Not so scary anymore.
What is it?
HIV, or the Human Immunodeficiency Virus, is a viral disease spread through sexual intercourse and blood that severely affects your body’s immune system. The virus gradually destroys your body’s ability to fight off disease, and if left untreated, can develop into a condition calls AIDS – or Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome.
Once your body’s immune system has been damaged to the point of AIDS, it can be very hard to recover. However, contracting HIV is not AIDS. In fact, modern medicine has come so far since the AIDS epidemic of the 1980’s that contracting HIV really isn’t a big deal anymore. If someone is diagnosed early, most people do really well on medication and live a normal life!
Can you take medicine to help stop yourself from getting HIV or help you if if you’re HIV+?
Modern medical treatments are incredibly effective at treating HIV. While they’re not a cure, they can suppress the effects of the virus to the point where it is not only impossible to detect, but practically impossible to transmit! This is the basis of the U=U movement, or Undetectable=Untransmissable. There are countless people who live long, happy, and sexually active lives with HIV.
So how do treatments work and how can I try reduce my risk of getting HIV?
Well, HIV treatment usually comes in the form of antiretroviral treatments, PrEP and PEP. If you want to know more about these treatments, check out our article on PrEP vs PEP, but in short they are simple tablets that work to prevent you from contracting HIV from a partner, AND prevent you from spreading it if you are HIV positive. Modern medicine really is amazing.
Want more info?
If you want further support regarding HIV and AIDS, we encourage you to reach out to the West Australian AIDS Council. If you want to visit a medical centre that specialises in HIV diagnosis and treatment, we recommend visiting M-Clinic in West Perth.