AIDS, acronym for: “Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome” is the last step in the HIV (Human immunodeficiency syndrome) infection. In the United States it is estimated that one million people have AIDS and, one in six may not know they have it.

On the other hand, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Hispanics have a disproportionately high rate of HIV infection. In fact, the CDC has found that Hispanics who live in the United States have a HIV rate three times higher than Caucasians.

Continuing with the statistics, in 2010, Latino men represent 87% of new HIV infections. This estimate is based on Hispanics / Latino ratio in the United States.

For a better view of the issue, Latinos diagnosed with HIV during 2010 is as follows:

54% were retained for treatment

-44 % have been prescribed antiviral medication

-37 % achieved viral suppression (virus under control)


To prevent AIDS it is fundamental to understand the illness and how it’s transmitted. In the face of doubt or possible exposure to the virus, it is necessary to test for HIV. Early testing leads to an improved prognosis.


HIV affects our defense capabilities in our body. It specifically targets defense cells known as lymphocytes CD4+ T.

Once HIV enters the body’s cells, it uses them to replicate without causing discomfort. This state is call asymptomatic.

For the HIV contagion to propagate the necessary conditions between two humans is required: One must be infected or contacted by genital fluids, blood or breastfeeding.

There are three forms of HIV transmission:

 

Sexual

Sexual contact without protection. This can be vaginal, anal or oral with a person infected with the HIV virus.

 

Blood

– Blood transfusions or derivatives infected with the virus.

– HIV organ transplants

– Use of non-sterilized medical equipment, needles or syringes in contact with the virus.

Perinatal

-During natural childbirth, by means of the vaginal channel, the fetus may be contaminated by infected vaginal secretions.

-Through breastfeeding.

 

HIV concentration must be enough for a transmission, where body fluid is most condensed. Thus a few drops of blood will be enough to infect someone.


It is necessary for the HIV virus to enter the bloodstream to contract the virus. For this reason, it is not enough to be in contact with contaminated fluid. An entryway is needed in the form of an open wound, cut, crack, tear or by means of the mucous membranes.

Preventive Measures

The best method of prevention is having just one sexual partner (Mutual monogamy) of trust and abstinence.

-Do not interchange syringes with others. Always confirm with your doctors or medical centers that their instruments are sterilized or disposable. – Remember: When you get tattoos, piercings or earrings, visit a trustworthy location. It is preferable to pay a little more to avoid any potential illnesses!

-Use latex condoms (masculine and feminine) and avoid unprotected sex, whether anal, vaginal or oral.

-Pregnant women and bearers of the HIV virus should get treatment to lower the risk of fetal transmission during pregnancy and childbirth. Do not breastfeed your child.

 

Finally, the HIV virus cannot be transmitted by:

-Tears

-Saliva

-Sweat

-Feces and / or urine

-Hugging, holding hands, kissing, sharing food or talking with someone who is HIV positive is not contagious.

HIV medications have been used for some time to prevent transmission, for example between mother and son including pre-exposure prophylaxis. Some studies have shown that HIV transmission to other people decreases in those whose viral loads have been suppressed.  For example, microbicides that contain medication against HIV and pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) has shown promising results in clinical trials.

If you have doubts regarding contact with the virus, you should immediately visit a medical center to get a test and rule out the infection. And if you have any concerns, contact your doctor.

Remember: the best prevention is information!