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In this video, we will provide you with essential information about HIV and AIDS, eliminate common myths, and share key facts that everyone should know.

What is HIV & AIDS?
Let’s start with the basics HIV, or Human Immunodeficiency Virus, is a virus that attacks the body’s immune system. It weakens your defense against infections and diseases. HIV progresses and severely impacts the immune system, it’s referred to as AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome), with symptoms including fatigue, weight loss, diarrhea, fever, and swollen glands HIV numbers.

There were an estimated 390 million people living with HIV at the end of 2022, two thirds of whom (256 million) are in the African Region In 2022, 630 000 people died from HIV-related causes and 13 million people acquired HIV.

Types of HIV:
There are two main types of HIV, HIV-1 (more common worldwide) and HIV-2(rarer, primarily in specific regions of Africa and Asia).

How is HIV Transmitted?
HIV is primarily transmitted through unprotected sexual intercourse, sharing needles, and from mother to child during childbirth or breastfeeding.

Common Myths Now, let’s debunk some myths about HIV.
HIV can only be transmitted through three body fluids: blood, breast milk, and sexual fluids.
The virus isn’t transferred in air or water, or through casual contact hence, you cannot get HIV from casual contact, like hugging, kissing, or using the same utensils.

Symptoms and Testing After initial HIV infection, there can be a long asymptomatic period, sometimes lasting years, during which the virus replicates in the body without causing noticeable symptoms. This is one reason regular testing is essential If diagnosed early, HIV can be managed effectively with medication Getting tested and treated for other STDs (Sexually Transmitted Diseases) is important, as having another STD can increase the risk of contracting.

HIV Treatment:
While there is no cure for HIV, it is preventable and treatable. Antiretroviral therapy (A.R.T.) medicine can effectively control the virus, allowing individuals to live long and healthy lives PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis) is taken after you think you have been exposed to HIV. PEP can reduce the risk of contracting HIV. It is taken within 72 hours after exposure to HIV for 28 days to prevent HIV.

Living with HIV:
People living with HIV can lead healthy lives with proper medical care. They can work, have families, and pursue their dreams while managing the virus Prevention Prevention is key.

Always practice safe sex, use clean needles, and get tested regularly. Education and awareness are powerful tools in the fight against HIV.

Support and Resources:
If you or someone you know is living with HIV, there are numerous support networks and resources available to provide assistance, guidance, and a sense of community.

Some lesser-known facts of HIV:
1st, HIV is believed to have originated from simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) in chimpanzees. The transmission to humans likely occurred when humans hunted and consumed chimpanzee meat.
2nd, HIV is known for its high mutation rate. This makes it challenging to develop a single vaccine or treatment that works for all strains of the virus Remember, knowledge is the best defense against HIV.

By sharing this information and raising awareness, we can all contribute to a healthier, more informed world.
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Asante Sana

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