HIV 101

The HIV class will review the basics and fundamentals of HIV and AIDS. HIV 101 is great for anyone who wants the straightforward facts on HIV in a fun and learning-friendly environment. During the session, participants will learn risk reduction tactics and prevention techniques. Other topics discussed will include HIV testing, infection rates, concepts in sex positivity, and more. HIV 101 is open to all.

Contact us here about attending an upcoming class in Denver. Contact each regional office regarding trainings in other cities.

What is HIV/AIDS?
HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus. This is the virus that causes HIV infection. AIDS stands for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. AIDS is the most advanced stage of HIV infection. HIV attacks the immune system, destroying CD4 cells. These cells are helpful in fighting infections and certain cancers. If left untreated, HIV can gradually destroy the immune system and advance to AIDS.
How is HIV/AIDS transmitted?
HIV is spread through contact with certain body fluids from a person with HIV. These fluids include blood, semen, pre-seminal fluid (pre-cum), vaginal fluids, rectal fluids, and breast milk. HIV is not spread through shaking hands, hugging, or kissing. You cannot get HIV from contact with toilet seats, doorknobs, shared drinks, or insect bites.
HIV is most commonly transmitted through sexual contact with or sharing injection equipment with someone who has HIV. Children can also become infected with HIV through their mothers. This type of transmission can be prevented by using HIV medications during pregnancy.
How can one prevent the spread of HIV
The prevention of HIV can take place through many different avenues. Using condoms consistently and correctly, limiting your number of sex partners, and never sharing injection equipment can significantly reduce your risk of contracting HIV. Additionally, the use of the drug Truvada (PrEP) can significantly decrease your risk of HIV. If your partner is living with HIV but you are not, you can reduce your risk of HIV by ensuring that your partner’s viral load is undetectable. If someone is at an undetectable viral load, their HIV is untransmittable.
What are symptoms of HIV
Within 2 to 4 weeks after a person becomes infected with HIV, they may have flu-like symptoms such as fever, chills or rash. These symptoms can last up to a few weeks after infection. More severe symptoms of HIV infection, such as opportunistic infections or certain cancers, generally don’t appear for many years after infection.
It is important to remember that HIV transmission is possible during any stage of HIV infection—even if a person has no symptoms of HIV.
What kinds of treatment are offered for diagnosis of HIV
HIV is treated with the use of antiretroviral therapy (ART). People on ART use a combination of HIV medicines daily. ART prevents HIV from multiplying, and also reduces the amount of HIV in the body. This helps to protect the immune system and keep HIV from advancing to AIDS. Although ART is not a cure for HIV, it can help people who have HIV live longer, healthier lives.