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Questions and Answers about AIDS

What is AIDS?
It's the Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome, a serious illness that harms the body's ability to fight infections.

What is HIV?
AIDS is caused by a germ or virus. The AIDS virus is called the Human Immunodeficiency Virus. It is HIV that is spread from one person to another. Actually, HIV is the thing we should worry about most because it is the germ or virus. AIDS is the disease that may develop once a person has been infected with HIV.

How is HIV spread?
Research shows that HIV is mainly spread:

  • Through sexual intercourse with an infected person.
  • By sharing a used/dirty needle or syringe.

HIV can also be spread through blood transfusions (although this is highly unlikely because all blood is now tested) and from an infected mother to her baby, before, during, or after birth through breast-feeding.

Research also shows that you can't get HIV from:

  • Sneezing or coughing.
  • Sitting next to someone.
  • Touching or shaking hands.
  • Using toilets, water fountains, or telephones.
  • Sharing tools or equipment.
  • Eating in the cafeteria.
  • Swimming in a pool or showering in a locker room.

The Facts About HIV / AIDS:

  • At the end of 2008, there were 490,696 reported cases of people living with AIDS in US and dependent areas.
  • In 2008, the estimated number of deaths of persons with an AIDS diagnosis in the United States and dependent areas was 16,605
  • In 2009, the estimated number of persons diagnosed with AIDS in the United States and 5 U.S. dependent areas was 34,993.
  • Heterosexual, as well as homosexual, women and men can get HIV/AIDS.

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