Eric Leven

HIV/AIDS Basics: What Do You Know?

Filed By Eric Leven | November 07, 2007 11:02 AM | comments

Filed in: Living, Media
Tags: HIV/AIDS, PSA, sex ed

This past weekend I took my camera out and decided to do a little interviewing. I wanted to know if people knew the basics of HIV/AIDS. Hmmm? Peep this:

Did you know all the answers?

Some of the interviewees knew the correct answers, however, none were certain they were right.

Answers to these questions can be found after the jump!

Answers:
What does HIV stand for? :Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is the virus that causes AIDS, or Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome. HIV harms the body's immune system by attacking certain cells, known as helper T cells or CD4 cells, which defend the body against illness.
What does AIDS stand for? :AIDS, or Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome, occurs when an individual's immune system is weakened by HIV to such an extent that the individual develops one or more of about 25 "opportunistic infections" (OIs), conditions that take advantage of a weakened immune system.
What does an HIV test look for?: When HIV enters the blood, the body reacts by making cells called antibodies. Most HIV tests look for these antibodies and not the virus itself. It can take the body up to three months to make enough antibodies to be detectable on the test, but most people will create enough antibodies in just 4 weeks after infection.
When does HIV become AIDS?: According to the official definition published by the CDC, a person receives an AIDS diagnosis when he or she has a CD4 CELL COUNT of less than 200 and/or certain opportunistic conditions common with advanced immune efficiency.

For more information to learn more about HIV/AIDS and to locate testing sites throughout the nation go to:
www.knowhivaids.org


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Why are these specific questions important to HIV prevention?

The larger question Alex is why don't sexually active people know anything about STD's ?


When you look around HIV isn't the only game in town. Here in SanDiego and Southern California the STD of the day is Syphilis or if left to it's own devices Neuro Syphilis. Other arias it’s Hep-C, just about everywhere if you are female it’s HPV. There is a whole new crop of kids who think this is all BS. They don’t know the level of danger they are entering into. And we haven’t even begun to talk about Herpes.

In reality if you want to keep your health even condoms and oral dams are not complete protection.


Take care
Susan Robins

Fucking brilliant, Eric. Spectacular.

They're important, Alex, because they're one tiny baby step beyond knowing "AIDS is a bad disease." or "Use a condom or you can get infected." It's knowing whether or not we really have an idea of what's going on - at it's most basic level.

I don't really care if they got the precise number for HIV/AIDS distinction. But I would like them to know it's based on a number or having a related disease.

It's because several of my friends have died and goddamit everyone should at least know the basics. Like CPR, the Heimlich maneuver, or how to put out a grease fire, knowing the basics on HIV/AIDS (and all the STDs) can save your life. And then I don't lose another friend.

I loved it, Eric.

Why don't sexually active people know anything about STD's ? The answer is social stigma attached to STDs. Nobody would like to talk about sexually transmitted disease, nobody would like to know about STD unless they are told they have it. I have a friend who have herpes, she even email the support of herpes dating site pozgroup dot com and ask them the remove words like herpes, hpv, hiv from the page title. She do not want others to see she is browsing a site related to STD even she is living with herpes.