The Following is a Product of the Northern AIDS Connection Society in Truro, Nova Scotia. All information is from current research as of May 2009. All resources for both pictures and information to follow on Work Cited Slide. Copy Right in effect May 2009. Produced by: Lydia Evans Edited by: Albert McNutt The Human Immunodeficiency Virus This is a virus that attacks the immune system which protects the body against illness. When someone is exposed to HIV a persons defence system is weakened making them more vulnerable to illnesses like pneumonia and cancers
Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome Acquired implies that you get the virus from an activity you are engaged in, for example unprotected sex or sharing needles Syndrome means there could be a combination of two or more opportunistic infections. The virus can be contracted through anal sex with someone who has HIV without using a condom
Sharing needles or other equipment to inject drugs Sharing needles and or ink when getting a tattoo Sharing needles for piercings Sharing acupuncture needles Oral sex with someone who has HIV without using a condom Sharing sex toys
Taking part in any other activities that may include contact with blood or semen that has tested positive for HIV Talking, Shaking hands, Working or eating with someone Hugs or Kisses Coughs or Sneezes Donating Blood Swimming Pools
Toilet Seats or Water Fountains The only way to know if you have been exposed to HIV is to get a blood test. It can take up to 8-14 weeks after exposure for your body to produce enough antibodies to show up on the blood test. Some people experience some symptoms. Some Signs and Symptoms of HIV Infection can be severe flu like symptoms, fever, night sweats, weight loss, sore or swollen lymph nodes After some time people might even develop illness, infections and cancers which can lead to the AIDS Diagnosis. However some individuals can live symptom free for many years.
Safer sex refers to trying to protect yourself during sexual activities with other people. Many have different ideas about what safer means so it is important to exercise open communication with any partner. Both insertive and receptive partners are at risk if no condom is used. Unprotected sexual activity such as oral sex, and rimming are classified as lower risk, however caution should be exercised as one can be exposed to other concerns such as human papillomavirus , herpes to name a few. When engaging in sexual activity always use a water soluble lubricant because any oil based lubricants can damage the condom Rimming (oral-anal contact) without a latex barrier is extremely unsafe since if can expose you to many STIs and intestinal disorders. The use of a latex barrier will help protect you and these latex barriers can be acquired from your local pharmacy
or community based HIV/AIDS organization If you use sex toys do not share them without either covering them with latex condom or using a new one with each new partner or washing them with soap and hot water after each use. Safer injecting is a way to help reduce the risk of exposure to HIV and HCV. The most common ways to reduce your risk of contracting HIV or HCV are: Using a new needle and new supplies every time you inject Never share needles or supplies with anyone Get clean needles and new supplies from your local needle exchange
As a last resort if you cannot obtain a new needle you can clean your used needle before you re-use it by Filling it with sterile clean water, shake for at least 30 seconds then empty it and repeat Fill with bleach, shake for at least 30 seconds, empty it, repeat Fill with sterile clean water again , shake it for at least 30 second , then empty it, Repeat However cleaning the needle with bleach will kill HIV but may not protect you from other viruses like Hepatitis C HIV/AIDS related stigma is the prejudice and discrimination that is directed towards persons living with HIV/AIDS and the groups, communities that they are associated with. Stigma towards persons living with HIV/AIDS makes it more difficult for these individuals and also fuels the epidemic. The concern of criminalization is a huge issue for people living with HIV/AIDS Some gay men who are living with HIV/AIDS are often discriminated against because of their HIV status. This can have a huge impact on lives and can affect their physical and psychological health. Persons living with HIV/AIDS often experience stress and social isolation.
For example there are some health care workers, dentists, and doctors who sometimes refuse to provide care or avoid patients, who are gay because of the stigma attached to sexuality and HIV concerns. Many gay men living with HIV/AIDS do not seek or receive treatment early due to stigma and discrimination/ Stigma also exists within the gay community...your own community. It is often referred to internalized homophobia and AIDS phobia. There are some gay men who see other men that might look sick and automatically assume they are HIV+. According to research there is an alarming high HIV prevalence rate among young gay men and high rates of sexual risk-taking. This suggests that young gay men in their 20s are forging a second wave of the AIDS epidemic. Risk factors that are connected with young gay men:
Some young gay men see AIDS as being an illness of older men and feel that its safe to have unprotected sex with younger men. Young men are often in a exploratory phase which may lead to high numbers of partners and a willingness to try a variety of activities Coming out can also be a time of great emotional turmoil, which can result into low self-esteem and depression, this could reduce their feelings of self-efficacy and the motivation to have safer sex. Men tend to seek medical care 20% less often than women do and may remain unaware of body signals that would alert them to a problem developing. Prevention like safer sex and self education are still the best types of medicine. Being aware will help you avoid many of the problems that affect a greater number of gay men than any other group Individuals who have been diagnosed with HIV should first get a
good doctor. Try to find a doctor that has experience and who you feel comfortable being open and honest with. When it comes to mental and emotional well being make sure that you minimize huge stressors. Stress & depression comes hand in hand with HIV and sometimes so does Drugs and Alcohol. In order to keep your mental and emotional well being in a positive way find someone you can talk to. Also find physical activities, like yoga or Tai Chi that will help reduce stress. Another good way to keep healthy is to eat well, exercise and get enough rest. Also there are some individuals with HIV who use complementary therapies, like herbal treatments. Eventually you and your doctor will have to discuss medications. Antiretroviral is the medication that helps your immune system fight against HIV. CD4 Cells are a type of white blood cell that are a important part to the immune system Two
Main Types of CD4 Cells T-4 Cells(CD4+)- These are helper cells that lead the attack against infections T-8 Cells( CD8+)- These are the suppressor cells that end the immune response, also they can be Killer cells that kill cancer cells and cells infected with a virus. When HIV enters the body, the cells that are affected most are CD4 cells, the genetic makeup of the virus becomes part of the cells. When the cell multiplies to help fight infection the virus also gets duplicated. When someone has HIV for a long time, the number of CD4 cells goes down. This is a sign that the immune system is becoming weakened , the lower the CD4 count the more likely the person will become sick. To find out your CD4 count, a small sample of blood is taken and gets tested on several types of cells. The CD4 Cells are not counted directly; there is usually just a calculation on the total of white blood cells you have.
