HIV = “Human Immunodeficiency Virus”
HIV is a virus that infects the immune system and damages the ability to fight disease.AIDS = “Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome” AIDS is the end result of HIV disease. People diagnosed with AIDS lose their ability to fight germs that can make them sick.HIV is passed from the infectious body fluids of an infected person to another person.HIV can be passed through an exchange of:
Some of the ways HIV can be passed between people include:
HIV is not spread through everyday casual contact.
The immune system works in the body to fight germs and keep a person healthy.T-cells are the “soldiers” of the immune system. T-cells recognize germs in the body, and they work with other cells to destroy them. “Killer” T cells (CTLs) can find and destroy cells that are infected with HIV. HIV infects “helper” T cells (CD4 cells). Helper T cells order “killer” T cells to do their job. When the “helper” T cells are destroyed by HIV, the immune system does not know how to fight the invader. Billions of copies of the virus are created every day by HIV attaching to CD4 (T-cells) and inserting HIV genetic code, the CD4 now replicate HIV. Your immune system attacks and kills the T-cells that have been infected with HIV and the new HIV cells. New T-cells are made because the immune system detects an “enemy” but not as quickly as the number being killed. HIV reproduces very quickly. Eventually, T-cells are overcome by HIV and then cannot do their job of fighting infections.People infected with HIV…
When people develop AIDS, they get illnesses that healthy people usually don’t get called opportunistic infections AND their T-cell count is at or below 200Only a doctor can diagnose AIDS.
Acute Infection: May last for one or two weeks. Person may have flu-like symptoms.Asymptomatic Period: Lasts from 6 months to over 10 years. Person looks and feels well.Symptomatic period: May last several years. Person may have enlarged lymph glands, tiredness, weight loss, fever, chronic diarrhea, or yeast infections, among other conditionsWindow Period: Time it takes for antibodies to become detectable: usually within three months.AIDS: Average survival after diagnosis of an AIDS-indicator illness had been one and one-half to two years but that has changed because of the treatment regimens. Maximum survival is not known.
The risk of getting HIV from a blood transfusion in the U.S. is extremely low:
Donating blood is not a method to get tested!
Abstaining from or not engaging in risky behaviors is the only way guaranteed to prevent HIV infection.
*It is never too late to choose to begin practicing abstinence, even if one has not practiced abstinence in the past People can choose ways to be affectionate that do not spread HIV infection and other STDs. If people have sex, using latex barriers the right way, every time greatly reduces the risk of HIV infection and other STDs (Condoms, dental dams, gloves, finger cots)Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) increase the risk of HIV infection by allowing the virus an easier entrance into the non-HIV infected person’s body. Some common STDs include the following:
Drinking alcohol or taking drugs may make people take the following risks related to HIV:
People who think they are at risk of HIV infection are encouraged to seek individual counseling and testing.*Do not donate blood to get tested for HIVThere are two different HIV testing strategies:
A simple test that reacts to HIV antibodies in the system called the ELISA. If two ELISA screenings are reactive, a determinate test is performed (Western Blot). Unless it has been 3 months since an exposure, a test may not show as reactive to HIV antibodies. Retest every 3-6 months if risky behaviors continue.
There are three types of testing results:
A NEGATIVE test result means there are no HIV antibodies in detected OR the person is infected, but the body has not produced enough antibodies to show up on the test. This is the Window Period. If a person is at risk for HIV infection, they may be advised to have the test repeated. The test cannot determine if a person will be infected in the future, behaviors determine possibilities of infection. INDETERMINATE results mean it is unclear if there are HIV antibodies. The test neither clearly shows HIV antibodies, nor is it completely negative. The test must be repeated.POSITIVE results mean the HIV antibodies are present and a confirmatory test has established that the person is HIV infected. It does not mean that the person has AIDS. The test cannot tell if or when AIDS will develop. A positive person can infect others. Get evaluated for treatment.
