This is the most serious STI known to man. It is a virus that is easily spread during sexual intercourse. It also infects unborn babies during pregnancy, at birth and during breast feeding. A person can also get infected if they come into contact with body fluids like blood of an infected person.
There is no cure for HIV and currently nearly 30 million people are infected all over the world. Most of the infected people live in sub-Saharan Africa and 500 Kenyans die every day from HIV/AIDS.
The virus enters the body and destroys the protective cells in the body (immune system). Once the immune system has been weakened, the body suffers from a lot of other infections that give diarrhoea, vomiting, headache, meningitis, skin infections and pneumonia and eventually if the person does not get treatment they may die from one of these infections.
There is medicine known as ARV - Anti Retrovirals, available at the district hospitals to slow down the rate of growth of the virus within the body. This medicine will therefore improve the health of the person and prolong their life. However it is not a cure and the virus remains in the body.
An infected person can easily infect another and worse still they can get infected again and again. With each infection the immune system grows weaker and the person’s health worsens.
So what can you do?