Viral load is the term used to describe the amount of HIV that is in your body. The more HIV you have in your blood the faster you will lose CD4 cells (White blood Cells) A Viral Load test is a way to find out the number of copies of HIV RNA per millilitre. But normally your Doctor will just give you the viral load as a number. There are currently a number of difference Viral load tests in use, however all the test are equally reliable in finding out if your viral load is too high or not. Antiretroviral medication is given to people with HIV to help
suppress the virus in their system. This is not a cure for HIV/ AIDS; however they help the immune system to recover. If the medication is taken reliably and correctly the medicines can reduce the virus to a level in the blood when it can no longer be measured or detected. People who have HIV do not need treatment if their immune systems are still strong. The treatment is usually considered once the immune system is weakened. Estimated that there are 40,000,000 people living with HIV in the world Its Estimated that 25,000,000 have died since the discovery of AIDS Its Estimated that 4,300,000 are newly
infected with HIV in 2006 Canada Estimated in 2010 there were 68,000 people living with HIV in Canada Roughly between 2,300 and 4,500 new HIV Cases occur each year, though some of them are not reported right away. AIDS is going away. AIDS is a death sentence. Even though the levels of AIDS-related deaths have plummeted due to the new drugs, the number of people with HIV and AIDS increases year by year. It is unlikely that HIV will ever go away- it has worked its way into the human population. The most we can hope for is that an effective vaccine and cure can be found to counter HIVs effects and prevent the development of AIDS Even though there is no cure for HIV, Drugs therapies that have been introduced since 1996 and treatments for opportunistic infections have greatly improved the health of those living with the virus. These drugs can delay or prevent the development of AIDS, as well as allow for recovery with those with
AIDS. This means that the average life expectancies have improved dramatically. However antiretroviral therapies are expensive and campaigning continues for those in developing nations to be given access to these drugs. You can catch AIDS from being around someone who is infected. HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is usually transmitted via unprotected sex, sharing needles during drug-taking, or from mother to baby. HIV is present in the blood, seminal or vaginal fluids of infected people, but can only be passed to another person if such a fluid gets into their blood stream. HIV antibodies are detectable in an infected persons saliva, but a level far too low to be infectious. Toilet seats and eating utensil do not pass on the virus. AIDS only affects gay men. HIV does not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation. It can infect anyone, male or female. Heterosexual or homosexual, or young or old. Its true that it first appeared in significant numbers among the gay community, however it was quickly discovered that HIV infections were not just limited to this group although the origins of HIV are not fully understood, it is likely that the early
prevalence of the virus amongst gay men happened purely by chance. In the UK HIV does disproportionately affect gay men, with it being around 80% of all known UK infections contracted through sex is between men. However, this is not true in other countries. HIV infections have been acquired abroad are factored in heterosexual sex becomes the most common method of transmission. AIDS was sent by god to punish gay men. If HIV and AIDS were sent by god to punish gay men, a divine intervention of this nature was a very poor move. HIV has also infected a lot of women, heterosexual men and children worldwide. It is a shame that AIDS has been used by certain religious factions to attack homosexuality. It deflects from the far broader issues involved which has caused great distress and points to a gross lack of understanding. Whatever a persons faith, they should regards AIDS as an illness like countless others and not use it as a tool to reinforce their own beliefs. A Public Health Unit: CEC & Community Youth Health & Support Centre 34 Lorne ST., Truro, NS B2N 3K3 Tel: 902-895-4495 Nova Scotia Agriculture College P.O Box 550 Truro, NS B2N 5E3 Tel: 902-893-6300 Email: [email protected]
