Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is a germ that enters the body and multiplies. When a person has HIV they get other germs easily. When a person has HIV we say they are HIV-positive. People who are HIV-positive do not look or feel sick in the beginning so they may not know they have HIV. When the HIV has damaged the body and it cannot fight diseases properly any more, the person has AIDS. It is best for HIV-positive people to keep fit, eat healthy food and remember their hygiene so that their body can fight unnecessary germs more easily.

What do you know about HIV and AIDS?

HIV is a communicable disease, but it does not spread as easily as most diseases. It spreads from one person to another in bodily fluids such as blood, watery damaged skin, fluids from the penis or vagina, and breast milk. Sex, sharing needles, blood transfusions, contact with blood and infections from a mother to her child during childbirth can all spread HIV.

Truth and lies about HIV and AIDS

•You can’t get HIV from: kissing; laughing; sneezing and coughing; hugging and touching; shaking hands; mosquito bites; sharing cups or plates; sharing toilets; baths or showers; swimming pools; food.
•Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) happens when HIV has multiplied so much that there is no protection against any germs. When someone dies from AIDS the killer is usually TB, pneumonia or cancer.

Risks and beliefs about HIV and AIDS

Do you know that a condom helps to prevent infecting someone with HIV? Do you know what a condom is? It is a thin protective cover that a man rolls onto his penis before having sex. A condom protects the people having sex from HIV and other diseases that they can get from having sex. A condom also helps stop a woman from getting pregnant. Remember, sometimes a condom does not work.

Caring for people who are sick because they have AIDS

People who are sick need comfort, food and drink, medicines and help. People sick with AIDS are often worried too. They worry about what will happen to them, who will care for their family while they are so sick and when they die one day. We should encourage them to eat right (fresh fruit and vegetables), exercise, and rest. We should also help treat illnesses and infection, help them to learn to live with the disease, pass on knowledge to help them rebuild their life, and encourage them with hope and a good attitude.

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