Testing LocationsNorthern NevadaWashoe County Health District1001 East 9th StreetBuilding BReno, NV 89512Corner of 9th Street and WellsCost: Sliding Fee / Free testing opportunities are available.Hours: Mon-Fri 8 AM – 5 PM (before or after hours by appointment)Call: 775-328-2470 for appointmenthttp://www.washoecounty.us/healthCarson City Health and Human Services900 E. Long StreetCarson City, NV 89706Cost: Sliding fee scale, up to $8.00Hours: Mon-Fri 8 AM – 5 PM (before or after hours by appointment)Call: 775-887-2190 for appointmentWalk-In or by appointmenthttp://gethealthycarsoncity.org/https://www.facebook.com/CCHHSDouglas County Community Health1538 Hwy 395 NorthGardnerville, NV 89410Cost: Sliding fee scale, up to $8.00Hours: Mon – Fri 9 AM – 5 PMCall: 775-782-9038https://www.facebook.com/DCCommunityHealthNorthern Nevada HOPES580 West 5th StreetReno, NV 89503775-348-2893888-467-3144Cost: Free on-site and mobile testing, check HOPES web site for detailshttp://www.nnhopes.org/https://www.facebook.com/NNHOPESSouthern NevadaSouthern Nevada Health District330 S. Valley View Blvd.Las Vegas, NV 89107Hours: Mon-Fri 8 AM to 4 PMCost: Exam and Treatment $30, nobody is turned away for inability to pay.Call: 702-759-0702http://www.southernnevadahealthdistrict.org/https://www.facebook.com/ez2stopGay and Lesbian Center of Las Vegas401 South Maryland ParkwayLas Vegas, NV 89101702-733-9800http://www.thecenterlv.com/https://www.facebook.com/TheCenterLVRural NevadaNevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health Community Health Nursing Program (Rural Nurses)775-687-5162
Free Condom Resources
Southern Nevada Health DistrictSexual Health Clinic400 Shadow Lane, Suite 106Las Vegas, NV 89107702-759-0702http://www.southernnevadahealthdistrict.org/https://www.facebook.com/ez2stopCommunity Counseling Center714 E. Sahara Avenue, Suite 101Las Vegas, NV 89104702-369-8700http://cccofsn.wix.com/ccc-new#Aid for AIDS of Nevada (AFAN)1120 Almond Tree LaneLas Vegas, NV 89104702-382-2326http://www.afanlv.org/https://www.facebook.com/AFANLVRichard Steele Boxing Center2475 W. Cheyenne Avenue, Suite 110North Las Vegas, NV 89032702-638-1308http://richardsteelefoundation.org/Gay and Lesbian Center of Las Vegas953 East Sahara Avenue, B-31Las Vegas, NV 89104702-733-9800http://www.thecenterlv.com/https://www.facebook.com/TheCenterLVNorthern NevadaWashoe County Health District1001 East 9th StreetBuilding BReno, NV 89512Call: 775-328-2470 for appointmenthttp://www.washoecounty.us/healthCarson City Health and Human Services900 E. Long StreetCarson City, NV 89706Hours: Mon-Fri 8 AM – 5 PM (before or after hours by appointment)Call: 775-887-2190 for appointmenthttp://gethealthycarsoncity.org/https://www.facebook.com/CCHHSNorthern Nevada HOPES580 West 5th StreetReno, NV 89503775-786-4673888-467-3144http://www.nnhopes.org/https://www.facebook.com/NNHOPESRural NevadaNevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health Community Health Nursing Program (Rural Nurses)775-687-5162Want to do more research before you walk in? Check out this site and plug in your ZIP code to see free condom resources nationwide.
According to the CDC:“PrEP” stands for Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis. The word “prophylaxis” means to prevent or control the spread of an infection or disease. The goal of PrEP is to prevent HIV infection from taking hold if you are exposed to the virus. This is done by taking one pill every day. These are some of the same medicines used to keep the virus under control in people who are already living with HIV.
PrEP medicine is not injected into the body and does not work the same way as a vaccine. A vaccine teaches your body to fight off infection for several years. For PrEP, you take a pill every day by mouth. The pill that was shown to be safe and to help block HIV infection is called “Truvada” (pronounced tru vá duh). Truvada is a combination of two drugs (tenofovir and emtricitabine). If you take PrEP daily, the presence of the medicine in your bloodstream can often stop HIV from taking hold and spreading in your body. If you do not take PrEP every day, there may not be enough medicine in your bloodstream to block the virus.CDC recommends that PrEP be considered for people who are HIV-negative and at substantial risk for HIV.For sexual transmission, this includes anyone who is in an ongoing relationship with an HIV-positive partner. It also includes anyone who 1) is not in a mutually monogamous* relationship with a partner who recently tested HIV-negative, and 2) is a gay or bisexual man who has had anal sex without a condom or been diagnosed with an STD in the past 6 months; or heterosexual man or woman who does not regularly use condoms during sex with partners of unknown HIV status who are at substantial risk of HIV infection (e.g., people who inject drugs or have bisexual male partners).For people who inject drugs, this includes those who have injected illicit drugs in the past 6 months and who have shared injection equipment or been in drug treatment for injection drug use in the past 6 months.For heterosexual couples where one partner has HIV and the other does not, PrEP is one of several options to protect the uninfected partner during conception and pregnancy.People who use PrEP must be able to take the drug every day and to return to their health care provider every 3 months for a repeat HIV test, prescription refills, and follow-up.* Mutually monogamous means that you and your partner only have sex with each other and do not have sex outside the relationship.In several studies of PrEP, the risk of getting HIV infection was much lower—up to 92% lower—for those who took the medicines consistently than for those who didn’t take the medicines.Some people in clinical studies of PrEP had early side effects such as an upset stomach or loss of appetite, but these were mild and usually went away in the first month. Some people also had a mild headache. No serious side effects were observed. You should tell your health care provider if these or other symptoms become severe or do not go away.Visit the CDC's web page for more information about PrEP.
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Office of HIV/AIDS4126 Technology WaySuite 200Carson City. NV 89706Fax: (775) 684-4056