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How people get infected by AIDS?Edit

HIV can be spread through any type of unprotected sex (oral, vaginal, or anal) if one of the partners has the virus. This can happen when body fluids such as semen (cum), vaginal fluids, or blood from an infected person get into the body of someone who is not infected. Someone can become infected even if only tiny amounts of these fluids are spread. Everyone who has unprotected sex with an infected person is at risk of contracting HIV, but people who already have another sexually transmitted disease (STD) are even more at risk.

Sharing needles to inject drugs or steroids is another way that HIV can be passed to other people. Sharing of needles for tattoos, piercings, and body art can also lead to infection. Someone with HIV who shares a needle also shares the virus, which lives in the tiny amounts of blood attached to the needle. Sharing needles also can pass hepatitis and other serious infections to another person.

Also, newborn babies are at risk of getting the HIV virus from their mothers if they're infected. This can happen before the baby is born, during birth, or through breastfeeding. Pregnant teens and women should be tested for HIV because infected women who receive treatment for HIV are much less likely to spread the virus to their babies. Babies born to mothers infected with HIV are also given special medicines to try to prevent HIV infection.

HIV CAN'T BE CAUGHT by kissing, hugging or shaking hands with an infected person, and it can't be transmitted by sneezes, door handles or dirty glasses!

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The difference between HIV and AIDSEdit

HIV is the virus that causes AIDS. HIV stands for the Human Immunodeficiency Virus and AIDS stands for the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. AIDS is a serious condition that breaks down the body's defences against illness. This means that people with AIDS can get many different kinds of diseases which a healthy person's body would normally fight off quite easily.

What is 'safe sex'?Edit

Usually when people talk about sex they mean sexual intercourse or 'penetrative sex' and this cannot be described as 'safe sex'. Safe sex means sexual activities which you can do even if one person is infected with HIV, and they definitely won't pass it on to the other person. Lots of sexual activities are completely safe. You can kiss, cuddle, massage and rub each other's bodies. But if you have any cuts or sores on your skin, make sure they are covered with plasters (band-aids). Nothing you do on your own can cause you to get HIV - you can't get infected by masturbating.

How long does it take for HIV to cause AIDS?Edit

The length of time between being infected with HIV and being diagnosed with AIDS depends on lots of different things. These days, there are many drugs that can be used to help people with HIV, and most doctors believe that a lot of people can be treated for a very long time. Many people do not know exactly when they were infected with HIV, and the length of time between being infected with HIV and being diagnosed with AIDS can vary a lot.

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What role can schools play in HIV prevention for young gay men?Edit

Schools have a very important part to play in supporting HIV prevention for young gay men. This does not mean that schools are a good place to do prevention work which is just aimed at young gay men, because they are not generally places where they feel safe and secure about being identified. But in whatever HIV prevention schools do through their health education provision there should be acknowledgement that in almost every group of young people there will be at least one young gay person and therefore the HIV prevention should acknowledge their needs and experiences. Moreover, all young people, whether they are gay or heterosexual, need to know about and to understand the experiences and particular risks that young gay men may be at. This can help reduce stigma and prejudices which still exist about gay men and HIV and means that heterosexual young people do not grow up thinking that the disease only affects them

What needs to be done to prevent more young gay men becoming infected with HIV?Edit

The data on HIV infections show that there is a need both to sustain current prevention work with young gay men and to develop new approaches. It is important to do both, so that young gay men don't forget messages about HIV & AIDS or start to think that they are no longer relevant to them and to meet the needs which arise as circumstances change over time. For example, young gay men may need to get updated information about new testing arrangements in their area or new types of condoms. At the same time basic information needs to be provided all the time because new young gay men are beginning their sexual careers and may never have been reached with information, support and advice about HIV & AIDS or thought it was relevant to them.

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Marta Dobrowolska MDX 18:19, February 18, 2011 (UTC)

Marta Dobrowolska MDX 22:08, April 17, 2011 (UTC)