An AIDS Hotline: Canadian AIDS Treatment Information Exchange (CATIE) 1-800-263-1638 www.CATIE.ca Needle Exchange: Mainline Needle Exchange 5511 Cornwallis St., NS B3K 1B3 Tel: 902-423-9991 Your Local Sexual Health or Family Planning Clinic: Sharp Advice Needle Exchange (SANE) Halifax Sexual Health Centres Formally know as 150 Bentinck St PO BOX 177 St., Sydney, NS Planned Parenthood Testing clinic for HIV/AIDS B1P 6H1 Completely Anonymous. Appointments Only. Tel: 902-539-5556 Tel: 902-455-9656 Website: http://www.accb.ns.ca/sharpadvice.htm Your Provincial Aids Coalition: AIDS Coalition of Nova Scotia Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network: www.aidslaw.ca 1675 Bedford Row, Halifax NS B3J 1T1 Living or Working on the Streets: Toll free: 1-800-566-2437 162 Jones Road, New Minas P.O Box 494 Website: http://www.acns.ns.ca/
Kentville, NS Your Local AIDS Organization: B4N 3X3 Northern AIDS Society Tel: 1-902-543-5274 or 1-902-365-3100 33 Pleasant St., Truro NS Website: http://www.stepping-stone.org/ B2N 3R5 Tel: 902-893-0931 Email:[email protected] Aids Coalition of Cape Breton 150 Bentinck St., Sydney, NS B1P 1G6 Tel: 902-567-1766 Website: www.accb.ns.ca Your First Nations Organization: Healing Our Nations 15 Alderney Drive, Suit 3, Dartmouth, NS B2Y 2N2 Toll Free: 1-800-565-4255 http://www.hon93.ca/ Other Organizations and Websites: Health Canada Website: http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/ Nova Scotia Department of Health Website: http://www.gov.ns.ca/health/ Canadian AIDS Society
Website: http://www.cdnaids.ca/ CTAC: Canadian Treatment Action Council Website: http://www.ctac.ca/en/home UNAIDS: United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS McGill University Student Health Service Student Information. (2006, August 22). Retrieved April 29th, 2009, from Gay Men's Health Issues: http://www.mcgill.ca/studenthealth/information/queerhealth/ gaymen/ Anti-Retroviral Therapy. (2006, December 1). Retrieved May 4th, 2009, from Cape>Gateway: http://www.capegateway.gov.za/ eng/directories/services/11500/6374#arvs Basic Facts about HIV&AIDS. (2004). Canada: Canadian Public Health Association. Myths and Misconceptions. (2009). Retrieved May 19, 2009, from Wiltshire & Swindon Men's Sexual Health: http://www.wsmsh.org.uk/health/hiv/myths.html#aoagm Talking to Kids about HIV/AIDS. (2005, March). Canada: Canadian HIV/AIDS Information Centre. Beyond Appearances. (n.d.). Canada. Viral load. (2009, January). Retrieved May 4th, 2009, from AIDS Map Treatment & Care: http://www.aidsmap.com/cms1044622.aspx CD4 Cell Tests. (2009, March 21). Retrieved May 4th, 2009, from The Body: http://www.thebody.com/content/art6110.html
What Are Young Gay Men's HIV. (1996). Retrieved May 4th, 2009, from Center For AIDS Prevention Studies: http://people.virginia.edu/~gct2r/library/CAPS_Young_Gay_Men_Prev. pdf HIV and AIDS Statistics. (2007, November). Retrieved May 4th, 2009, from World Vision: http://www.worldvision.org/content.nsf/getinvolved/hopepastors-facts-07 HIV Statistics. (n.d.). Retrieved May 4th, 2009, from Averting HIV and AIDS: http://www.avert.org/canstatg.htm HIV/AIDS Statistics - Canada. (2008, September). Retrieved April 29th, 2009, from Aids Committee of Toronto: http://www.actoronto.org/home.nsf/pages/hivaidsstatscan HIV/AIDS Statistics - Worldwide. (2008, September). Retrieved April 29th, 2009, from Aids Committee of Toronto: http://www.actoronto.org/home.nsf/pages/hivaidsstatsworld HIV&AIDS Discrimination and Stigma. (2009, April 29). Retrieved May 6th, 2009, from AVERTing HIV and AIDS: http://www.avert.org/aidsstigma.htm HIV/AIDS Stigma and Discrimination: Gay Men. (2003, Feb). Retrieved May 6th, 2009, from National AIDS Trust: http://www2.hawaii.edu/~lgbti/HIVAIDS%20Stigma%20and %20Discrimination%20%20%20Gay%20Men.pdf Living With HIV Starting Points. (2008). Toronto, Ontario, Canada: Toronto People With AIDS Foundation. What is Safer Sex. (n.d.). Retrieved April 29th, 2009, from Aids Committee of Toronto: http://www.actoronto.org/home.nsf/pages/whatissafersex Young. Proud. Safe. A Safer Sex Guide for Young Gay and Bisexual Men. (1998, November). Retrieved April 29th, 2009, from Aids Committee
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