HIV/AIDS PREVENTION & EDUCATION

WHAT IS HIV AND WHAT IS AIDS?

HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is a virus that enters the body through the bloodstream, affecting specific cells of the immune system, called CD4 cells, or T cells. Over time, HIV can destroy so many of these cells that the body can’t fight off infections and disease. When this happens, HIV infection leads to AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome). Just over 100,000 New Yorkers have died of AIDS since 1981. As of September 2011, 110,736 New Yorkers had been diagnosed with HIV and presumed to be living with HIV or AIDS. In 2010, 3,481 people were newly diagnosed with HIV in NYC.

WHAT IS HIV AND WHAT IS AIDS?
WHO IS AT RISK FOR HIV?

In the United States, HIV is spread mainly through anal or vaginal sex or by sharing drug-use equipment with an infected person. Substance use can contribute to these risks indirectly because alcohol and other drugs can lower people’s inhibitions and make them less likely to use condoms. Therefore, everyone is at risk of contracting HIV.

WHO IS AT RISK FOR HIV?
HOW DO YOU GET HIV?

Certain body fluids from an HIV-infected person can transmit HIV. These body fluids are: Blood, Semen (cum), Pre-seminal fluid (pre-cum), Rectal fluids, Vaginal fluids, Breast milk. These body fluids must come into contact with a mucous membrane or damaged tissue or be directly injected into your bloodstream (by a needle or syringe) for transmission to possibly occur. Mucous membranes are the soft, moist areas just inside the openings to your body. They can be found inside the rectum, the vagina or the opening of the penis, and the mouth.

WHAT IS HIV AND WHAT IS AIDS?
HOW DO YOU
GET AIDS?
HOW DO YOU GET AIDS?

The terms “HIV” and “AIDS” can be confusing because both terms refer to the same disease. However, “HIV” refers to the virus itself, and “AIDS” refers to the late stage of HIV infection, when an HIV-infected person’s immune system is severely damaged and has difficulty fighting diseases and certain cancers. Before the development of certain medications, people with HIV could progress to AIDS in just a few years. But today, most people who are HIV-positive do not progress to AIDS. That’s because if you have HIV and you take antiretroviral therapy (ART) consistently, you can keep the level of HIV (viral load) in your body low. This will help keep your body strong and healthy and reduce the likelihood that you will ever progress to AIDS. It will also help lower your risk of transmitting HIV to others.

HOW IS HIV SPREAD?

Approximately 50,000 new HIV infections occur in the United States each year. In the U.S., HIV is spread mainly by: Having sex with someone who has HIV. In general: Anal sex (penis in the anus of a man or woman) is the highest-risk sexual behavior. Receptive anal sex (“bottoming”) is riskier than insertive anal sex (“topping”). Vaginal sex (penis in the vagina) is the second highest-risk sexual behavior. Having multiple sex partners or having sexually transmitted infections can increase the risk of HIV infection through sex. Sharing needles, syringes, rinse water, or other equipment (“works”) used to prepare injection drugs with someone who has HIV.HIV is NOT spread by: Air or water, Insects, including mosquitoes or ticks, Saliva, tears, or sweat, Casual contact, like shaking hands, hugging or sharing dishes/drinking glasses, Drinking fountains, toilet seats.

HOW IS HIV SPREAD?

WHAT SHOULD I DO

IF I THINK

I HAVE HIV?

SHOULD I CONSIDER TAKING PrEP OR PEP?

PEP is used for anyone who may have been exposed to HIV very recently during a single event. It is not the right choice for people who may be exposed to HIV frequently. HCC can help you to decide whether PEP or PrEP is right for you based on the risk of your exposure. Call us at our office at 718-940-2200 ext 114 to speak with our PrEP/PEP Specialist.

When taken every day, PrEP can provide a high level of protection against HIV, and is even more effective when it is combined with condoms and other prevention tools. CDC recommends that PrEP be considered for people who are HIV-negative and at substantial risk for HIV.

PEP is used for anyone who may have been exposed to HIV very recently during a single event. It is not the right choice for people who may be exposed to HIV frequently. Your health care provider will consider whether PEP is right for you based on the risk of your exposure.

WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I THINK

I HAVE HIV?

WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I THINK I HAVE HIV?

The only way to know for sure if you have HIV is to get tested. Testing is relatively simple. You can get an HIV test from your doctor or contact us at HCC at 718-940-2200 ext. 114 to make an appointment or just walk-in. 

SHOULD I CONSIDER TAKING

PrEP OR PEP?

The only way to know for sure if you have HIV is to get tested. Testing is relatively simple. You can get an HIV test from your doctor or contact us at HCC at 718-940-2200 ext. 114 to make an appointment or just walk-in. 

WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I THINK I HAVE HIV?

Prep and

PEP

Pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, is a prevention option for people who are at high risk of getting HIV. It’s meant to be used consistently, as a pill taken every day, and to be used with other prevention options such as condoms.

PEP,  post-exposure prophylaxis,  is the use of antiretroviral drugs after a single high-risk event to stop HIV from making copies of itself and spreading through your body. PEP must be started as soon as possible to be effective—and always within 3 days of a possible exposure. If you think you may have been exposed to HIV very recently, see a doctor as soon as possible to find out if PEP is right for you.

Prep and PEP

HIV is NOT spread by: air or water, Insects, including mosquitoes or ticks, saliva, tears, or sweat, casual contact, like shaking hands, hugging or sharing dishes/drinking glasses, drinking fountains, toilet seats.

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HCC is a Safe Zone/Safe Space: a safe, inclusive environment for all LGBTQI individuals.