What is AIDS?
Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome- A collection of clinical symptoms indicating a failure of the immune system, that is meant to protect the human body from intruders (such as infections, germs etc.) fails and stops doing its job, i.e. stops protecting our body. The virus that causes Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) in the human body is called- HIV.
What is HIV?
HIV- Human Immunodeficiency Virus HIV causes immune deficiency in humans, therefore it can transfer only between humans.
How does HIV transfer?
In order for an infection with HIV to occur there must be a direct and constant contact between one of the bodily fluids containing the virus and one of the absorbing mucous membranes of our body, or, directly into the blood system, and with no exposure to air. Bodily fluids containing HIV- - Blood - Semen (including pre-ejaculation fluid) - Vaginal Secretions - Breastmilk
Absorbing mucous membranes-
- Nasal cavity
- Mouth and Pharynx
- Tip of the penis and the foreskin
- Blood system
When can exposure to HIV occur?
1. Sexual Relations- intercourse with full penetration to the Vagina and/or Anus, without the use of a condom. This is because there is a chance that HIV from the Semen infect the Vaginal, Penile and/or Anal membranes. ***only the use of a condom while engaging in intercourse can prevent the infection with HIV.
2. Sharing Used Syringes- HIV in the blood can transfer without exposure to air and elements through the use of a used syringe directly to the blood system. *** Sharing used syringes can very well lead to an HIV infection.
3. From Mother to Child- AIDS is not hereditary. Infection with HIV between mother and child can occur during the pregnancy, during delivery through the birth canal, and through breastfeeding. A woman that knows she is HIV positive will get medical treatment for HIV for the entire duration of the pregnancy, which will prevent infection of the fetus while pregnant and during the delivery. In addition, she is to avoid breastfeeding the child, as HIV can also be found in breast milk, and use breast milk substitutes (baby- formula).
**All women living with HIV are eligible for medical treatment during pregnancy, and breast milk substitutes that will prevent the infection of the child with HIV.
When is there no chance for HIV infection?
All of these bodily fluids are NOT infectious:
One cannot contract HIV through handshakes, hugging, kissing, sharing utensils, sitting on public toilets, use of shared towels, and cannot pass in food, drinks and air. There is no chance of infection with HIV if a person living with HIV sneezes and/or coughs near you. Also, HIV cannot be transferred through animals, therefore a mosquito bite, a dog bite or any other animal bites are not infectious. *** The use of a condom with every penetration is the most effective in preventing infection with HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.
You cannot see on a person whether he or she is HIV positive or not. The only way to know if an HIV infection has occurred is by a simple blood test. General blood tests do not detect HIV. Only a specific HIV test can detect the virus. Most of new infections with HIV happen by people that are not aware of their HIV status- do not expect your sexual partners to tell you whether they are HIV positive or not. In most cases they themselves do not know!
When can we one get tested for HIV?
HIV blood test can detect the virus 21 days after the infection. Therefore, one must wait at least 21 days from the day of exposure to the virus until the day of the test.
Why should I get tested?
Early detection of HIV infection allows an effective medical treatment, while preserving a high quality of life, and preventing the outbreak of AIDS. A person that knows his or hers HIV status can get lifesaving treatment and keep his or her sexual partners safe.
Is there a cure for HIV/AIDS? NO!
There is no medicine that fully cures HIV and eliminates is from the human body. However, there is medicinal treatment called "the cocktail"- a combination of a number of medications that work together in order to overpower the HIV and suppress its reproduction in the body in order to prevent the outbreak of AIDS, to lead to a meaningful life, prolonging life expectancy and to improve the quality of life for people living with HIV.
How to use a condom
v You should check the expiration date of the condom and keep it in a cool and dry place.
v Put on the condom right before penetration, and when the penis is fully erect.
v Do not use more than one condom at a time. Using two condoms at the same time can tear both condoms.
v Make sure the condom stays on the penis all through the sexual act.
v Do not use a condom more than once.
WHERE DO I GET TESTED FOR HIV?
Israel AIDS Taskforce
Provides information and services for people living with HIV. Located: 18 Hanatsiv street Tel Aviv. Testing center open: Wednesday 20:00-22:00 Contact numbers: Asmait- 0547132699 Tal-0543200077
STIs (Sexually Transmitted Infections) & HIV tests Located: 5th floor, Central Bus Station (shop 5531) Working hours: For HIV testing (with translation)- Sunday, Monday 16:00-20:00 (Women and pregnant women) Tuesday 16:00- 18:00 (Men) For STIs (Sexually Transmitted Infections) with Symptoms (to see a doctor with translation)- Sunday 16:00-20:00, Wednesday 13:00- 17:00, Thursday 9:00-13:00 (without translation) Phone: 03-5373738
Other Health Clinics:
Physicians for Human Rights- Israel General/Family Doctor Located: 3 Dror Street (entrance is from 3 Sapir street), Jaffa, Ground Floor Working Hours: Family/General Doctor- Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday 16:00 Pediatrics- Friday 9:00 Phone: 03-5133100
Primary health care, general services Serving refugees, asylum seekers and migrant workers who do not have health insurance (Kupat Holim) Located: Central Bus Station, 4th floor, outside near Bus #5 stop Working hours: 8:00-20:00 Sunday through Thursday, Friday 8:00- 14:00 Phone: 073-2255390