Things to Remember about HIV/AIDS

By: Damian C. Reynolds

Charlie Sheen announced early Tuesday morning that he has the HIV/AIDS virus. Here are five things AIDS Athens wants you to remember about HIV/AIDS:

  1. AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) is a medical condition. HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is the virus that causes AIDS. People develop AIDS because HIV has damaged their immune system. Your immune system is your body’s defense system against infection and other diseases. If your immune system does not work well, you are at risk for developing serious and life-threatening infections and cancers.
  2. Many people may have HIV/AIDS but not experience any symptoms for a number of years and feel well. The only way to know your status is to get an HIV test. Some newly infected individuals may experience “flu-like” symptoms including: fever, extreme fatigue, headache, dry cough, night sweats, rash, and swollen lymph nodes in neck or groin.
  3. A positive HIV test result means that you are infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. Being infected with HIV does not mean that you have develop AIDS.
  4. HIV is not transmitted by day-to-day contact in the workplace, schools, or social settings. HIV is not transmitted through shaking hands, hugging, or a casual kiss. You cannot become infected from a toilet seat, a drinking fountain, a door knob, dishes, drinking glasses, food, or pets
  5. Anyone can get HIV/AIDS. It does not matter your race, age, economic status, sexual orientation, or marital status. It’s your actions, not your demographics, that puts you at risk for HIV.

Below is a map of surrounding counties and their numbers as of 2012. The numbers are out of every 100,000 people. Atlanta, Ga. received the dubious honor of being crowned the top U.S. city for HIV cases back in March of 2015.





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