HIV not only has the potential to be one of the most lethal and deadly viruses in the world, but also one of the hardest to keep track of. There are many people in the world that may have the virus but do not know it as it doesn’t always necessarily show immediate symptoms. However, it is completely possible to protect yourself against the HIV virus when the right steps are taken. If you are in any way unfamiliar with the HIV virus, here is some if the important information you’ll need to know.
HIV is a virus that attacks a person’s immune-system and therefore makes someone incredibly vulnerable to any form of illness. It is estimated that by the end of 2011, around 34 million people worldwide had contracted HIV.
The virus is carried through bodily fluids such as the bloodstream and saliva, so in this way the virus is transmitted through coming into contact with an infected person’s blood or saliva and allowing it to enter your own bodily system. The most common way of passing it on however is through any form of unprotected sexual intercourse. This is most prevalent in homosexual men worldwide. In the UK alone last year, an estimated 1 in 20 gay men had HIV. In London the figure was even higher at 1 in 10 gay men contracting the virus, and higher again in Brighton at 1 in 8 gay men. In the US, between 2008 and 2010, both white and black gay men had the highest number of infections. It was registered that around 11,200 white homosexual men were diagnosed with HIV, with black homosexual men cases at around 10,600.
Whilst there is no current cure for HIV, new breakthroughs in treatment such as ARV (Antiretroviral) Therapy are proving effective at keeping infected people’s immune systems healthy despite being diagnosed with HIV. Whilst numbers of HIV infection cases are still high, many countries are starting to see dramatic drops in new cases each year thanks to successful new treatments such as ARV Therapy.
If you are concerned about HIV or your overall sexual health, then why not drop down to one of our clinics in London? We can offer you confidential advice and take quick blood tests to check for the HIV virus.