Your immune system is a natural barrier, which protects your body from harmful influence of environmental factors.

Special cells give a powerful response to penetration of infection and toxic agents.

If immune system fails, body loses ability to struggle against all these viruses, bacteria and fungi.

Human immunodeficiency virus is one of the most dangerous diseases. About 39000 new cases are diagnosed in the US annually.

Credit: Freepik

Credit: Freepik

HIV mutated from the virus, which affects African chimpanzees. In the 1970s, it began to spread to other continents. Nowadays it's an endemic infection, is propagated all over the world.

According to statistics, more than 1.1 million Americans live with HIV, but not all of them know it.

HIV infection destroys immune T-cells (also known as CD4 cells), decreasing defensive abilities of person's organism. If left without special treatment, HIV usually leads to the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS)

In AIDS levels of CD4 cells become extremely low that makes the body prone to so-called opportunistic infection (infections, which affect people with weak immune system).

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Credit: Freepik

Credit: Freepik

You probably know that people can be infected by HIV through the blood, breast milk, semen, vaginal or rectal fluids.

We want to tell you about some others facts, you maybe didn't know about:

#1 HIV starts like common cold – within first two to four weeks after infection people often experience flu-like symptoms like low-degree fever, sore throat, tiredness, drowsiness and muscle aches.

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Credit: Freepik

Credit: Freepik

#2 HIV can exist in the body during many years without causing symptoms – after acute flu-like stage infection runs into the clinical latency stage, in which person doesn't have any complaints or have mild nonspecific signs. HIV usually causes symptoms, when amount of T-cells drop down dramatically.

#3 Infected person may transmit virus, even if doesn't have symptoms – even though HIV doesn't cause any symptoms at the clinical latency stage, it can be spread to other people through unprotected sex or sharing needles.

Credit: Freepik

Credit: Freepik

#4 Tests are anonymous – many of us want to stay unnamed, when getting HIV test. That's not a problem, as everybody has ability to know his or her HIV-status anonymously.

#5 HIV treatment is not about tens of pills – it seems like people need to swallow numerous medications to control such a serious disease. In fact, new antiretroviral drugs can be taken only once a day. Medical professional can help you match appropriate medications to keep HIV under the control.

Credit: Freepik

Credit: Freepik

#6 A pill can help prevent HIV infection – even if you had unprotected intercourse with new partner (whose HIV-status is unknown) last night, it's still possible to prevent infection. So-called post-exposure prophylaxis is efficient, if started during three days after exposure to immunodeficiency virus and consumed every day during 28 days.

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The BetterMe Team wants you and those close to you to live a healthy, happy life! Your health is a valuable thing; look after your body and your mind so that you can live your life to the fullest – Remember you only get one!

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