If you’re wondering whether you can get HIV from cracked hands, the answer is no. However, if you have cuts or open sores on your hands, you could be at risk for other infections. So make sure to keep those hands clean and dry!
What is HIV?
HIV is a virus that attacks the body’s immune system. The immune system is what helps the body fight off infections and diseases. HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus. Once HIV gets into the body, it starts to damage the immune system by destroying a type of white blood cell called CD4 cells. Everyone has these cells, and they help fight infection and disease.
If HIV isn’t treated, it can weaken the immune system to the point where the body can’t fight off infections and diseases at all. These infections and diseases are called opportunistic infections because they take advantage of a weak immune system. People with HIV are also at risk for other conditions, like certain types of cancer, that people with healthy immune systems don’t usually get.
You can have HIV for years without knowing it because you might not have any symptoms, or your symptoms might not be severe enough for you to notice them. That’s why it’s so important to get tested for HIV if you think you might have been exposed to the virus. There’s no cure for HIV, but there are treatments that can help people with HIV live long, healthy lives.
How is HIV transmitted?
HIV is transmitted through bodily fluids that come into contact with mucous membranes or open wounds, as well as through sharing needles or other injecting equipment.
There are four main ways HIV can be transmitted:
- Unprotected sex
- Sharing needles or other injecting equipment
- From mother to child during pregnancy, childbirth or breastfeeding
- Exposure to infected blood, for example through a blood transfusion or sharing needles
What are the symptoms of HIV?
There are a number of symptoms that can be associated with HIV infection, and they can range from mild to severe. The most common symptoms include:
- Muscle aches and pains
- Sore throat
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Weight loss
How is HIV diagnosed?
HIV is diagnosed through blood tests that look for antibodies to the virus. Antibodies are proteins that are produced by the body’s immune system in response to infections. It usually takes several weeks for the body to produce enough antibodies for the test to be positive.
What are the treatments for HIV?
There is no cure for HIV/AIDS, but there are treatments that can prolong a person’s life and improve their quality of life. The most common treatments are antiretroviral drugs, which are used to suppress the virus and prevent it from replicating. These drugs can be used in combination (called “cocktails”) to increase their effectiveness.
How can HIV be prevented?
PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) is a way for people who do not have HIV but who are at substantial risk of getting it to prevent HIV infection by taking a pill every day. The pill (brand name Truvada) contains two medicines (tenofovir and emtricitabine) that are also found in combination in other HIV medicines. When someone is exposed to HIV through sex or injecting drugs, these medicines can work to keep the virus from establishing a permanent infection.
PrEP is much less effective when it is not taken consistently. Daily use of PrEP reduces the risk of getting HIV from sex by about 99%. Among people who inject drugs, it reduces the risk by about 74%. However, people who take PrEP may still acquire other sexually transmitted diseases, such as syphilis, gonorrhea, or chlamydia.
There are other ways to reduce your risk of getting HIV:
-Abstaining from sexual activity
-Mutually monogamous relationship with an uninfected partner
-Correct and consistent use of condoms during every sexual encounter
-Reduced number of sexual partners
-Injection drug users should only use sterile needles and never share them
What are the myths about HIV?
There are many myths about HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. Some people think that you can get HIV from: • Toilet seats • Kissing • Touching someone who is HIV positive • Swimming in the same pool as someone who is HIV positive • Being bitten by a mosquito that has been infected with HIV • Eating food that has been handled by someone who is HIV positive None of these things can give you HIV. The only way to get HIV is by coming into contact with certain body fluids from an infected person, such as blood, semen, pre-seminal fluid, or breast milk. These fluids must enter your bloodstream through a cut or open sore in your skin, or through contact with the mucous membranes in your rectum, vagina, penis, or mouth.
What are the facts about HIV?
There is a lot of misinformation about HIV and how it is transmitted. It is important to know the facts in order to protect yourself and others from HIV infection.
HIV is a virus that attacks the body’s immune system. It can be transmitted through contact with infected blood, semen, or vaginal fluids. It can also be transmitted from an infected mother to her child during pregnancy, childbirth, or breastfeeding.
In the United States, most cases of HIV are transmitted through unprotected sex or sharing needles with an infected person. However, it is possible to get HIV from exposure to other bodily fluids, such as blood or saliva, if there is direct contact with mucous membranes or an open wound.
There is no cure for HIV, but it can be managed with medication. If left untreated, HIV can lead to AIDS, which weakens the immune system and makes the person susceptible to opportunistic infections.