURCES & KEY LINKS: