HIV myths, symptoms, signs and treatment. I'm Dr. Frita. December is HIV and AIDS Awareness Month, and when I was talking to a couple of my patients who are living with HIV and they were all excited and getting ready to go to one of the World Aids Day celebrations that was held in Atlanta earlier this month, it reminded me of how many resilient, brilliant patients I have who are living with HIV.
This video is intended to be informational only. It is not a medical consultation, nor is it personalized medical advice. For medical advice, please consult your physician.
On the other hand, it also made me think about a lot of patients who actually still believe a lot of myths and misconceptions about HIV right now.
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One myth is that HIV is just a gay man's disease. Wrong. Another myth that some people still believe is that HIV can be caught from just casual contact. Wrong. And one of the scariest myths that some people still believe is that people with HIV or AIDS have a certain look. They look like they have AIDS. That one is so wrong. Over 36.9 million people worldwide are living with HIV. It is still a major epidemic. Over the next several minutes, we're going to have a little chat about HIV and AIDS. I'm going to discuss the risk factors, the symptoms, how HIV is spread, and how HIV can be prevented. Keep watching.
AIDS was first identified in the United States back in 1981, and at that time, it was believed to be a gay man's disease, and sadly at that time, very little or no efforts were put forth toward prevention or toward research. Well, very soon it became evident that HIV crosses all color lines, cultures, races, religions. It crosses all socioeconomic lines from Charlie Sheen to Freddie Mercury to Eazy-E to Magic Johnson. There's no particular look of HIV. You can't put HIV patients in a box. Though there is no definitive cure for HIV yet, there are many highly effective treatments which can allow that virus to be suppressed to an undetectable level, meaning that people who are infected with HIV can still have strong immune systems and live normal lifespans.
What is HIV? HIV, or human immunodeficiency virus, is a virus that attacks the immune system. Your immune system is your body's defense, your body's army against infection, your antibodies, your white blood cells, T cells, B cells. What HIV does is that it attacks some of these cells so that it suppresses your immune system and you become more prone to infection. With HIV it's very severe. When that virus is allowed to proliferate, it's not treated properly, you can progress to AIDS, which is when your CD4 count is less than 200 or if you have one of the AIDS-defining illnesses, like lymphoma or candidiasis or yeast in your esophagus. Basically, AIDS occurs when the HIV weakens the immune system to really the lowest state.
This video discusses HIV myths, symptoms, signs and treatment.
Please like my video. Please subscribe to my page. If you are someone who is living with HIV, please comment down below, be an encouragement to someone else. Please, help teach us something. Please comment. Remember, practice safe behavior. No matter how high of a pressure situation you're in, always try to be wise and make sure you use a condom, you make wise choices. And if, indeed, you have been exposed to HIV, face it head-on, look for support groups. Consult your physician. Be honest with your physician. HIV is everywhere. There's no face to it. You can't just stereotype people. I guarantee you sit by people with HIV on the bus, you ride in the airplane with them. You hug them, you see them at church. HIV is here, but we are fighting to eradicate it. Please take care of yourself. Do your best to live your healthiest, happiest life.