There is now a generation that has grown up hearing about AIDS and HIV. That would lead people to think that the average person understands each term, what they mean, and how each condition impacts well being. Unfortunately, there is as much false data about HIV and AIDS around as there is solid facts. Here are some of the essentials that everyone should know and understand.
Not the Same Thing
The first fact that needs to be made clear is that AIDS and HIV are not the same condition. It is true that the Human Immunodeficiency Virus weakens the body’s immune system and makes the individual more susceptible to a number of health issues. That includes the possibility of developing Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome. Keep in mind that this is only a possibility. An individual can live with and manage HIV for decades and never have the condition progress to AIDS.
HIV Doesn’t Always Come With Outward Symptoms
It’s possible to have HIV and not know it. That’s because the individual may not experience any symptoms at all, or what symptoms do manifest are so similar to other temporary conditions that they cause no particular sense of alarm. Because of this fact, it makes sense for people who are intimately active to be tested from time to time.
That includes people who are in what they believe to be monogamous relationships. While the individual may only have one partner, there is no guarantee the other party is doing likewise. In the best case scenario, the simple testing for HIV will reassure the individual that the virus is not present.
In spite of what some think, there is no cure for HIV. Once the infection is in place, the only choice is to manage it. Advances in treatment do make it possible to live a full life and be the picture of health. The right course of treatment along with a healthy lifestyle also helps to reduce the potential for the condition to escalate to AIDS.
These are only a few foundational facts that everyone needs to know. Spend some time reading the information found on Health News Digest and learn more. Being informed makes it easier to proactively take steps to remain healthy, and also to be there for someone who is diagnosed with either condition.